Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Saving Some Money While Traveling

I have been a loyal Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) customer for several years now. During some months we rent our money's worth in movies, other months we have three unwatched DVDs lying by the TV screen. Many times I thought about cancelling the subscription and saving about $250 per year. All this changed recently when Netflix introduced their "Watch it Now" Feature.

This new feature allows subscribers to watch high-quality streaming video on their computers. Even better, the service is free to subscribers. You simply go to your account, click on the appropriate tab, select the movie you want to watch and voila. At this point, many readers are probably thinking I am out of my mind. Who wants to watch a movie on their computer when they can pop a DVD into the player? That's exactly what my wife said. Well, the trick is that you can watch streaming Netflix movies whether or not you are at home, and whether or not you have access to a television.

Yes, I am cheap. Always looking to save a buck when I can, especially when very little pain is involved. As someone who travels on business fairly regularly, I often find myself bored out of my mind in some hotel room somewhere, and until recently my options were few. One of those options was to rent an over-priced movie from a very limited selection on the hotel network. Well, no more. Now if I have my laptop (which I always do) and I have a high-speed Internet connection (ditto), I have a huge library of movies to choose from. I figure I probably save $20 per month on hotel video rentals. This means that Netflix just paid for itself.

The service is not perfect. While Netflix has a fairly wide selection of movies on the service, the library is limited compared to Netflix enormous film library and few new releases are made available for streaming. Still, there is plenty to see and I am sure new content will be added to the service over time. In the meantime Netflix is saving me money and in the process they are retaining a very satisfied customer.

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