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Netflix launches in Ireland: but how does it compare?

TheJournal.ie’s guide to the film and TV streaming service as it launches in Ireland and the UK.

Some of the titles available on the new Netflix service in Ireland and the UK.
Some of the titles available on the new Netflix service in Ireland and the UK.

THE ONLINE entertainment streaming service Netflix launches in Ireland today, offering a range of films and television shows for a monthly subscription.

Netflix has over 23 million customers around the world, but it reportedly lost 800,000 subscribers between June and September 2011 after it raised its prices for its DVD rental service and its online streaming.

The company has continued to build its portfolio of studios through which to access films and signed a deal with MGM studios in November.

A spokesperson confirmed to TheJournal.ie today that a number of Irish film titles would be included and that the company’s content will be added to over time.

How it works

The service is offering a free one-month trial before signing up to the €6.99-a-month service. You can sign up here using your email address or your Facebook account (though you might have to log out of Facebook for the email sign-up option to show).

At the time of launching in Ireland, Netflix is offering films and TV shows from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Lionsgate UK, MGM, Miramax, the BBC, ITV, CBS, Channel 4′s 4oD, Disney UK & Ireland and All3Media.

Films and TV shows on the Netflix catalogue can be streamed via a range of devices including Blu-ray players, the PS3, the Xbox 360, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, WD TV and internet-connected TVs. Netflix can also be streamed on Macs and PCs.

How does it compare to other film rental and streaming services?

Although there are a number of DVD mail-rental services in Ireland, such as from Xtra-vision or An Post and ScreenClick, there aren’t many movie streaming services here to choose from – and Netflix will have to work hard to draw customers away from illegal downloading.

The Irish service Volta offers a range of independent films for downloading (if purchasing the film) or streaming (if rented). The prices range from €3.99 to rent a film and €13.99 to buy a film. Volta offers a discount if block-renting a group of five or ten films.

Films can be also be bought or rented from Apple’s iTunes and downloaded to your computer, iPhone, iPad or iPod. Prices vary and are charged per film. Rented films must be watching within 48 hours of beginning the viewing, although they can be watched multiple times within that period. You have 30 days after downloading within which to start watching the rented film.

An Apple TV unit costs €121 to buy and allows users to watch movies and videos stored on or streamed through their computers on a television set.

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