What are the best online DVD rental services? Most people know Netflix, Blockbuster and Walmart are the major players in online DVD rentals. Netflix, which started it all, still gets the best reviews in terms of service, speed and movie selection (see this review for example).
However, there are some other interesting DVD rental companies out there. GreenCine, based in San Francisco, specializes in indie, arthouse, anime, foreign, classics, documentaries and other esoteric fare. They basically stock what the other mainstream rental companies do not, including an extensive selection of adult titles. Here’s a FAQ for GreenCine. Their “3 movies out” plan is $19.95 per month.
Nicheflix is another specialty DVD rental service. They stock “Multi-Region” DVDs, which are DVD coded for other countries. People with multi-region DVD players can rent and watch films intended for audiences in Asian and Europe. The cost is $24.99 per month for 3 DVDs out at a time.
E-Hit is a rental company offering a large selection of Asian cinema, including many films in Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, Korean, and Japanese and other Asian languages (with English subtitles) that may be difficult to find elsewhere in the US. The cost is $19.95 per month, for 4 DVDs out at a time. CinFlix is a similar service, also specializing in Asian DVDs.
CafeDVD, founded in 1999, has a good collection of independent, arthouse, foreign, classic and hard-to-find titles on DVD. The cost is $19.95 per month, for 3 DVDs out at a time. They also have an “A La Carte Rental Program” which allows you to rent DVD for $3 each, with no subscription required.
Here’s a discussion of people’s experiences with these rental companies.