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Redbox Instant Beta Review: Same Titles, Different Service



Earlier this year Redbox and Verizon sent out invites to the Redbox Instant Beta, opening the Redbox Instant library to select number of users.

Unlike Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant, Redbox Instant focuses exclusively on movies with no TV shows in sight on the service. The trouble with that, however, is that there aren’t that many movies worth watching on the service that aren’t available elsewhere. There is only a small selection of popular movies available on the service at the moment.

A great example of the service is the “Featured” section of the iPhone app. The category currently lists recent big name movies such as “Thor,” “Captain America,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and “Rango.” Those movies are well-known, and they each have “Fresh” ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.


Other movies in the list, however, are titles such as “Soccer Nanny,” “Hemingway’s Garden of Eden” and “The Next Three Days.” These movies aren’t that well-known, and have either mixed, poor or nonexistent reviews. Netflix and Amazon also have movies like these, but they don’t feature them like Redbox does.

Despite the mixed collection of movies the service does have good quality streaming. Movies played smoothly on a Wi-Fi network with no hiccups and no noticeable artifacts in the video. Performance over 4G LTE on Verizon on an iPhone 5 was just as good as over Wi-Fi.

Redbox Instant only has a website and mobile apps for watching movies, but it does support AirPlay for iOS users who have an Apple TV. Movies still look great when played over AirPlay, so users don’t have to worry about lower quality video when watching movies on a TV.

For movies that aren’t available to stream Redbox Instant offers users four free DVD rentals from a Redbox kiosk every month. Without an easily accessible kiosk this was more a burden than anything else, but those who live close to a Redbox kiosk will enjoy the convenience. The base $8 plan only lets users rent DVDs from kiosks, but users can upgrade their plans to get Blu-ray movies from kiosks, instead.



  1. Treedoc

    02/04/2013 at 12:22 pm

    What about Roku for those of us who won’t pay Apple prices?

  2. Bryan

    02/07/2013 at 10:26 pm

    Air does not support airplay.

  3. JimmyMackey

    02/20/2013 at 8:01 am

    Yes, the new titles you mentioned are quite popular, but you didn’t mention very many and frankly, the more popular the movie is, the more likely I am to watch it in the theater. I miss some of the other “in between” movies that were decent in the box office, but I didn’t make it to see them. I also wanted to make sure my DISH Blockbuster @Home was really the best deal for me. My favorite part of the service is that I can stream to my iPad when I’m on my break and working at my DISH office or on a trip for them. Of course, I like that it only costs $10 a month and includes games and Blu-ray by mail, but Redbox used to be my go to for movies so I had to see what people were saying. Now it is just too convenient to use Blockbuster @Home since I don’t have to leave the house to rent and yet I have hundreds of thousands of choices over Redbox Instant.

  4. JB

    02/26/2013 at 3:32 pm

    This subscription is horrible! The selection of movies is very poor. Hulu had that same batch of movies 5 years ago and netflix has it now. Did you all buy a rights to all the stupid movies that no one has ever heard of? One-offs are fine once in a while but most of us aren’t into a steady diet of it.

    1. The old movies need to be the ones we want to see. Indiana Jones, Batman, Sound of Music, Romancing the Stone, etc. Movies that we actually remember the names of and want to see again.

    2. Make the current redbox titles available AS PART OF THE SUBSCRIPTION. I’m not paying $5 to see a movie that I can get in the box for $1. It’s a subscription. What am I paying for? Why would I pay another $5 per movie?

    Let me know when you have something worth my $8

    • Jack

      03/10/2013 at 2:03 pm

      It costs $1 because they have the right to give out the DVD 1000 times over. Digital rentals and streams need an agreement from the studios which means they want more money.

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