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Answer Line: Where can I rent 3D Blu-rays?

Douglas Kelner has a 3D HDTV and 3D Blu-ray player. He doesn't like buying discs, and wants to know where he can rent 3D movies.

Douglas Kelner has a 3D HDTV and 3D Blu-ray player. He doesn't like buying discs, and wants to know where he can rent 3D movies.

[Email your tech questions to [email protected] or post them on the PCW Answer Line forum.]

Last August, I discussed the 3D content shortage in Is There Enough 3D Content to Justify Buying a 3D HDTV? And while I mentioned Blu-ray discs in that article, I neglected to consider the rental issue. I'll try to rectify that here.

Netflix, which dominates disc rentals as much as it does streaming, doesn't do 3D. A spokesperson told that that they "don't carry Blu-ray 3D titles because the demand...has been very low. We experimented, but shipped very few units."

Fortunately, Netflix isn't quite the only game in town. I found two online services that specialize in 3D Blu-ray rentals: 3D Bluray Rental and 3D By Mail. I haven't tried either of them myself--I don't yet own 3D equipment--so please don't consider this an endorsement.

Nevertheless, I would try 3D Bluray Rental first, if only for the price. Not that the price is so wonderful. At $16 a month for one disc at a time, it costs considerably more than Netflix. But you don't need to pay a monthly fee. You can pay the old fashioned way--per disc, with a due date.

3D Bluray Rental also rents 2D Blu-rays, so if you do go with the subscription, you're not limited to 3D titles.

3D By Mail costs a shockingly high $25 a month for one disc at a time. Perhaps that's why you have to start the registration process before they'll tell you the price. They only carry 3D titles.

But there's another option: You can skip discs altogether and sign up for the Vudu streaming pay-per-view service. Vudu has a large selection of 3D movies. If you have a 3D HDTV and a 3D Blu-ray player, I'd be very surprised if neither of them offers Vudu among their Internet services.

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