US online movie streaming service Netflix has been made available in the UK and Ireland.

The service, which is priced at £5.99 per month in the UK (€6.99 in Ireland), allows web users to watch an unlimited number of TV shows and movies on a range of internet-connected devices including computers, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Blu-ray players, Sony's PlayStation 3, the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360, as well as Apple iPhones, Apple iPads and Google Android smartphones and tablet PCs. Netflix is also offering a free one-month trial of the service. Web users can sign-up using their Facebook log-in details.

Viewers can choose from tens of thousands of hours of Hollywood and international feature films, as well as new and classic TV shows from both the US and the UK with the likes of The Inbetweeners and The Only Way is Essex available alongside 24 and Scrubs.

"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 also offers Facebook integration so viewers can share their film choices with friends on the social networking site.

Netflix is currently available in 47 countries and has around 20 million subscribers.

Netflix is hoping to rival LoveFilm, a movie rental service that delivers films via the internet or on DVD through the post. It was purchased by Amazon in January last year. Netflix could also be seen as a rival to TV-on-demand services from the like of Sky, Virgin Media and BT that already allow users to stream movies.