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Weighing Convenience And Costs Of Movie Rental Services

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Paula Ebben Paula Ebben
Award-winning journalist Paula Ebben co-anchors WBZ-TV News at 6PM...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Looking to curl up on the couch with a good movie? Your toughest decision may not be what to watch but how. There are all kinds of different services and formats to rent or buy movies.

For mother of four, Chris Cain, the decision is all about weighing convenience and costs. “Can you imagine buying five movie tickets at regular prices?” she said.

The number one choice for this busy mom is Netflix streaming. The service gives you access to thousands of movies and TV shows fro $7.99 a month. Chris likes it because it’s instant and she can watch the movies on her TV or her computer. One of the drawbacks, according to Chris, is that getting new releases can be tricky.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports.

Chris also streams with HuluPlus. There are fewer options for the same price, $7.99 a month. The big draw for HuluPlus is their selection of current TV shows. She also rents from RedBox for a dollar a night.

Chris is renting mostly for the elementary school crowd. If your taste is a bit more sophisticated and you like those hard-to-find movies, you might try streaming from Amazon Prime. They have a wide selection and its $79 a year.

If you want the latest releases, you may be able to rent them directly from the studios. Paramount Pictures charges $4.99 a piece for their new releases. Sony movies, streamed through Sony devices, are $5.99.

You can also get movies through applications on new Smart TVs, which work just like smart phones. If you have an older digital TV, you can buy a special set top box, which allows you to stream movies through applications like cinema now or iTunes. You can get new releases from either one for $3.99.

There is even a company that is working on a kiosk system that would download movies onto a USB drive. No more scratched DVD’s or out of stock movies. The film automatically deletes from the drive when the rental period is over.

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