Face-Off: Video Rental Shops vs. Streaming

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In the last decade, a lot of Video rental shops closed due to the increasing popularity of the streaming.

Do you prefer Video rental shops or Streaming?
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cinephile

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Posted 3 months ago

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rocky-o

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video rental....
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cinephile

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Unfortunately, the physical format died very fast. In the late 2000s, it was still strong, but in less than 10 years all 4 video rental shops of my city closed.

Now, I'm feeling obsolete :( I witnessed flipping cellphones, I witnessed the end of video rental, I witnessed those huge computers, those so laggy laptops, and those CRT TV. I also saw my last VHS Player dying.

Nothing lasted long enough for me :(

#Nostalgia
(Edited)
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rocky-o

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i hate to say it, but i lost black and white television...only three channels...rabbit ears...a dialing telephone attached to the wall...a world without videos..no cable..no computers....
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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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Video shops closed. Yes. But did you forget this?
Redbox offers movie lovers a convenient fix - News - GoUpstate
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cinephile

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That is so dead in my region, that it never really lived. The last one I have seen got removed in 2010.
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Peter, Champion

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Alexander NYVKE

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Do these places even exist anymore? The last ones I remember in my city closed their doors pre-2015.
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cinephile

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It doesn't exist anymore (in my region). The last one closed in January.
(Edited)
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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cinephile,

FYI:
The World’s Last Blockbuster Overcame Netflix, Now It’s Surviving the Pandemic
https://www.indiewire.com/2020/05/blockbuster-video-store-surviving-pandemic-1202231221/

Also:
Family Video Movie Club Inc. is an American video rental chain located in the United States and Canada. The family-owned company is headquartered in Glenview, Illinois, and has approximately 550 stores in North America with the heaviest concentration in the Midwest.
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Alexander NYVKE

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That's a cool story.

And the images did bring back good memories.
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MST3K (and Narnia) is Awesome

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Video rental!!
Nothing beats going into your local video store, smelling the candy, hearing the trailers on the T.V., seeing children skip up and down the aisles, until you find the movie you're looking for, then checking it out, and saying "Hi" to the person behind the counter...
but no, now we have to press: Rent: 3.99 :/

I'm lucky enough to still have one remaining store in my town, a pleasant Family Video, where the manager is quite a nice lady.
It is my plan to work there as soon as I can.  ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6PBhdM9Ftg
(Edited)
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Stephen Atwood

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Streaming. Infinitely better choice. No late return fees or exorbitant replacement fees if the physical media is lost or damaged. No waiting for a copy on a week where the item renting has entered the rental market and the movie is a bit too popular.

No dealing with snot-nosed, judgmental store clerks who never wanted to work cashier at Blockbusters in the first place.
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Alexander NYVKE

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And I used to think *I* was the worst misanthrope here. :D
(Edited)
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Alexander NYVKE

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I generally don't get along with humans, but I always got along well with the staff (and owners, in the case of mom n pop places) of video rental stores.

Probably because I was a regular and spent a lot of $$$ there.

I am also very well liked at places that serve or sell alcohol.
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gromit82, Champion

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There is a third option -- DVD rental by mail, as in Netflix. Yes, I know, it's not even that big a business at Netflix anymore (167 million streaming subscribers, 2 million DVD-by-mail subscribers). But I'm particularly interested in watching older films, and the selection of older films on DVD is much deeper than the streaming selection.
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cinephile

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There is a multitude of other options, but I'm focusing on these two.
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rocky-o

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i agree gromit...i just threw that in the 'rental' category....
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Good poll and tough choice. The convenience and cost of streaming is great but there was something so exciting about going to a video store and looking through all the titles and picking out the few you wanted the most. It made it more of a special event. Of course, always having films available whenever you want is really nice, too. 


I'd suggest removing the "the" before streaming

... the increasing popularity of the streaming. 

to

...the increasing popularity of streaming. 

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cinephile

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Corrected.
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Peter, Champion

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Also add a discussion link.
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cinephile

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Lol, I'm always forgetting about that. I should stop making polls at midnight (Eastern time).
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rocky-o

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well put fruit...it's like record shopping...amazon and discogs are convenient, but not as much fun as crate diving and finding something cool you weren't even expecting....

stay safe....
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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'so true, rock! I'm a big believer in surprises: adulthood just doesn't have enough unless you create them or know where to look -- like record store crates. : )

'hope you're safe and well.


Oh, and cine -- I went through several months during which I kept forgetting the discussion link -- and it was after I had been making polls for about four years, lol. Every single time I made a poll, someone would have to remind me. I also tended to make my polls late at night. : )
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Dibyayan Chakravorty, Champion

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In India the video rental business never worked the way it was/is in western countries. Most of the shops used pirates copy instead of original DVD. These days if you buy a original movie Bluray DVD of 2160p 4K HDR quality it will cost at least 3,500 INR. Netflix has their 4K Dolby Vision Dolby Atmos plan in just 799 INR per month.

Why should I waste money buying DVD.

Also, in India, the piracy (Torrent Download) is not as strictly illigal as it is in USA. Government doesn't really care much for piracy. So, yea, almost everyone (well, at least a majority) in India use piracy websites for movie download.
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Dibyayan Chakravorty, I feel you, but debate over whether physical release is better than streaming services always leads to the fact that in most cases streaming services only have temporarily distribution rights. It's essentially TV schedule with a bit more wiggle room and no ability whatsoever to record the instance for personal use, as it was widespread through VHS and DVD eras.

That said... I really, really don't get why people prefer quality of a picture rather than quality of a movie. A great movie is utterly watchable on anything, be it a 35 mm copy, a VHS, a DVD or a Blu-Ray. I agree that better picture quality gives some more perspective and shines more light on the work, but really, if nothing was there to begin with, it won't benefit from a 4K release. DVD's are rather cheap these days where I am (but a tad more rare, as they're slowly dying off) and they oftentimes have rather crisp 720p quality. Not exactly HD, but far from being unwatchable. And, to be honest, as a filmmaker I'm somewhat tired of trying to figure out whether filming in HD will make me less of a professional filmmaker, because I've seen a lot of HD on a big screen. Still looks great. Still converts to a nice DCP, as many documentaries do these days. 

And I believe that piracy, while a tad more risky, is still widespread in the US. It surely is in many European countries.
(Edited)
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cinephile

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Dibayayan and Nikolay,

About Video Rental:

1)  I love streaming, but it couldn't replace Video Rental Shops in my mind. Video Rental Shops aren't like any business, the 20 years old employees that work there, work there because they are passionate about cinema.

Furthermore, they need this cash to pay for their studies. It is not the same thing about Mcdonald's and Netflix. No one work at Mcdonald's because they are passionate about the Big Mac. 

Then at Netflix, I'm not investing my money in my community, I'm giving it away to a multi-billionaire company in another country.

2) Walking between the displays and opening every DVDs only for the noises that they make and the plastic smell that they emit is way more gratifying than clicking on your computer's mouse.

3)  I like to talk IRL, with an employee about his recommendations and favorite movies than to type all day in this forum (No offense intended).

About Piracy:

There is so much opportunity (e. g  Public screenings, TV Channel, Libraries) to watch a film that I can hardly understand why people download from pirate websites. These websites contain a ton of viruses, very inappropriate ads. Most of the time the quality is low, end up watching a low-definition movie on a small computer screen on which sound and the colors aren't made to play a movie.

For me, the minimum standard to watch a movie is a TV screen. Anything smaller will ruin the experience. 
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Stephen Atwood

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Nikolay? Have you never come across a poorly cropped/edited movie on VHS or DVD? Many great movies have been ruined visually because the studio bringing it to at home distribution didn't bother to properly format the film to its original theatrical proportions.

I believe the term is pan and scan.

"phrase of pan
  1. a technique for narrowing the aspect ratio of a widescreen movie to fit the squarer shape of a television screen by continuously selecting the portion of the original picture with the most significance, rather than just the middle portion."


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Dibyayan Chakravorty, Champion

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Nicole,

I bought a 55" OLED TV (LG C8) so that I can enjoy the films the best way I can. OLED panel provides crystal clear and most realistic picture than any other panel (TFT, CRT, LED, Plasma, QLED).

So, for me both the content and quality of the film matter.

For example: 'Lawrence of Arabia'. The long journey through desert scene, it is definitely better when watching in 4K than non HD quality. All the movies with beautiful VFX and cinematography fall in this category.

Another point, sound, for a normal DVD, the maximum bitrate you can get is 240 Kbps 6 channel. Where for Bluray or HDR content it comes with at least DTS surround sound with 1500 Kbps. And there is no limit in sound. Dolby Atmos, DTS MA these sound qualities will take you inside the film.

Cinepil,

"These websites contain a ton of viruses, very inappropriate ads. Most of the time the quality is low..."

I am not gonna disclose any of those website names, but some of the popular ones have their own virus filter, also people who access those website have antivirus in their PC, I guess and ad blocker for blocking the inappropriate ads.
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cinephile

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I live in Canada, it is not a secret for anyone now,and I have absolutely no clue how it works in India.

But in Canada, we have great libraries and basically, for reasons of rights nearly every movie needs to end up here. You can borrow almost any DVD from their collection for free, and for extremely rare movies, it is possible to watch them directly at the library.

Overall, there are 100 000 films, the only disadvantage is the price of the parking slots.

Apart from the viruses, the inappropriate ads, and the low-quality.
It is immoral and illegal. 

These pirate downloads are killing the cinema, there is really no reason to encourage them.
(Edited)
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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cinephile, as a fellow cinephile (hm) - availability of some movies is only there through bootlegs. And the more you dig and strive for something different, the more you encounter that problem. That said, amount of options to watch a movie free and legally right now is amazing. Dozens upon dozens of options. I bought myself several lifetimes of DVD's in the past, collected VHS tapes, recorded TV screenings for a decade before all of that became available and legal. And yet, in Post Soviet countries we have a problem of several generations of piracy which is very complex. It's an inherent habit here, because:
A) USSR technically denounced copyright as a concept. 80 years of that, with most great things only available in bootlegs thanks to censorship brought the whole concept of copyright in public consciousness to shambles. Many people younger than me (I'll be 28 in mere days and I feel myself really old) think that information should be free and data is information in their understanding. Analogies with work per se never quite work, because most jobs in entertainment and arts are still a bit of a ghetto.  
B) When censorship fell, hesitation of distributors with a sudden largest free market ever lead to an epidemic of pirate and bootleg VHS tapes, which DVD was not able to crush simply because same pirates were all the more eager to transition to digital and had an unfair advantage: since most people don't care, no licensed DVD was ever as succesful as pirated collections of 15-20 movies on one disc. They also had another unfair advantage: many rare movies went to such discs directly from their old VHS masters, only then ending up on torrents. Past Midnight (1991) was easily only available on such a collection for a solid decade. You'd expect better from Quentin Tarantino's first proper film credit (after this fitness video), but it was as it was. 
C) Blu-Ray never caught up here. It was utterly crushed by remainder of DVD, TV screenings and websites which, again, were years faster to appear then legal options. 

Stephen Atwood, oh, I'm very much aware of pan-and-scan. One of my all-time favorite movies, Mean Guns (1997), was only available in that format on home video for quite some time. It's a testament to how good and lucky all the people behind that movie were that it still works even in that format. 

Dibyayan Chakravorty, same as with the image, I also don't get trying to have better sound over quality sound design in the first place. And, I mean, restoration of sound for quite a few movies on DVD and Blu-Ray over several decades ruined sound design of said movies, only a few examples include all recent releases of The Terminator (1984) and Batman (1989) (use of very different foley effects, different ambience and an incorrect mix). I am also weird like that with music: I can comfortably listen to 80 kbps mp3 and it's not like I don't hear the difference with lossless formats such as WAV (I do). I don't care enough as I enjoy things I enjoy in any format. I can appreciate remaster as an art, but just as wih paintings, nothing surpasses great original even if one was recorded in mono, as it was with The Terminator (1984)
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MST3K (and Narnia) is Awesome

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USSR technically denounced copyright as a concept.
I'm jealous!  xD

Also, happy early birthday!
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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MST3K (and Narnia) is Awesome, I honestly doubt there's anything to be jealous about in that situation in particular and overall life in USSR. It might just be the case of my family on both sides, but life was not easy in the slightest, considering firsthand reports (btw my parents are older then most in my demographic and their parents were also older, so that gives a tad more historical perspective, if a bit warped by perception, as all is in this life). 

And great thanks! Although it's a bit unusual to hear that. There's a superstition in Slavic countries that early birthday congrats might bring bad luck (another odd one particularly absent in non-Slavic countries is a taboo of knives as a gift or present). But, since that superstition is not where you are, it's fine. ;)
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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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(I'll be 28 in mere days and I feel myself really old)

Happy B-Day in advance too

I'm 2X+9 your age..

I look like Dustin Hoffman in Makeup. JUST KIDDING!!!!
Little Big Man  The Golden State


This looks like me 30 years ago.
Cavil stole my chin that I stole from Kirk Douglas!!!!!!!!
Henry Cavill to stop playing Superman reports suggest  Film

I do however have all my hair unlike these two!!!!
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MST3K (and Narnia) is Awesome

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xD
Whoops, sorry - I hope no bad luck befalls you!
The worst thing that could happen is Cats 2, heh-heh...
:/
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin),

Happy 28th birthday in advance.
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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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I've heard a rumor that aging in Tinsletown stops at age 39!
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Alexander NYVKE

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Happy birthday in advance, fellow Gemini (not that I believe in that stuff.)

Mine was last week.
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Dan Dassow, great thanks!

Adrian, not Champion, great thanks and Happy (belated) Birthday to you, too! I do slightly believe in things like that. I firmly belive that intuitive and barely explainable things should be there to compliment critical thinking for cases when logic does not work. And in modern world, logic halts in many places.  
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cinephile

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Nikolay, according to me, logic doesn't end anywhere even when you flip a coin. however, our comprehension of logic is limited.

I strongly believe in those rules:

1) Logic always work

2) Luck and supernatural are lazy explanations

3) If logic doesn't work, re-read rule #1

Honestly, in the case of astronomy, I believe that is a pure scam, nothing else, I don't have any respect for astrologers.
(Edited)
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MST3K (and Narnia) is Awesome

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I was also a disbeliever in astronomy until I dug deeper into it... our signs and charts actually do affect us, to some degree.
All I know is that my sign is always spot-on - and never vague.  It doesn't apply to everyone.  Only me.
My mother is... how shall I say... a bit psychic?  :)  Not in a turban-wearing-crystal-ball-using-seance-doing way, she just has a natural gift.  She is not a carnival act and never charges money, lol.
She can "read" people she doesn't even know and get very specific, and she's always right.  She feels things very strongly.  

That being said, we are not controlled by such things and have the free will to make our own choices.  I do not believe in "luck," however, because there is literally no basis for it.  xD
(Edited)
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Stephen Atwood

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Umm... 


"I was also a disbeliever in astronomy until I dug deeper into it... our signs and charts actually do affect us, to some degree."
Do you mean astrology? You have the dang thing backwards. Astronomy is the real science.
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MST3K (and Narnia) is Awesome

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xD Sorry, I was quoting cinephile... he had it backwards, too, lol!
Although I must say that, if as I believe, there is something to the stars, then it is a science.  I do not believe in magic.  I believe "mystical" things are just as real as "normal" things.
So, in some ways (in my opinion), it is astronomy.

But, we are off the subject now. 
The point is, Rental Shops rule.  :P
(Edited)
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cinephile

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Oops, I noticed that. I probably type "astronomy" by reflex. Astronomy is a word that I'm more using in conversation than astrology.
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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cinephile, I kinda like your rules, but the more you live, the more experiences pile up which does not add to those. Or at least that's my case. I am a weirdness magnet. 

As for astrology: it's at least way more grounded than many other esoteric practices. Considering many things are actually correlated with astronomical events and there is confirmed influences of things like solar radiation on the behaviour and health of people, it's not too much of stretch to try and suggest influence goes deeper. 
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Pencho15

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The last time I use something kinda like a video rental was during a year in Spain where I studied a master. The library of my college had an enormous movie collection and I could take several weeks to see at home, I saw many jewels like that and it was a pleasure to be around there.

The advantages it had, it was free, it had a lot of classic and hard to find movies which for a movie lover is a treasure, and something lacking in every streaming service I know off.

However, that was a particular case, and the video rental shops I knew had usually new and popular movies, so it wouldn't have that advantage. Streaming is better for TV series also as a short time frame to return a whole season was out of the question for Me.
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Stephen Atwood

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2013 (from a Redbox) was likely the last time I rented physical media. Though, I'm sure the last time I used the mail-in Netflix subscription.
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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rubyfruit76, Champion

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'Fun discussion, by the way, so thanks for that, too.
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Rob Webster

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I used to love the video shop. You could wander through and just pick what you wanted to watch. I recently dumped all my streaming services because it would take so long to find something I wanted to watch, byt the time I found something, I'd lost interest. I wouldn't watch at least 90% of the online content (probably 99% for netflix) if it was on free to air, so why pay for access to a bunch of rubbish I'm never going to watch? I'd rather subscribe to a pay per view model than a monthly subscription. 
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MST3K (and Narnia) is Awesome

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Exactly.  There's very little on NetFlix I watch; I only get a free trial every year or so to catch up on Stranger Things, xD, and that's about it.
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cinephile

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I prefer video rental shops, but "very little" is not the right word to describe Netflix. Honestly, you have to dig deeper than their homepage.

In Canada:
-------------------------
10 films of Charles Chaplin

11 films of François Truffaut

5 films of David Lynch

The Three: Colors trilogy

1 film of Hayao Miyasaki

There are also international movies:

The 12th Man 

Burning

PK

Three Idiots

Andhadhun

The Guilty

The Interview

Mom

Contratempio
etc.

Classics:

Gone with the Wind

Breakfast at Tiffany's

The Godfather

Pulp Fiction

Se7en

Indiana Jones saga

Lawrence of Arabia

Midnight Express

Schindler's List

Citizen Kane

Funny Girl


I'm not aware of what you currently have in the USA, but according to my experience, you have even more titles.