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Why online film rentals could be cheaper than going to cinema

DVD and pop corn

With cinema tickets on average costing around £6 each for adults and £4 for children, a trip to the flicks is no longer a cheap night out. Then you have all the added extras like popcorn, sweets and fizzy drinks.

It’s no wonder people are turning to online film rentals instead of a visit to the pictures. There are many to choose from, some are well-known names already in the video and dvd rental market and others have advertised on TV.

Some new names may surprise you including Lidl and WHSmith. So which have the largest selection of films and who has the best offers currently?

Lovefilm.com

By far the best well-known name is Lovefilm.com with over 77,000 films and TV programmes for you to choose from.

You can add unique titles to your account and put them in a high, medium or low priority category. You can stream films to your PS3 and watch certain films online on your computer.

Membership starts from £4.99 a month in which you have two discs a month, one rental at a time and no online viewing, £5.99 a month for three discs with one rental at a time and two hours online viewing and £8.16 a month for four discs, two at a time with four hours online viewing.

For people who want unlimited viewing there are other options starting from £9.99 and a pay as you watch offer. If you want to include games in your package you can with a £5.99 starting price that offers two rentals a month. A really easy to use site with incentives to get friends and family involved.

Blockbuster.co.uk

Blockbuster.co.uk started off on the High Street and now has moved to the internet but was it a good move? Although they have a big banner advertising a £4.99 starting price for membership on their home page, I had to search around to find out prices for rentals and discovered they are practically a match for Lovefilm.com.

Also, the first thing you see on Lovefilm are pictures and images of films, these get you excited about renting, whereas Blockbuster tend to have text and to be honest I was a little bored navigating around the site. They may be a good rental film company but I would choose Lovefilm over them, they seem more enthusiastic over films than Blockbuster do.

Tescodvdrental.com again has another boring home page  reminding me rather of their value products, basic and simple but at least their membership rates are easily found, right on the front page. However, if you sign up to the free trial your dvds are sent out second class post and then once you are a paid up member they are posted first class, why is that?

For a supermarket they do have an impressive 65,000 titles to choose from. I would say this is a standard site for people who are not necessarily film buffs but just want the odd film on a Saturday night when there is nothing else on the TV. Prices are around the same as Lovefilm.com and Blockbusters if not a little cheaper.

lidlmovies.co.uk

And lastly, when you think of film rentals, the cut price store Lidl perhaps does not automatically spring to mind, but with an eye-catching home page, packed full of pictures of films and a comprehensive list with information on how to pay and register, this is what a film rental site should look like.

Typically 15% cheaper than Lovefilm.com and with a 24 hour customer service centre, they also have an extensive title list of over 65,000 unique films.  And they currently have the longest free trial period of a month as opposed to the usual 14 days offered by the leading rental companies. To sign up go to lidlmovies.co.uk. One definitely to watch!

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