DVD retailers deny online film service is a threat
IT promises an internet-age alternative to the DVD rental shop.
American-based Netflix launched its TV and film subscription service here and in the UK yesterday.
Netflix provides viewers with a range of TV programmes and movies that can be streamed over the internet for a flat monthly fee of €7.
Subscribers will also be able to watch programming on a range of other internet-enabled devices -- including standard televisions, laptops, smartphones and gaming consoles.
The service has proven popular in the 47 countries where it is already available, with 20 million members worldwide.
Last night the country's largest movie rental chain welcomed the arrival of Netflix and its cheap TV and film streaming over the internet.
Brian Gilligan, director of business development for Xtra-vision, said he wasn't worried -- insisting the businesses were "very different".
Mr Gilligan said he did not believe the new service would have a major impact on the chain's 165 stores in Ireland and the North. He said that people would still be eager to get the latest films which were usually released on DVD first.
"Our business is all about new releases," he added.
A spokeswoman for Netflix also pointed out that viewers must have a broadband internet connection to avail of the service.
The company's website provides instructions on how to set up the service to whatever technology is being used to view the content.
"The whole thing is to be able to watch unlimited television or films when and where you want to watch them," she said.
Programming includes feature film releases from major Hollywood studios, including MGM, Miramax, Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox.
Television programmes are also available from the BBC, CBS, Disney and ITV and others, and includes new and classic shows, documentaries, independent and arthouse film and children's programming.
Members can connect their Facebook account to Netflix and share what they're watching.
More information on the service is available by logging on to www.netflix.com.