Online movie service Netflix opened its doors to the UK today. The service costs £5.99 a month and in return, customers get unlimited access to an array of movies and TV programmes to watch over the internet.

Netflix doesn’t offer downloads as such, but instead ‘streams’ video over a constant internet connection as it’s being watched. The benefit of this is instant access and video can usually be watched within a couple of seconds of it being selected. Video can still be paused, rewound and fast-forwarded, too.

The service requires a broadband internet connection of at least 500Kbit/s, but there are there are different quality settings to suit different broadband speeds, including an HD option.

Although best suited to unlimited broadband connections, Netflix can still be used with capped home broadband services or 3G mobile internet — at its lowest-quality setting, Netflix uses around 0.5GB of data for a 90-minute movie.

Netflix works with any computer, as well as games consoles, smartphones and tablets, and there’s no limit to the number of TV programmes and movies that can be watched.

A bigger problem, however, might be the rather limited selection of content available and there’s a distinct lack of recent cinema releases.

Netflix is offering a free one-month trial to attract new users and although credit card details must be supplied for this, no charges are made until the trial expires.

Don’t be fooled by the demand for Facebook details as part of the sign-up either — it’s possible to register for the service using just an email address.