A few short days ago, the movie rental and streaming business Netflix announced a few changes to their prices and plans. Many of you no doubt already know this, but chances are you’ve gone blind with rage and can’t read this article anyway.

The New Plan

Netflix introduced a streaming-only plan not too long ago, for those users who don’t want DVDs in the mail. Well now Netflix is removing the streaming from all of the DVD plans, forcing customers who want both to sign up for two distinct plans. The streaming-only plan remains $7.99 a month while the 1 DVD out at-a-time plan will also be $7.99 a month, which they point out is their lowest price ever for unlimited DVDs. While that may be true, it means that those of us who want both streaming and the one DVD plan now have to pay a combined totally of $15.98 a month. Phooey.

As a general rule, price hikes suck. And the separating of the plans is pretty inconvenient. For me, personally, I love Instant Watch more than I love those close to me, but I also really like getting Blu-Rays in the mail. Now, if I want both of those things, I have to subscribe to two separate plans and pay $7.99 for each, with a presumable $2.00 Blu-Ray surcharge on the DVD plan.

All across the continent, people are frothing at the mouth over this. The official Netflix blog is bursting with angry comments about the change. Just yesterday, I saw one of my neighbors take a Netflix disc, break it in two, and use one of the jagged halves to saw his own head off. All out of frustration with Netflix’s upcoming changes.

Okay, that didn’t actually happen, but with the way people are reacting, I fully expect it to.

I Guess You’re Right

People are irate and I don’t think it’s entirely called for. The question is one of value – does the service Netflix offers justify the increased costs? The answer, in my opinion, is a surefire yes. In fact, I think Netflix could raise their costs quite a bit before the service stopped being worth it. It seems to me that people have become spoiled and forgotten just how remarkable Netflix’s service is.

Let’s start with the Instant Watch service. According to www.instantwatcher.com, which is what I use for my instant watching needs, the service offers well over 12,000 titles to watch instantly. Of course, that isn’t 12,000 films. There are plenty of television shows, and each episode counts as a title, but that’s still a ridiculous amount of content. All available, unlimited, on a plethora of devices (the Nintendo 3DS was just added), for $7.99 a month.

The DVD plans aren’t as easy to defend as Instant Watch, but by no means is it difficult. If you can muster up the willpower to ship your DVDs back quick enough to get only a DVD a week, that’s still only $2 a rental ($2.50 for Blu-Ray). Price-wise, that’s on par, if not cheaper, than most other services. Not to mention the superior selection and the convenience over brick-and-mortar stores.

I Still Love You

Netflix is and always has been a great service and will continue to be after the price hike. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch every episode of Power Rangers, 24, and Star Trek in all of its incarnations, all on Netflix Instant Watch.

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