At the end of December of 2011, the last video rental store in my area closed down, leaving me no other convenient place to rent movies. I explored other options like a mail-order rental service or online delivery. Neither of them seemed convenient or cost effective. With the mail-order services you can’t really plan on what day you’ll get the movie. Sure, you can leave it lying around until it’s convenient but that means the service might not sent you additional discs until you’re done with the first one. For online delivery, the convenience is unparalleled but the cost is prohibitive. Some services, like YouTube, will charge you $5 for a standard definition movie. I didn’t buy a nice big HDTV to stream movies at a crappy quality. Yes, you can also get online delivery in high definition but some services charge you about $7 and higher for such a visual privilege.
I recently found an acceptable alternative. The Best Buy movie rental kiosk is a convenient and affordable method of renting movies in a high definition Blu-Ray format. There are kiosks throughout all major cities in Canada. In Vancouver alone, they seem to be in most 7-11 stores. You can use their web site to find a nearby kiosk and check the availability of any movies you are looking for. It’s even possible to reserve the movie at a particular kiosk so that it’s guaranteed to be there. The cost of a one day rental is $2 for a Blu-Ray disc. That’s the cheapest I’ve seen for a high definition rental anywhere. That’s less than half for what I paid when video rental stores were still around. When you take away a store lease, employees, and all other overhead costs of running a brick and mortar store, Best Buy is still making money by charging people $2 a night for a Blu-Ray. If you keep the movie for more than a day, they just bill your credit card an extra $2. To add to the convenience, you can return the movie to any other kiosk location.
For me, this is the best way to rent movies going forward. If you live in Canada, check out the Best Buy web site, they have a free rental code to get you started.