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Canada's Netflix Alternatives

The author of this post from Film Junk compares zip.ca<http://zip.ca>, canflix and cinemail.ca<http://cinemail.ca> and finds them all wanting; concluding that video on demand may be a better bet even if it too is not mature in this country.

http://www.filmjunk.com/2008/07/01/dvd-rentals-by-mail-comparing-canadas-netflix-alternatives/(external link)

Excerpt:

My initial decision found me sticking with Canflix, since it seemed to be the only place where I could depend on getting movies that I actually wanted on a consistent basis. I stayed with them for a few months, however, as of right now, I have currently canceled all of my subscriptions for the summer. I haven’t decided if I will go back to any online rental outlets in the near future.

Selection seems to be a big issue for online DVD rental places in Canada because there is a lot of geography to cover, which makes it harder to keep things in stock, but there aren’t always enough customers to justify multiple copies of movies. Unfortunately, the whole system really falls apart if you’re not getting shipped DVDs from the top of your queue. If you’re not in any hurry to watch them, the discs sit around for a couple of weeks, meanwhile you are still paying the same amount, and someone who really wanted to see that movie can’t get it either.

I think I may wait this out until digital downloads and/or online streaming become a bigger factors in the equation. I know Netflix in the U.S. currently offers a lot of movies streaming online, and they now have set top boxes available as well. This is the future of movie rentals, because once the quantity of a particular movie stops being a bottleneck, everyone will be happy.