Redbox Instant is designed to compete with Netflix. But it ain’t Netflix.
Technologically speaking, the new service is solid: When we tested it out using Firefox, video streamed fluidly and the interface, while nothing too special, was solid and easy to use. It could definitely stand some tweaking, but then again, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video all have hideous interfaces too, so we can’t bitch too hard.
The main problem comes down to what you pay versus what you get. Redbox Instant has a limited streaming selection compared to Netflix, and for recent movies, if you want to stream them you’ll have to pay to rent them. Not helping matters is that the prices are, well, crappy. For $8, you get Netflix’s much wider library, with both classic and cult movies, and if you want to buy movies, Amazon Instant Video is available on toasters at this point. True, you get four “credits” for local Redbox kiosks… but who buys a streaming video service to leave the house?
Which brings us to the biggest dealbreaker: This is currently only available on Samsung gear, iOS and Android devices, browsers, and the Xbox 360. The lack of Roku and PS3 is just embarrassing to a modern streaming video service at this point.
In short, if you use Redbox a lot, this might be worth the $8 a month. If you don’t, stick with Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
Redbox Instant [Official Site]