How We Review DVD Rental Companies

Reviews are the staple of our site and we pride ourselves in providing both honest and insightful information on each and every company listed. With that said, we figured it'd be important to both describe how we came to our conclusions and how we determine what the important criteria are for these services.

First, our reviews are based on a comparison of the companies. This means that a 5 star company isn't necessarily perfect; it just means they are the best of the companies we've reviewed. No company is perfect and even our favorites have flaws we wish would be fixed. Our goal is to point out the best available DVD rental service and rate them based on what is out there, not some dreamed up hypothetical company that doesn't exist. If a company comes along that wipes the floors with the others, the expectations are raised across the board and ratings will be adjusted.

As for our ratings, they are based on a 5 star scale that is broken into various elements. We felt these elements were all important in a decision, although each individual's needs will vary. We have written definitions for each element below to help understand why we came to the particular conclusion in each review.

Each company reviewed on has been tested by numerous members of our team. They have also been tested by other individuals across the country to test shipping times. None of the companies were aware they were being reviewed and given advance notice. The final review is a culmination of the thoughts expressed by all our reviewers. They include both people who are casual DVD watchers to flat out movie buffs. They include people who enjoy popular, mainstream flicks as well as people who stick to rare, independent movies. We have done our best to put together their thoughts and feelings into one general review.

Inventory - We're looking for the overall DVD inventory of each company. Besides having the standard fare of popular DVDs available, we look for those companies that can provide something more. We look for the availability of new releases on their release date. Companies that offer a wider selection of rare independent films and documentaries receive bonus points. The classic movies are checked into. Also the availability of Blu-Ray discs is becoming an increasingly important aspect of joining a site and is rigorously looked into. Inventory is considered one of the most important aspects we take into account when determining a final rating for a company.

Membership Features - This is one of the difficult elements of our ratings to describe. Features may encompass anything from special deals like Blockbuster's Total Access or an option to watch movies online. It takes into account the navigation and usability of the member's area. The features within the member's area that makes the service more enjoyable. This can have a huge impact on the overall score or a minor one.

Movie Information - When searching for a DVD to rent, it's often important to find out vital information on the flick. This encompasses the movie synopsis and what actors appear in the film. Whether there are user reviews and critical reviews. Trailers and other extras are a big bonus. While this section doesn't way too heavily in our reviews, it can be important to many people who are not familiar with movies and the stars that appear in them.

Shipping - This is one of our most critical aspects of our full reviews. Besides the turnaround time from when a DVD is received to when a new one is shipped out, we look at the number of shipping centers and their proximity across the country. We've tested shipping times on each company from various locations around the country to determine which company gets you new movies the fastest. Throttling and other tricks companies use to slow down delivery are taken into account. It's important to note that we can't test every zip code and your own experiences with shipping times will have to be made. Our rating here is based on our experiences and best guesses based on shipping centers. We've also left out mention of broken discs as this can be a result of the post office.

Pricing - We look at what you get for the price. Which deals within a company are best and whether a free trial is offered to perspective customers.

Submitted user reviews are an important aspect to our site as well. We want as many people as we can to participate and share their experiences with us. However, with user reviews come some anomalies. You'll immediately notice that the user rating is often times lower than our rating. This is primarily because proportionally, people who are upset about a service are more likely to rate and review it. Our visitors are typically people who are new to the DVD rental game (and thus not writing a review), or looking to find someone new (and most likely upset with the previous company). With that said, negative reviews are still vital to the site and help point out flaws in the various companies. We simply note this to deflect any criticism that our scores are either inflated or bias.

If you have questions or concerns about our reviews and how they are done, please feel free to use our contact form. If you simply agree or disagree with them, please fill out a review yourself so other potential customers can be helped.