Back in the 80's and 90's video rental stores charged annual membership fees. It was like joining an exclusive club, occasionally you would sneak a friend in and rent a movie for him/her. On top of the annual fee, you also paid for each rental. If you were lucky, you watched your video at home on a "huge" 27 inch TV. The video quality was scratchy at best, but it was entertainment for you and the family.
Enter the 2000's - The last VHS movie to be released in North America was "A History of Violence" in 2006. VHS videos are now obsolete and DVD's have become the newest and greatest media standard. In addition to local video rental stores, you have online options such as;
Netflix - You pay a flat monthly fee and receive movies via mail. The more expensive the plan, the more movies you can have out at once. I personally have the "two at a time" plan. A few years ago I had the "three at a time" plan, but found that I was watching more movies than Ebert and Roe per. Netflix has no late fees and you do not pay for postage. In addition, you can download movies on demand and watch them immediately on your computer. On a scale from 1-10, I give Netflix a 10.
Blockbuster - Blockbuster is very similar to Nexflix, but Blockbuster touts 80,000 titles, while Netflix has over 100,000. One benefit to Blockbuster is that you can combine your online membership with an in-store membership. You can return and exchange movies at your local Blockbuster instead of waiting a few days via regular mail. I have not tried Blockbuster, but have heard nothing negative about its service.
If you're bordering nerdiness like myself, I encourage you to visit www.hulu.com. Hulu was rated "The Number 1 Product of the Year" by PC World. Below is a short excerpt.
"Hulu may offer the best-looking, most watchable Web video to date, rivaling the standard-definition content of regular TV. A well-financed joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corpora tion, Hulu is ultimately a one-stop on-demand repository for high-quality programming--the holy grail of online video.
Hulu's content includes current prime-time shows from Fox, NBC, MGM, Sony, Warner Brothers, and others, plus TV reruns new and old."
Please feel free to contact me with questions/comments. I appreciate your feedback!