Netflix Arrives In The UK

US film rental giant visits these shores

It's not precisely the sort of news we generally cover, but it's likely to have more impact on the way you watch films than who gets cast in Upcoming Film by Random Director, so we thought we'd share the news that Netflix is, as of today, launching in the UK. Yes, the US film distribution giant is now getting in on the UK act too.

The service here will be based on streaming video through internet-connected devices like Smart TVs, game consoles, Blu-ray players, tablets and mobile phones. The service already boasts 20m streaming users in 47 countries and "tens of thousands of hours" of entertainment, which should keep you busy.

"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 officer 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 service will obviously be in direct competition with the already-established likes of LoveFilm and iTunes, and the studios' newly-endorsed UltraViolet, which aims to offer a digital locker for your downloaded content. Which will emerge triumphant? Is there room for all of them in this on-demand age? And will our broadband connections be up to the challenge? Only time will tell.

James Arg Argent and Sam Faiers of The Only Way Is Essex fame join Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in front of a Basildon sign (Basildon. Hollywood. You see what they did there).