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Blu-ray High Definition DVD Rentals


. Having won the battle against HD-DVD to decide the high definition format, Blu-ray is picking up speed. However, only the top four UK DVD companies stock them as yet, with Lovefilm and Cinema Paradiso tied, Blockbuster trailing a bit, and Outnow way at the back. If you haven't tried Blu-ray on a 1080p HDTV, we highly recommend it--excellent stuff.

  Table Definitions

. Value Rating: (Value Rating) Includes prices at all DVD rental levels and our assessment of what you actually get for your money.

. Design Rating: (Design Rating) Includes how well the website interface is designed and easy to use; there are some really aggravating online DVD rental sites out there.

. Service Rating: (Service Rating) This measure of customer service--which includes DVD turnaround times--is the least "scientific" rating, relying on reports we've gathered from the net and from personal experience.

. Titles: The total number of available DVD titles, and see the second column for Blu-Ray titles. These change frequently as there are still few titles released by the studios, so we update them every few months.

. Phone Support: Less than a third of DVD rental companies offer a real customer service phone number; important as it can be very frustrating and slow trying to use email. We speak from long experience...

. Free Trial: These vary widely from nothing to a month, and sometimes are capped at fixed number of DVDs. Read the Terms on each DVD rental company's site if you're pursuing a free trial, as many have strict requirements for cancellation. Also, the sites "powered by" the top online DVD rental company, Lovefilm, limit you to one trial with any of its affiliates. Our Top Free Trials lists the best, and omits these extra "powered by" DVD rental sites which you cannot double up on. If you're very cheeky you can "free trial hop" down the list and enjoy free DVD rentals for several months...

. Prices: In pounds per month for standard, unlimited 1 to 3 disc at-a-time DVD rental subscriptions. This does not include volume discounts sometimes offered for paying a year in advance--see the individual DVD rental company reviews for this information.

. Rating Moves: Our recent changes to site rankings; see What's New for the details and reasoning behind these.

Ranking of the UK DVD Companies with Blu-ray High Definition Inventories
Value, Design, and Service Monthly Price (by discs out at once)
DVD Rental Companies Ratings Blu-ray Phone? Free Trial? One Two Three Moves Subscribe/Review

Lovefilm Review & Link
Lovefilm Value Rating
Lovefilm Design Rating
Lovefilm Service Rating
1,800+ yes 14 days 9.99 12.99 15.99 - Visit Lovefilm DVD Rental Site
Read Lovefilm DVD Rental Review

 Cinema Paradiso Review & Link
Cinema Paradiso Value Rating Cinema Paradiso Design Rating
Cinema Paradiso Service Rating
1,800+ no 14 days 9.49 12.49 14.99 See What's New page for info on our recent rating changes Visit Cinema Paradiso DVD Rental Site
Read Cinema Paradiso DVD Rental Review

Blockbuster Review & Link
Blockbuster Value Rating Blockbuster Design Rating
Blockbuster Service Rating
1,500+* yes 14 days for £1 9.99 12.99 15.49 - Visit Blockbuster DVD Rental Site
Read Blockbuster DVD Rental Review

 OutNow Review & Link
OutNow Value Rating OutNow Design Rating
OutNow Service Rating
200+ yes 14 days - 12.99 15.99 See What's New page for info on our recent rating changes Visit OutNow DVD Rental Site
Read OutNow DVD Rental Review
DVD Rental Companies Ratings Titles Phone? Free Trial? One Two Three Moves Subscribe/Review
. . . . . . . .

* = Blockbuster count bonus special feature discs as a single rental and ships them to you free; the other companies count bonus discs as separate rentals; so even though Blockbuster has lower numbers, they're comparable to Lovefilm's inventory.


Frequently Asked Questions about Blu-ray DVD Rental Trials:

Do you pay extra for Blu-ray discs: No, although in the US Netflix is just starting to do so, all UK companies treat Blu-ray discs the same as normal DVDs for pricing and tariffs. They are an especially good pick to rent as they cost much more than a normal DVD, so you're getting much more for your money.


How many DVDs can I watch in a month? In theory, on an unlimited DVD rental plan, you can get through films as quickly as the post will allow. Some people have rented 40 DVDs in a month on a standard 3-disc at a time unlimited DVD rental tariff. However, at very high levels like this, rental companies lose money on repeat postage, and several companies are suspected of “throttling” their DVD rentals to slow down such very high volume renters. However, this should not affect the average renter, who could easily watch 12-20 DVD rentals per month.


Are unlimited DVD rental tariffs value for money?: We certainly think so; an average unlimited DVD rental tariff of 3 discs per month for 15 pound, even assuming you only watch 3 DVDs per week, this works out to about 1.20 per disc, almost a third of high street prices. For this reason we think unlimited rental plans over an advantage of limited/pay-per-disc plans (which average 1.66-2 pounds per disc).


What is a Fair Use Policy? This relates to the first question; rather than secretly “throttling” back unlimited DVD rentals on high-volume users, some companies like Lovefilm and Outnow have an explicit “Fair Use Policy” which states that very high volume users may have their DVDs slowed down so that lower-volume customers have a better chance to get their favorite DVD titles. This does seem to go against the unlimited DVD rental philosophy, but again, it should only kick in if you rent many DVDs per month, so the average viewer needn’t worry about it. If you do rent many DVDs, we suggest a company like Blockbuster, which doesn't have a Fair Use Policy or widespread reports of throttling on unlimited DVD rental customers.



Online DVD rental prices and terms change frequently; check the company website for the latest. is not responsible for any losses resulting from the information provided (see Disclaimer). If you do spot a discrepancy, please email us and we'll update the site.


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