Click and Rent

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For all those people who bought DVD players because of the promise of a better picture, many are finding it frustrating to rent titles like they would for their VCR. While many video stores are stocking DVD titles, few have a wide selection.

To fill this gap, Netflix.com offers people the ability to rent DVDs on the Web. With a library of more than 2,000 titles, the business offers people seven-day rentals for $6 per movie.

The service works like this: people on the Web site order the movies they want, and Netflix ships the discs within three days to any address in the country. At the end of the rental period, the customer slips the disc back in the pre-paid mailer provided by Netflix and sends it back. Customers also have a chance to buy the movie (applying the rental fee to the purchase price) before they return it.

To introduce the site, which launched in April, Netflix has run a raft of promotions. Its first effort was a sweepstakes tied to the DVD release of L.A. Confidential. The prize was a trip for two to Los Angeles.

Its newest program is with Sony. The electronics company will give each person who buys a DVD player five free discs. Earlier in the year, anyone who bought an Apple PowerBook with a DVD-Video PC card got two free rentals from Netflix. Similar deals already completed featured partners Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba.

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