MassFlix UHD BR (and other discs) rental service - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 31 Old 11-16-2017, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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MassFlix UHD BR (and other discs) rental service

Looks like an interesting addition to the field/market is launching today, with a "crowd sourcing" approach -- no inventory, just user to user rentals. Is this the Uber of disk rentals?

https://www.massflix.com

Curious to hear about others' experience with using the service.
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post #2 of 31 Old 11-16-2017, 08:27 AM
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Looks like an interesting idea but ,since money is made from the title, are royalties to the studio part of the transaction ?
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post #3 of 31 Old 11-16-2017, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Dunno. Do mom and pop rental stores pay studios on a per rental basis? My impression is that they do not. But I am not an expert and not a lawyer and this is not legal advice!
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post #4 of 31 Old 11-16-2017, 10:36 PM
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Video rental stores paid in two ways - the rental discs were priced higher, and it depended on the contract terms they had with the studio - some studios would only provide rentals after a certain delay, for example.

The only question is will it run afoul of the "not for commercial use" part of the disc license. They might have better luck if they just made people buy it and re-sell it.
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post #5 of 31 Old 11-17-2017, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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That's interesting. I recall lots of stories of brick and mortar stores circumventing the studio preferences around rentals and buying retail copies and renting those -- and to this day, that appears to be the way non-chain places do it, including boutique rent by mail outfits like 3-d blu ray rental dot com.

But who knows what goes on behind the scenes?

---

For so called "crowdsourcing" services, usually the service is just selling the "connection" between private parties and doesn't actually charge anything for the goods. Kind of like how eBay doesn't collect tax on your sales because they are selling the "connection" between two people and not selling "goods". Or how Uber says that they are not a taxi service, but just a broker between someone with a car and someone wanting a ride. Middlemen or the marketplace.

So maybe the question is whether the individuals "sharing" their movies have any rules they have to abide by? If I buy a movie and then share it with a friend and ask that friend for a few bucks, am I violating the terms of the movie purchase?

I dunno, but I'm guessing MassFlix would claim they don't rent movies -- that their members rent movies to one another? Kind of like how AVSForum doesn't sell audio gear, but facilitates buyers and sellers coming together in the classifieds section?

Which may get to your whole "sell" versus "rent" or "loan for a fee" concept? I recall (back in the day) used record stores would RENT a CD by selling it to you and agreeing they would buy it back within a certain time period for a certain price. Which I think is what you allude to. But in that case the owner/seller was a commercial business, not your buddy in Texas "renting" you his movie (because he is a cheapskate and won't just eat the lost opportunity and postage costs)?

But this is way beyond my legal understanding/knowledge. I'm guessing a quick email to MassFlix would elicit their official position.

---

I'm more curious about how well it works and when it reaches critical mass, etc.

Last edited by nathan_h; 11-17-2017 at 07:37 AM.
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post #6 of 31 Old 11-17-2017, 11:46 PM
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It's interesting because companies like redbox and netflix often cannot rent discs until 28 days after release. Will mass flux get around this or will they too have to restrict listing of new movies...
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post #7 of 31 Old 11-22-2017, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I’m guessing new releases may be in short supply for at least a few days while the original purchaser watches their own movie before sending it to another member. Remember this service apparently does not own or buy any disks. They appear to just be a broker between private parties.
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post #8 of 31 Old 11-29-2017, 09:26 AM
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It looks like they are live now. Has anyone tried this service yet and can we trust them with our credit card information?
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post #9 of 31 Old 12-27-2017, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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The owner is on this forum, so he can probably answer questions. Apparently, some of us (eg, me) are wrong about how the service works, so it would be great to hear what the real info is.

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Originally Posted by DR_LaRRY_PEpPeR View Post
@nathan_h started a thread over in the Blu-ray Software forum -- I haven't jumped in yet, even though Nathan was spreading some false info. (I don't know if anyone from AVS is using the service, though I've gotten traffic and some registrations from the thread...)
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post #10 of 31 Old 12-29-2017, 08:12 PM
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Something like massflix would be really cool if it manages to get a critical mass of users. I was actually daydreaming about such a service a month or so ago. I signed up and added my credit card info. Of the five movies I added to my queue only 1 shows as available. I'm curious to see if anything ever shows up.
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post #11 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by er824 View Post
Something like massflix would be really cool if it manages to get a critical mass of users. I was actually daydreaming about such a service a month or so ago. I signed up and added my credit card info. Of the five movies I added to my queue only 1 shows as available. I'm curious to see if anything ever shows up.


I was sent two movies after they went live.


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post #12 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for starting the thread Nathan! Hopefully nothing bad happens by me posting here, since my first thread merely about the idea of such a service was shut down. Craziness. (Just days before I was going to finally become a Club member or whatever it is, haha. Never happen now...) Anyway:

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Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
I’m guessing new releases may be in short supply for at least a few days while the original purchaser watches their own movie before sending it to another member. Remember this service apparently does not own or buy any disks. They appear to just be a broker between private parties.
This is the wrong info I was joking about. Have only sent my own discs so far! That's because everyone wants 4K stuff almost exclusively, and nobody so far has indicated that they have any. Hmm. Well, each one I add is one less that another user could get paid for! Will announce some minor pricing tweaks soon (bit better for all users, I guess), including higher initial payments (for contributions), especially for 4K. Maybe that'll help.

I think there's about 500 Blu-rays a few other users added so far (needs to be thousands), but nothing that anyone else has queued! (Again, all the 4K.) Plus some other Blus I have.

Coming up to 50 each of 4K and 3D titles, most in the last 6 weeks.
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post #13 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Aggie PT View Post
It looks like they are live now. Has anyone tried this service yet and can we trust them with our credit card information?
We never have any actual credit card information (not allowed according to CC industry rules without nightmarish credentials, auditing, etc. ). Just a tokenized representation of your card info, and "safe" things in order to show info about the card that was added. That goes for any legitimate business. So Stripe is the one to ask questions about, haha, and they probably already have most people's card info considering all the businesses that use them...

No one has been charged anything yet though, and won't be for at least a couple weeks...
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post #14 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 09:17 AM
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Thanks for starting the thread Nathan! Hopefully nothing bad happens by me posting here, since my first thread merely about the idea of such a service was shut down.
Why was your previous thread shutdown? A way for enthusiasts to share discs seems like a great idea at least until netflix or redbox step up.
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post #15 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 09:21 AM
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That's because everyone wants 4K stuff almost exclusively, and nobody so far has indicated that they have any
I tried to add a 4k disc last night (I only own 2) by typing in the UPC. The form went blank after I hit submit but there was no indication anything actually happened. Not sure if I did something wrong or not
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Originally Posted by er824 View Post
Something like massflix would be really cool if it manages to get a critical mass of users. I was actually daydreaming about such a service a month or so ago. I signed up and added my credit card info. Of the five movies I added to my queue only 1 shows as available. I'm curious to see if anything ever shows up.
Thanks for posting here. The disc was taken care of 2.5 hours after you joined. And the only reason it took that long is because you joined just I was starting to watch The Hitman's Bodyguard 4K. On a regular week, it should be there Tuesday, but probably Wed. with the holiday? You'll see the USPS tracking tonight (it should be there 24 hours after you joined) as soon as it's in the system (shows Pending now).


To be fair, one of the other movies isn't released yet ; will have it, but it'll go to another users first. And 1 or 2 others also want it, but they're getting enough other discs... Need to have some sort of "smart" disc scheduling system!

For other discs, [me] getting them depends on a few factors. Like if anyone else has it queued/how many (not shown on site yet)... Not everything that's available says so yet, if nobody has added it before. None of yours are, but for others it may change shortly after you add them.

One user has gotten 5 already in 3 weeks, with several waiting. So would be more, just not turning them around faster.
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post #17 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by DR_LaRRY_PEpPeR View Post
That's because everyone wants 4K stuff almost exclusively, and nobody so far has indicated that they have any. Hmm. Well, each one I add is one less that another user could get paid for! Will announce some minor pricing tweaks soon (bit better for all users, I guess), including higher initial payments (for contributions), especially for 4K. Maybe that'll help.
Its not surprising that most of the interest has been for 4K. Between streaming, redbox and the local library it is pretty easy to get access to blu-ray or near blu ray levels of quality on the cheap. I could see occasionally getting a blu-ray if it is something unusual and not available in 4k but personally my interest in the service is access to 4k discs at a reasonable price. I don't have a 3D capable TV but I could see 3D releases being another niche that needs filled.
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post #18 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 09:38 AM
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I was sent two movies after they went live.
Thanks for posting here, also. Yes, I believe you, like other new users, were sent discs pretty quickly. Then you deleted at least a couple others that were available. I think you'll be the first to get the upcoming release. The other one is with another user now, and I'm not sure if you or someone else will get it next.
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post #19 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 09:39 AM
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Thanks for posting here. The disc was taken care of 2.5 hours after you joined. And the only reason it took that long is because you joined just I was starting to watch The Hitman's Bodyguard 4K. On a regular week, it should be there Tuesday, but probably Wed. with the holiday? You'll see the USPS tracking tonight (it should be there 24 hours after you joined) as soon as it's in the system (shows Pending now).


To be fair, one of the other movies isn't released yet ; will have it, but it'll go to another users first. And 1 or 2 others also want it, but they're getting enough other discs... Need to have some sort of "smart" disc scheduling system!

For other discs, [me] getting them depends on a few factors. Like if anyone else has it queued/how many (not shown on site yet)... Not everything that's available says so yet, if nobody has added it before. None of yours are, but for others it may change shortly after you add them.

One user has gotten 5 already in 3 weeks, with several waiting. So would be more, just not turning them around faster.
I didn't mean my post to sound critical. I just took it as an indication of where you are in building a community. It is obviously going to take time to build up a critical mass of users.
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post #20 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 09:45 AM
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Would it be possible to update the Queue to show how many copies of something is in the system? Distinguishing between something no one has added vs something that is just not currently available would be nice.

You might also come up with a way to show 'in demand' titles. Titles that have a lot of requests vs limited copies available. Maybe that would inspire someone to buy a copy and add it.
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post #21 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 09:54 AM
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Why was your previous thread shutdown? A way for enthusiasts to share discs seems like a great idea at least until netflix or redbox step up.
For, "Running a business ON the forum." Yes. Makes no sense at all. It had been up for a pretty long time without problem. And this happened months before there was even a basic placeholder page live. There literally couldn't be any business, just the discussion about a hypothetical idea. I still have a copy of the thread saved...

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I tried to add a 4k disc last night (I only own 2) by typing in the UPC. The form went blank after I hit submit but there was no indication anything actually happened. Not sure if I did something wrong or not
Really? I see the form was submitted, but nothing was saved. It's worked several other times for the other users... What did you enter? If it's 10 characters or less, it's ignored (since not long enough). But yes, even when successful, there's no confirmation -- sorry! Nothing in this case, however.

Can always PM them or e-mail -- but it should work!
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post #22 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 09:57 AM
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Really? I see the form was submitted, but nothing was saved. It's worked several other times for the other users... What did you enter? If it's 10 characters or less, it's ignored (since not long enough). But yes, even when successful, there's no confirmation -- sorry! Nothing in this case, however.

Can always PM them or e-mail -- but it should work!
Apollo 13 and Hacksaw Ridge. Looks like it was user error on my part. I didn't realize the small numbers to the right and left of the bar code were part of it and I only entered the middle 10.
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post #23 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 10:05 AM
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I didn't mean my post to sound critical. I just took it as an indication of where you are in building a community. It is obviously going to take time to build up a critical mass of users.
Oh no, not a problem at all.

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Would it be possible to update the Queue to show how many copies of something is in the system? Distinguishing between something no one has added vs something that is just not currently available would be nice.
"Available" is the total number. There should (and will be) an Out number shown too (but then, same issue, is "Available" the total, or in addition to "Out?" ).

Would really like to show where "in line" you are for a disc (and/or a time frame), as there are more people. But for that, need to have some sort of smart scheduling formula. Between users for a disc; and between discs for a user etc.

Quote:
You might also come up with a way to show 'in demand' titles. Titles that have a lot of requests vs limited copies available. Maybe that would inspire someone to buy a copy and add it.
Yeah, there will be a Queued count also shown, so can easily get to that view of what's "needed."
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post #24 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 10:16 AM
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Apollo 13 and Hacksaw Ridge. Looks like it was user error on my part. I didn't realize the small numbers to the right and left of the bar code were part of it and I only entered the middle 10.
Yeah. They're 12 or 13 digits. (Although a leading zero can be skipped, hence just 11 digits is accepted.) Did you try with all digits? I see the form was submitted again, but there's nothing that got saved yet...

I already have Hacksaw Ridge (so I'd have first dibs ), and was going to pick up Apollo 13, but now probably won't. Nobody has queued it yet, I don't think, but I'll wanna see it at some point. Nothing in my own Queue yet because haven't had time to watch anything! Took a couple weeks to get to my copy of Hitman's Bodyguard.
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post #25 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 10:32 AM
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Yeah. They're 12 or 13 digits. (Although a leading zero can be skipped, hence just 11 digits is accepted.) Did you try with all digits? I see the form was submitted again, but there's nothing that got saved yet...

I already have Hacksaw Ridge (so I'd have first dibs ), and was going to pick up Apollo 13, but now probably won't. Nobody has queued it yet, I don't think, but I'll wanna see it at some point. Nothing in my own Queue yet because haven't had time to watch anything! Took a couple weeks to get to my copy of Hitman's Bodyguard.
I just used the iphone app you recommended and scanned all my blu-rays and 4k titles (only 3) and uploaded the form. The app made it super easy.

You should rent Apollo 13 so I can be the first sender outter who isn't you
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I just used the iphone app you recommended and scanned all my blu-rays and 4k titles (only 3) and uploaded the form. The app made it super easy.

You should rent Apollo 13 so I can be the first sender outter who isn't you
Yep, got the file saved. Now just wait for the things to show up in your account (and others).

There's about a dozen other standard Blu-rays that I want to see from 3 other members, but I haven't got to anything yet.
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post #27 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by DR_LaRRY_PEpPeR View Post
Thanks for posting here, also. Yes, I believe you, like other new users, were sent discs pretty quickly. Then you deleted at least a couple others that were available. I think you'll be the first to get the upcoming release. The other one is with another user now, and I'm not sure if you or someone else will get it next.


Great! Thanks. Yeah, I’m out of town so I didn’t want them just sitting there. Good service you have. Appreciate it!


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post #28 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 11:28 AM
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Great! Thanks. Yeah, I’m out of town so I didn’t want them just sitting there. Good service you have. Appreciate it!
Sorry, don't want you to lose stuff in your queue just to temporarily not receive it (doesn't really matter now, but in the future, so the date you added something to the queue doesn't get lost; it's there, but not shown ). You'll be able to set how many discs ("up to") you want at a time, including 0 to stop shipments (can change as often as desired). Should be there in a couple days!
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post #29 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 12:14 PM
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What effect does position in queue have? I'd hate to not get something you do have because I have something you don't have higher in my queue.
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post #30 of 31 Old 12-30-2017, 01:42 PM
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Not much right now. Of what's available, I'd of course pick the highest disc(s) -- if it's getting passed along from another user, you'll get it no matter where it is... Anyone that doesn't want that can let me know, and I'll try to make sure it's how you want.

Many options I'm considering -- to set whether you care about Queue order (how strongly...?), or just want anything equally (I remember Blockbuster had this option; don't recall seeing it with Netflix).

What to do about unavailable discs -- skip them, or wait for them and block others. What does need to happen for sure, and doesn't yet, is movies from a series that are related should be "locked together," in order, by default, unless you choose to break them apart and allow them to be sent independently.

An option to only consider discs in the top N positions (customizable, of course) -- e.g. have a single digit number to really control the few you want to get (at the expense of being passed over for others, of course; longer waits; etc.), or set to like 50 if you have tons and don't want to get something from way down.

Of course this all needs to be considered in some sort of "scoring" system to progmatically decide what to send where, when... Dunno! It's basically "dumb" right now, haha.

P.S. 3 of them are now available that didn't show when you added them.
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