In my house we've been making fewer and fewer trips to the video store ever since video on-demand became available. Time Warner Cable's VOD works very well and the cost is the same as a video store rental minus the hassle of getting off your couch. But VOD's main shortcoming is its selection of new releases. VOD has to wait until the video stores have the first crack at the latest releases.
Enter the DVD vending machine. Fast, cheap and convenient with no membership required. I had tried one of these from Moviebank which was housed in the Duane Reade at 58th & 8th Ave. It required a membersip card and a PIN that I could never remember and the user interface of the machine was pretty terrible. There's still an unmanned Moviebank cubicle/store on 9th Ave in Hell's Kitchen but no longer in that Duane Reade.
After passing it a dozen times I finally decided to try the new DVDXpress machine at our local Pathmark in Edgewater NJ. What a pleasure! Browsing the available titles was a breeze (plenty of new releases in stock). Purchasing required just one swipe of a credit card. First I rented the Adam Sandler movie Click which was just $1.49 for 24 hours. I was able to easily type in my email address on screen and have a receipt emailed to me. When I got home - no scratches on the CD, what a treat! Last neat trick was when I came back to rent again and swiped the same card it remembered me and my email address.
We'll still probably turn first to VOD for future rentals but if there's nothing good available I doubt we'll be heading to Hollywood Video any time soon.
For locations near you check: http://www.mydvdxpress.net/