DVD rental - How it works and what plan to choose from?

Ever since the introduction of DVDs in 1997, it has come to be the most successful home entertainment product in history. Although DVD rentals had begun a few years back, it became popular in the last two years, when realisation set in that access to a wide range of movies was just a finger click away.

DVD - Technology

An appreciation of DVD technology would help us understand what makes DVD home entertainment click.

With advancements in the DVD manufacturing sector two major players have invested heavily to improve on quality and quantity. There are two DVD formats in the market now HD-DVD and Blu-Ray DVD. The difference between the two formats lies in the compression methods adopted by the two key players.

Blu-ray Disc is projected as the next generation optical disc. This format can hold up to 50GB data on a dual-layer disc. The extra capacity translates to more movies on a single DVD and when combined with advanced video and audio codec's it offers an unprecedented HD viewing experience. As of now both formats are compatible for playback with the existing DVD players.

Online DVD Rental

Online DVD rental companies in order to retain customer base offer the following services.

  • A free trial period and no hidden clause attached.
  • No late return fee charged.
  • Convenience of home delivery

In UK, numerous number of websites that offer a wide range of movie and game DVDs. A broad comparison of each rental site results in the same four-step process:

  • Make a selection of DVD titles on priority and preference online.
  • DVD delivered at the doorstep by first class post.
  • After viewing in the ambience of our house at convenient time we simply have to re-use the envelope and post it back free of cost.
  • The next batch of DVD is despatched immediately on receipt according to our preference.

These rentals by post companies have an unbelievable array of options and tariffs. It would be prudent to browse the online library and study the market to know for ourselves what is offered and if the genre we are looking for is available with the company. It is also best if the DVD rental company can offer consistent and excellent service and enable quick turn around time. The Online DVD rental website you choose should have good navigation and film classification by genre with the ease to find your favourite titles.


During the free trial period some DVD rental companies offer between one and five discs at home at a time. But industry standard is set at 3. All DVD rental companies give a 14 day free trial period. So it is advisable to feel free and look around and sample various DVD rental companies before choosing one. We have to make up our mind as at the end of the free trial period you will be billed one month's subscription. If the company is not of your choice then you must inform them immediately and cancel the services failing which the company will charge your credit card account.

Pricing of these DVD rental by post companies are fairly similar. In comparison to the high street DVD rental outlets the rental prices are much cheaper and the wait time is minimal. We may not get the latest movie or the movies of our choice all at one time. But since some companies allow a wish list of 10 and 20 titles at the end of the day there is always something for all of us.

Five main packages are available from online DVD rental by post companies. They are unlimited DVD rental, limited DVD rental, pay as you use DVD rental, monthly rental and value pack DVD rental.

DVD Rental Plans

Unlimited DVD rental: If you are an avid movie buff and have a penchant for watching more than 7 movies in a month then this plan would be beneficial. The price tag would be on the higher side, but the usage is high as well. This plan has its benefits extended by the company. The DVDs are delivered by first class post.

Limited DVD rental: If you have a fixed number of DVD viewing in a month or you are a casual movie watcher that this is the best option. Not only do you rent when you have time but it is also the plan for a budget conscious family. The DVDs are delivered by second class post.

Monthly DVD rental: This plan is suitable for those who intend to watch a fixed number of DVD's in a month. This rental is practical and cost effective. The DVDs are delivered by second class post.

Pay as you use DVD rental: This scheme is most suited for those who rarely watch movies. But when compared with the other packages this rental is slightly on the higher side. The DVDs are delivered by second class post.

Value pack DVD rental: For that occasional viewing lot there are packages that come with 1 or 2 DVDs at home at any time. When the limit that you set (number of DVDs for that month), you have to wait for the next month to enjoy the next wish list which should be in the package you have specified. The DVDs are delivered by second class post.

As soon as your DVDs are returned the next list will be made ready for despatch. Most of all DVD rental companies do not charge any late fee as there is no fixed due date. This arithmetically works in their favour. They only send your next wish list on receipt of the previously rented DVDs. The flip side for you is, if you do not return the DVDs in time then you stand to enjoy less of the rental package that you have signed for. The choice then is yours.

Still not satisfied with any of the DVD rental companies online, then you can cancel the subscription anytime. There is no cancellation fee. Cancellation is effected only on return of all DVDs.