DVD Pick of the week
With a courageous and impetuous heroine leading the way, Disney Pixar sets out on yet another extraordinary journey this time across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland in Brave.
Types of Rental Packages
A brief rundown on the most common types of DVD/Game rental packages available from online retailers, an explanation of the general terminology, and how long the rental periods generally last - use this section as a guide to help you decide which type of package is the most suitable.
Unlimited - Unlimited packages mean that you can rent out a set number of films or games for as long as you want and you are not obliged to return them by any specific date. Whilst there is no set limit on the number of DVDs you can rent, there is a limit on the number of titles you can have in your possession.
Unlimited packages mean that you can have a set number of discs, anything between 1 to 5, at your home at any one time, so you don't have to worry about anything like late fees, or having to send discs back before a certain date. Discs come individually packaged, allowing you to send them back individually, as you watch them, allowing you to keep some titles for longer. For this reason, unlimited subscriptions are popular with gamers who want to rent one or two titles for longer than just a month, leaving other slots in the subscription free for film rentals.
Unlimited price plans are also popular because of their relative inexpense; an Unlimited 4 service allowing the use of up to 4 discs at any one time charged at £20 a month works out better value for money than if you were renting titles from a high street retailer.
Unlimited plans are also convenient and flexible - as soon as you're done watching a film one night, you can put it in the post the next day, and begin choosing your next title as soon as it is returned to the retailer. You can keep 'recycling' DVDs in this way, so that you build up a steady stream of orders and returns, allowing you to pick and choose from new titles as and when they become available.
Per Month/At a Time - Per Month packages see you rent out a set number of films per month, with all titles to be returned to the retailer by the end of the month. If you only rent a few DVDs per month, then you might want to consider choosing a Per Month package instead of an Unlimited plan; if you don't see yourself getting your money's worth out of an Unlimited package, you would probably be better off at the end of the month. Although this is less flexible than an Unlimited package in terms of rental periods, overall it is less expensive, so if you don't see yourself renting more than 2 or 3 films and month, or keeping hold of one title for longer than a month.
The major drawback of per month packages is that they are nowhere near as flexible as unlimited plans are; more often than not, you will find that whilst you may be entitled to rent a total of 4 titles a month, you may only be eligible to have half that amount in your possession at any one time. It is for this reason that per month subscriptions are often called at a time packages, as you can only have a set number of titles in your possession at any one time, regardless of the monthly total.
However, per month packages do offer big savings to customers; packages offering the use of 2 discs at a time are generally less than half the monthly cost of their unlimited counterpart.
Pay as You Go/Top Up - as with mobile phone tariffs, there is no set monthly fee with a Pay as You Go type subscription, and the overall cost of renting a single DVD or game title is more expensive than it would be on a per month or unlimited contract.
Billing for Pay as You Go DVD rental packages is structured around a credits-based system, were 1 credit is equal to one DVD. You can buy credits in blocks of anything from 4 to 15, with 1 credit being deducted for every title you rent. Because of this, Pay as You Go plans are popular with customers who rent films and games on an infrequent or irregular basis - you might go through 7 DVDs one month, none the next, and 2 the month after that.
Generally with a Pay as You Go plan, you are only entitled to take out 1 title at any one time, although the more expensive packages allow you to take out 2. The rental periods for DVDs taken out on Pay as You Go differs between providers - some packages are only valid up until a specified time, which can be anything from 6 months to a year.
Pay as You Go plans are available on a Standard plan, or on a Top-Up basis. Standard plan subscriptions expire as soon as you've exhausted your supply of credits, or after a set period (again, usually 6 months) after which you are free to sign up for another batch. Top-Up plans work on the same basis as a Standard plan (i.e. you buy credits, use them) only that once you run out of credits, the retailer will automatically debit your account in order to top you up with a fresh set of credits.
Top-Up plans are better value for money deals than Standard plans, sometimes saving up to a quarter off of the price, although by signing up for a Top-Up plan, your account will automatically be billed every 6 months.
Another downside of a Pay as You Go plan is that credits are not transferable over rental periods, and generally refunds are not given for unused or partially used batches of credits.Back to DVD Rental Information
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