Monday 9 January 2012

Netflix launches in UK

Netflix has launched in the UK and LOVEFiLM has responded by cutting its unlimited streaming tariff to £4.99 per month, with a 30-day free trial.

Netflix (available now on PS3) has more than 20 million streaming members in 47 countries and territories, and will be a tough competitor in a space that sees it go up against the likes of Amazon-owned LOVEFiLM and Sky Movies.

"We are starting 2012 in the best possible way: by giving consumers in the UK and Ireland an amazing entertainment experience," said Reed Hastings, co-founder and chief executive of Netflix.

"Now, you can enjoy as many great films and TV programmes as you want, when you want, where you want, for one low monthly price with no contracts or commitments."

The US firm said that its UK and Ireland service features high-quality video streaming technology, including high definition and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 sound, as well as "advanced recommendation technology" for users to track down new content.

The company has revolutionised the way Americans watch films. However, it faces stiff competition in the UK.

Last Christmas I started subscribing to LOVEFiLM Instant. I prefer streaming film and television, around my home, to wireless platforms including Sony BRAVIA Internet Video enabled devices and PS3. There's currently no HD content available (as yet), but the service is much more convenient than physical storage media such as Blu-ray disc or DVD. Of course BBC iPlayer already broadcasts selected programmes in HD (720p).

Both companies have inked deals with major Hollywood studios and television broadcasters. So, it may take more than price to differentiate LOVEFiLM and Netflix in the long run.

Do you think Netflix will be successful in the UK? How about in Ireland? Both? Neither???

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