Redbox Instant Review


Screenshot from Rebox Instant promotional videoRedbox Instant by Verizon is still in beta, but it promises to be a strong competitor to Netflix, offering unlimited streaming of movies plus 4 free DVD rentals from a Redbox each month, as well as digital movie rentals and purchases. It’s more like Netflix used to be when one subscription gave you the ability to stream movies and receive DVDs in the mail, only with Redbox you pick up and return the DVDs at a local store near you.

Note: As of February 2013 Redbox Instant is not available to the general public. It is possible to sign up for a free trial while the service is in beta. This review of Redbox Instant will be updated when the streaming service becomes available to everyone.

What We Liked

  • Free Trial—Redbox Instant is offering a free 1-month trial of their service so you can see if it’s worth it for you
  • Disc-Rental Bundles—plans that include 4 discs a month make the plan a great value
  • Digital Movie Rentals and Purchases—you can rent a new release online instead of running out to a nearby store pick up a disc from a Redbox, or buy a movie if it’s your favorite

What We Didn’t Like

  • Limited Content Available—there’s not nearly as much content available to watch as there is on other comparable services (see Netflix Review or Amazon Instant Video Review); it’s a new service so the library of available content will no doubt increase over time, but right now it’s not impressive
  • Digital Rental Prices—renting a movie online to stream costs a lot more ($4.99 vs $1.20) than renting a disc from a Redbox, so it encourages people to still use discs (for new releases at least)

What hardware is this available on?

Redbox Instant will work on your PC, Mac, iPad or other iOS devices, Android tablets and phones, Xbox 360 some Samsung Smart TVs, and some Samsung blu-ray players. To see instructions on how to set up Redbox Instant with any of these devices, click here.

Who is this recommended for?

If you are a regular Redbox customer already, this service probably makes sense for you. The 4 rental credits included with the $8 a month plan would mean that you’re getting the unlimited streaming for just over $3 a month more that what you’re already spending.


  • $6 for unlimited streaming (1-month subscription fee)
    $8 for unlimited streaming + 4 DVD rentals (1-month subscription fee)
    $9 for unlimited streaming + 4 Blu-Ray Rentals (1-month subscription fee)
  • You can also pay for digital movie rentals of new releases that aren’t available in the streaming subscription (typically $4.99 in SD, $5.99 in HD) or purchase digital movies to download (typically $16.99+)


  • PC or Mac with an Internet connection and a Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari web browser with Adobe Flash Player and JavaScript, or another piece of compatible hardware
  • For streaming Redbox Instant requires an Internet connection of at least 500 kbps

Enjoy this video explaining what Redbox Instant is:

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