Service
8 comments

Redbox Instant Review – Online Video Streaming Service

by on July 10, 2013
What We Like

+ Low monthly fee
+ Supports multiple platforms for streaming
+ Subscription includes 4 DVD rental credits

What We Do Not Like

- Does not have TV shows
- Movie selection is lacking

Editor Rating
Company Reputation

Customer Service

Features

Function

Value for the Price

Total Score


Final Verdict
 

In the end, I think Redbox Instant is relatively solid streaming service that has potential to take over a large portion the market share as it continues to grow. The business model is excellent, the pricing is reasonable, and there are multiple devices supported for playback. I just wish their instant streaming selection had more desirable titles, but I think over time this will improve as the service is so new. If you are simply looking to stream or rent (via a Redbox kiosk) new movies then Redbox Instant is likely a worthwhile investment. However, if you're looking to get both movies and tv shows, you'll want to stick with Netflix or Hulu Plus. Either way, I recommend trying out the free trial as you can get a chance to test out the service without spending a dime.

 

Redbox Instant is a subscription-based video streaming service that specializes in movies.

Introduction

With Blockbuster and Hollywood Video franchises closing down left and right, Redbox was one of the few companies to enter the media rental market and soon had practically a monopoly over the industry. When online streaming services like Hulu Plus or Amazon Instant Video came into the mix, Redbox’s business suffered greatly which caused them to reconsider their strategy.

Due to the change in market conditions, Redbox decided to adopt their own online video streaming model and coupled the subscription plan with DVD credits that could be redeemed at any local Redbox kiosk. I am just finishing up the free 30-day trial of Redbox Instant so this review is based off my experience thus far.

Pricing

A Redbox Instant subscription provides a free 1-month trial then rebills at $8/month for the rest of your account’s existence. This is on par with competitors like Hulu Plus and Netflix, which both charge $7.99/month for unlimited streaming. An advantage of Redbox Instant in comparison to the others is that the $8/month fee includes unlimited streaming as well as 4 credits for physical DVD rentals at your local Redbox kiosk.

Each credit is equal to a one night rental of any DVD or Blu-Ray (depending on subscription level), but you lose a credit for each additional day you keep the it past the next-day return date. So if you’re punctual and have no issue renting a DVD, watching it that night, and returning it the following day, you’ll be able to rent 4 physical DVDs a month for no charge as the credits are included in your subscription.

The main purpose for this feature is the selection of streamable movies are fairly mediocre and it typically takes a while for new titles to become available for instant streaming (competitors also experience this). Since Redbox kiosks receive these new titles in the form of physical DVD rentals much earlier than instant streaming, this is a major advantage to a Redbox Instant subscription and only costs $4/month more than it would to rent 4 movies from a Redbox kiosk separately.

I’m not going to go much into detail on this topic, but Redbox Instant also allows consumers to rent or buy digital copies of movies through the service at a flat rate per title. On average, these rates are a couple of dollars higher than Amazon Instant Video or iTunes charges so I did not test out this feature. From my understanding, you do not need an active subscription use these digital offerings as they incur separate standalone fees.

Supported Platforms

Redbox Instant is supported on the following devices:

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 1.15.58 PM

Content Selection

Redbox Instant is strictly a provider of movie content and does not include TV shows like Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, or Netflix. This may be a major disappointment to some users since the competing service offer both for the same monthly price, but to others it might be less of a problem as their main motive for signing up is to have access to movies. Instant’s movie selection is reasonable, but still a bit disappointing especially when it comes down to what titles you can instantly stream.

For example, here is the current top subscription (streamable) titles when I wrote this review:

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 1.30.22 PM

Now here are the current popular movies that you could rent using your monthly 4 free kiosk credits:

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 1.36.19 PM

Overall, the streaming movie selection is better than Hulu Plus (since it mainly focuses on TV shows), but Netflix does have a better selection of well-known movies to stream. I think the main factor that puts Redbox Instant in the running is their combination of unlimited streaming as well as the 4 DVD credits per month which in the end make the selection of movies at your disposal to be as competitive, if not more competitive than Netflix.

Performance

Throughout my testing of Redbox Instant, the streaming quality was consistently solid. Streaming via a web browser required me to download and install Microsoft Silverlight, but that was a simple and painless process.

I was able to stream several movies straight-through with no hiccups or bottlenecks. However, some of you who do not have a high end Internet package, might notice some buffering delays if your Internet speeds are not up to par.

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 2.53.32 PM

Final Verdict

In the end, I think Redbox Instant is relatively solid streaming service that has potential to take over a large portion the market share as it continues to grow. The business model is excellent, the pricing is reasonable, and there are multiple devices supported for playback. I just wish their instant streaming selection had more desirable titles, but I think over time this will improve as the service is so new. If you are simply looking to stream or rent (via a Redbox kiosk) new movies then Redbox Instant is likely a worthwhile investment. However, if you’re looking to get both movies and tv shows, you’ll want to stick with Netflix or Hulu Plus. Either way, I recommend trying out the free trial as you can get a chance to test out the service without spending a dime.

Did you enjoy this review? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. It would be great if you subscribed to our RSS feed or signed up for email updates to get more goodness. There’s lots more where this came from!
Details
 
Company

Redbox Digital Entertainment Services, LLC.

Sister Companies

Redbox Instant is owned by Verizon

Services Provided

- Online video streaming via subscription
- Physical DVD rental via Redbox kiosks
- Online video rental service

Pricing

$8 per month gives you unlimited streaming and 4 DVD rental credits

Leave a Reply

8 Comments on "Redbox Instant Review – Online Video Streaming Service"

Notify of
avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
heather johnson
Guest
2 years 6 months ago
HI, im finishing my 30 day trial,which I wasn’t able to use very much!! every single time I have tried to use it, there is some issue that causes problems. its different every time, I was able to watch one movie and that was it. I found it extremely frustrating!!! the movies in their library are for the most part not even something I would pay 8.00 dollars for that’s for sure!! i also had issurs with sounds and did everything i could think of to raise the sound, but again not luck!! my opinion of red box instant is… Read more »
Cindy
Guest
Cindy
2 years 4 months ago

I was very excited at first about redbox instant but there is nothing available to watch without going to the kiosk. I thought the subscription would give me the same movies at the kiosk, I could simply pay a higher price and watch from home and not have the return hassles. Sadly disappointed. Back to netflicks.

Linda Kingsley
Guest
Linda Kingsley
2 years 4 months ago

Chromecast does not currently carry redbox instant streaming.

Dev Bandy
Guest
Dev Bandy
2 years 1 month ago
Netflix is 1000 times better than redbox. I pay $7.99/month with netflix and here redbox is $8.00/month. Go figure. Netflix got way better and huge collection of movies than redbox. I reserved movies from redbox online to pickup in kiosk. Not all kiosk work perfectly. I have to come back empty hand and called for refund. I want to caution viewers try your luck when you reserve online. Redbox is sub par movie rental company whereas netflix is much better quality oriented. If there is any mistake or fault on netflix part , they don’t hesitate to refund and offer… Read more »
baseroks13
Guest
baseroks13
2 years 22 days ago
I actually just subscribed and must say that most movies that are featured are found in redbox instant, the 4 free rentals a month have a value of 5.24$ and the remaining subscription access only ends up costing customers who have no patience for mailing DVD’s and waiting for an extra charge, 2.76$. The only difference I saw with exception of the TV show library was in favor of Redbox when looking at featured movies. The Customer service Representatives are very helpful and can be reached via phone, email and chat. Given the proposed rise in cost for new subscribers… Read more »
baseroks13
Guest
baseroks13
2 years 22 days ago

Netflix was the baseline comparison but in my haste I failed to note.

wpDiscuz