DVD Rental Basics

Most online DVD rental companies in Australia operate with the same simple rules:

1. Selection: First you pick the DVDs you'd like to rent, in order of preference, from an online library of up to 50,000+ titles, depending on the company. New releases or obscure titles are often unavailable, so instead of getting your number 1 choice, you may get lower-ranked ones instead. This is why the rental companies suggest having preference lists at least 10-20 titles long, so they can always supply something you want.
2. Dispatch: The rental company will send your DVDs out to you by Australia Post. The DVDs usually arrive within one to three days depending on your location and theirs, and in individual envelopes normally containing small round plastic "caddy" cases (much smaller than a rectangular retail DVD box, just the size of the disc itself).
3. Enjoy: Keep the films as long as you like--none of the companies listed on charge late fees.
4. Return: When you're finished, simply reuse the envelope as directed, or use the pre-stamped, self addressed parcel bag provided to send it back. When they receive the disc, they send out another one straight to your door from your preference list, and so on.

Why we launched this site: Though the above process is simple, competition between the online DVD rental companies in Australia means that free trials, price structures, etc are constantly changing. We at navigate the confusion and provide you with the information, recommendations, and reviews to help you make your own choice on which service is best for you. We decided to launch this service after realising how few comprehensive guides are currently out there and that of those, many are limited and out of date --we wanted to launch the most comprehensive and helpful guide on the net - and keep it updated with current prices, free trial details, etc. Most of all we created the site because we love movies, and wanted to share our insights about this new way of enjoying them.

Packages: Rental companies offer packages of one-to-eight discs at home at time, though most push three discs as their standard product. These discs all come individually packaged and you can send them back as you watch them, in theory allowing you to have new DVDs all the time as they constantly recycle through the post. Assuming an average $33.00 monthly charge for a three DVD unlimited service, if you watched a modest three DVDs a week, you'd be paying less than $3.00 each for them, far less than a typical high street rental charge (not to mention late fees, which account for about a quarter of video store profits). So unless you only rent a few DVDs per month, you'll save a substantial amount of money by using unlimited online rentals. In addition to value, you also get a much better range - for perspective, the market leaders with 50,000+ titles are as many as 15 times larger than an average video store, encompassing nearly every DVD available in Australia.

Free Trials: The best thing is, most of these DVD rental companies currently offer a free trial period, usually 2 weeks at present -- so feel free to look around and sample several before settling down on one you like. As a matter of fact, if you were cheeky, you could migrate from company to company on the list, enjoying free rentals for weeks. It would be a hassle, as you absolutely must cancel the subscription online before the trial period is up -- in some cases several days before to prevent them sending an additional disc which would lock you into a paying service when they automatically start charging your credit card as if you'd subscribed. This is perfectly legitimate, as you may want to try the various services before you buy.


Advice On Choosing the Right DVD Rental Company

Film Range: The overall catalogue size really doesn't matter that much if all you're into is mainstream flicks--almost every service will cover these. Catalogue size does become important if you're a fan of obscure genres. Browse the website for your specialty interest before you sign up, to get a taste for availability.

Location: For the smaller companies, turnaround time can be limited by the location of the distribution centre. Tto get the best value out of your rental service, you may want to consider there location - see individual site reviews for this information.

Price: The costs for these service are similar (and you're already getting such a discount over the video stores) that we don't think price should be the critical factor. We'd much rather pay an extra dollar or two for a much better service than be stuck with the frustration of one of the many clunker sites out there, but it's entirely a matter of personal taste to balance these various factors.

Member Reviews/Ratings: Although we couldn't fit this factor on our table, it is in the individual company reviews--whether a given company has member reviews of its films. This is a great plus to get a sense for what other people thought of the movie.

Phone Support: This may be important to you, so we list it on the tables. Not all Australian DVD rental companies offer phone support, and it can be very frustrating trying to contact them by email if you have problems. We've heard stories of waiting for days to respond to complaints, and having to call phone companies to try to ferret them out.

Game Rentals: You may also be interested in renting games under the same DVD rental program--with PC and console game titles very expensive to buy, this can be a very attractive combination if you are a gamer or have one in the family. See our list of Top DVD and Game Sites. Of course, the great thing is you can keep the game until you finish it--best with say a three disc policy so you can use two options for movies, and one for the game you're currently playing.

Adult Film Rentals: Some companies do adult films and some don't--several state in their policies they are family sites and do not wish to offer adult films as children often select the online dvds. As this may be a concern, we indicate whether the companies reviewed list adult films.

The views and opinions expressed on the site are our own, and we have not been given free subscriptions, products, or other compensation to publish them. Many of the reviewed companies offer affiliate commissions, but these do not influence our reviews or rankings, which we keep open and unbiased. Our recommendations are made on the merits of a product or service, as we review based on our experience, education, and background. At our discretion we may accept third-party advertising, but this does not constitute our endorsement.

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