Netflix has arrived! For a long time the US has been able to subscribe to the Netflix service for unlimited, all-you-can eat movie and TV show streaming. It is a digital service that grew out of a traditional postal-DVD rental business and which caused ructions when its CEO recently threatened to split the company's two arms (online and offline) so, one presumes, he could focus on the future, namely the streaming service.
It has now arrived in the UK for a fantastically small fee of £5.99 per month which allows you to log into the service from any PC, Mac, iPad or iPhone and to watch anything from their enormous back-catalog of films and TV shows.
Historically the video store was your destination if you wanted a movie for the night. Slowly Sky Box Office started to edge in and, just as long as you tuned in at the right start time and had your handy 4 digit code you could choose from as many as 4 different films per night.
Apple's iTunes store showed us a new alternative: one in which it was simple and swift to choose what you wanted to watch and to download it from the store and boom! you were up and running with a film to watch in minutes. But Netflix makes even this look ponderous. Due to some very sophisticated streaming technology the content begins to play almost instantly and the quality ramps up (to full HD in many cases) as you watch.
The library is not bang up-to-date because Netflix has chosen to have a large back catalog of slightly older content (shows from a year or so backwards) at a reasonable flat monthly rate. But this complements well the iTunes Store and the combination of the two is pretty much TV heaven. Throw in iPlayer (which looks great on the big screen if you use a Sony BluRay player) and the future is almost with us.