3D Bluray Rental
While researching replacements for the now-shuttered DVD-by-mail wing of Netflix I came across a small outfit: 3D Bluray Rental. It dates back to 2011, clearly hoping to ride the hype of 3D cinema/home video that never really happened.
The site’s design and UX is quite quirky (to be charitable)—it has a real DIY vibe. But the catalog is decent,1 they carry 4K discs, and shipping is included. You can rent a la carte or do a monthly subscription, and things get shipped in a plain white envelope that is designed like Netflix’s—same tearaway flap/adhesive strip turning it into a return envelope, only without the iconic red color. There is no queue in the same sense as Netflix’s—instead there’s a Wish List to keep track of titles you want to rent, but you have to manually add them to a cart and check out. So far I’ve done one test rental and it went pretty smoothly, so I will probably use them for the many things I can’t find on streaming.
I had previously posted about Scarecrow Video’s rent by mail service but that one is structured a bit differently, with a $12 flat fee for shipping up to six disks. I’ve yet to try it but I think Scarecrow’s model seems more like a bulk order scenario, as opposed to 3DBR’s more a la carte model. I think I’ll try out Scarecrow with an eye towards rarer/back-catalog things that I’ll batch into one order.
They say the catalog is over 20,000 titles (I am assuming this includes video games, though), which is larger than Netflix’s was when it shut down (~14,000). For comparison’s sake Scarecrow’s catalog is 145,000 titles. ↩︎