Renting Movies the Easy Way

After my husband’s return from Sydney we somehow got a little crazy and upgraded our living room with a new TV. We already had a BluRay Player with a 160 GB HDD which we got primarily to be able to record off the TV rather for the BluRay. Our old TV was one of the very few flatscreen TVs with no HDMI connection, which seemed even more ridiculous after we got the new player and couldn’t even use its BluRay feature. A

Anyway, we upgraded our old 32 inch HDMI-less TV for a fancy Sony 40 inch all inclusive TV. Naturally, it didn’t stop there because what’s a huge TV and a BluRay player without a fancy sound system? So, we got that, too.

We got a couple of BluRays to get us started, but looking at the shelves full of DVDs we already have I didn’t want to make that same mistake again. I wish it was different, but fact is, most of the movies we have there, we haven’t watched more than once. So I thought it was time to sign up for an online BluRay (and DVD) renting service here in Germany. I did some research and finally settled for which is associated in some way with Amazon.

(There is no Netflix in Germany (yet?), so that wasn’t an option. Online streaming also wasn’t convincing with movies still costing up to 4 Euro per rent and without the advantage of full HD quality.)

In the last two weeks or so we got five movies from Lovefilm. The way it works is pretty easy. We get the movie delivered to our home address, can keep it as long as we like, and when we want to return it, we can use the same envelope it came in, throw it in the nearest mail box and wait two or three days for the next movie. You need to keep a list of movies you’d like to have which you can prioritize.

Here’s why I think it works for us and will continue to work for us:

1. There’s not much to procrastinate. The envelope already has the return address printed onto it and is stamped as well. I don’t have to go to the post office to get stamps, I don’t have to do anything, but to put the disc in the envelope seal it and bring to the next mail box – for example on my way to work.

2. You can just add and delete stuff of your movie list in between. As long as I have a long enough list I don’t have to worry about what movie to rent next for quite some time. I can just update the list when I feel like it.

3. We can keep the movie as long as we like. If we don’t feel like watching a movie for a couple of nights, we don’t have to pay extra. Sure, we will get less movies in a month for the same monthly fee, but at 12 Euro a month the system even pays off with as little as two movies a month.

4. You don’t have to worry about just getting great movies. When buying movies, you really want to get your money’s worth. There are a lot of movies that I’d just like to watch once and don’t expect to want to watch it again and again. Buying such a movie seems like a waste of money. But, to be fair, even the movies I do like a lot, I hardly watch over and over again. Now I just add them to my list and don’t care whether they’re brilliant. Already, we have watched a couple of movies that I’d never considered buying but turned out to be pretty good.

The thing about renting movies the painfree way is this: I am lazy. When I’m home after work I might not want to get out, go to the video rental, decide on a movie, get back, and remember to go back there the next day. I also don’t want to go to the post office more than I absolutely have to. (Although, to be fair, the guys here at my post office are really nice.)

After the first weeks of using Lovefilm I have the feeling that this might work out for us. It’s easy, it’s painfree and it doesn’t require anything more from me than keeping my movie wishlist up to date from time to time and walking an extra twenty meters to the mailbox on my way to work. That’s it.

(By the way: Any movie recommendations for me? I can always add more movies to my wishlist to keep them coming.)

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