Netflix, the online movie rental service that sends DVDs over the mail to you, is great. It’s also very popular, and because of that, new releases are often not available when you want them (when they’re new). It’s a problem that everyone who uses the service has had. So today, Netflix is trying something new to remedy it.

If the movie you’ve requested isn’t available from your local distribution center, Netflix will send it from another distribution center that has it and will also send the movie highest up on your queue (the list of movies you want) that is available at the local distribution center. While the wording of Netflix’s post on the issue isn’t the best, let’s be clear: This other movie being sent to you will not count towards the number of rentals you can have out at once.

So, if you have a three-DVDs-at-a-time plan, you will now get a fourth DVD sent to you for free while you wait for the movie you requested to be sent from a location farther away. And this applies to all Netflix members, so even customers who only have the one-DVD-at-a-time option will now get two DVDs when the one they want isn’t immediately available.

While it might be ideal for Netflix to simply order more copies of the DVD you want and send it to you, it’s hard to argue with this solution. And really, this is just a temporary solution anyway until all movie distribution takes place over the internet and availability won’t be an issue.

[photo: flickr/Betssssy]