Rent DVD's etc. by the hour

mscriv

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 14, 2008
4,917
595
Dallas, Texas
BigBox DVD kiosks take on Redbox with cheap, per-hour movie rentals:

Are the $1-a-night DVD rental prices at Redbox kiosks too rich for your blood? Well, a new player in the DVD rental kiosk craze is upping the ante by offering DVD and Blu-ray rentals for just pennies an hour, although only a few of the per-hour kiosks are up and running.

Video Business reports that four—yeah, just four, for now anyway—BigBox movie rental kiosks are humming away in Wisconsin and Minneapolis.

From what I can tell on the BigBox Web site, the BigBox DVD kiosks work more or less the same way as Redbox kiosks do; you swipe your credit card, dial up the DVD or Blu-ray you want to rent, and then return it to the machine when you're done.

Rather than charging you per night, though, BigBox does it by the hour: New DVD releases (such as "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," "Julie & Julia," and "Public Enemies") will cost you 6 cents an hour, while older, catalog titles cost 4 cents an hour. Blu-rays are also available, but they rent for a premium of 9 cents/hour. If you end up keeping a movie, BigBox will charge your credit card $35 for a DVD or $45 for a Blu-ray.

Of course, while 6 cents an hour for a new-release DVD is pretty cheap, it adds up on a per-day basis—to the tune of $1.44 over 24 hours, which makes BigBox ultimately pricier than Redbox if you keep a movie for a full day. Then again, if you snap up a BixBox DVD at, say, 9 p.m. and return it bright and early at 9 a.m., you're talking just 72 cents, with catalog DVDs only 48 cents or 12 hours.

Unfortunately, you can't just walk up to a BigBox and plug a few quarters into a coin slot. The first time you use one of the kiosks, the machine charges you a buck to verify your credit card; after that, you buy "buckets" of BigBox credit in denominations of $5, $10, $15, or $20. You must have some BigBox credit on your account to rent a movie, and if you don't have enough when you return a disc to a BigBox kiosk, the machine will spit it out until you buy more credit.

There's also the slight issue of BigBox's kiosk locations, which are very few and far between. Three are located at University of Wisconsin campuses, with a new kiosk at BigBox parent company Mosquito Productions HQ in Blaine, Minneapolis. That said, BigBox crows that its kiosks hold "15 times" as many movies as "some of our competitors," although not being in either Wisconsin or Minneapolis, I'm unable to go out and personally verity the claim.
LINK

This just seems odd. I guess it works though for a college campus. It's interesting to me that while retail chains are closing all over the country these rental kiosks are popping up everywhere. With download and direct mail becoming the preferred method it seems odd that companies are investing in this as it seems to have a limited scope and possibly limited future.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,044
118
Canada, eh?
Cool.

I could see that being really useful if you lived close to one (college campus being a good example). 6 cents an hour is peanuts and I could see popping by a kiosk for a few movies on a Saturday morning and returning them in the evening. Would be especially great for parties.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I could see that being really useful if you lived close to one (college campus being a good example). 6 cents an hour is peanuts and I could see popping by a kiosk for a few movies on a Saturday morning and returning them in the evening. Would be especially great for parties.
Me too... here we have some, but they're all out in supermarkets and stores outside the city... if there were ones in the core city, e.g. on my walk to and from work, I'd see myself renting on impulse from them.

I think it'll be a long time before download and mail completely replace other forms of rental. I don't watch enough to justify Netflix or BB mail service -- I used to have them and after a while, I just don't watch the movies and I'm paying $18/mo to have them sit on the coffee table.

Online rental is nice, but the price has to come down (and it seems, if anything, prices for music/video content on iTunes are only getting more expensive). If I could stream movies, legally, in Hulu or better quality for $1/movie, I would choose that over this or Redbox readily, though.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,845
8,727
Colorado
I've used Redbox before. There are several that located closer to me than Blockbuster. Rates are better than Comcast's On Demand. As for the by the hour ones, I agree that they would probably be a big draw on or near college campuses.
 

instaxgirl

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
1,438
1
Edinburgh, UK
The recession closed it down :( :( but last year there was a store called Moviebank 2 minutes walk from my ex's flat.

The shop was just filled with those machines and there was a similar pricing structure. It was fantastic.

So cheap and if you couldn't sleep you just wandered up, got a movie, watched it and then took it back. I remember just doing a marathon last Christmas and it only cost me about £5.

There was a similar shop on my street in Austria. I was DELIGHTED to see it. I'm not into digital downloads yet, too expensive and too many restrictions.
 

Blinkwing

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2009
97
0
New Zealand
There was a similar shop on my street in Austria. I was DELIGHTED to see it. I'm not into digital downloads yet, too expensive and too many restrictions.
Not to mention no subtitles for foreign speakers, deaf/hard of hearing people.

Which is why I won't be bothering with any legal alternatives for a loooong time to come.
 

Roy Hobbs

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2005
1,804
105
Cool.

I could see that being really useful if you lived close to one (college campus being a good example). 6 cents an hour is peanuts and I could see popping by a kiosk for a few movies on a Saturday morning and returning them in the evening. Would be especially great for parties.
Great for parties?? Who goes to a party and sits around watching movies"?
 

dXTC

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2006
2,032
50
Up, up in my studio, studio
I wonder if the braintrust behind BigBox realizes that this makes it even cheaper for those who "rent, rip and return". Many laptops nowadays can rip a full DVD in less than an hour.
 
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