Netflix streams into Italy

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Netflix is now avaliable in Italy. Photo: Matthew Keys / Flickr Creative Commons
10:52 CEST+02:00
Good news for film and TV buffs across Italy: the on-demand service Netflix is now available across the country, with subscribers getting the first month for free.

The online service was made available from midnight on Wednesday and offers three price plans for Italian subscribers.

The basic package costs €7.99 and will allow users to stream content on one device in normal quality. Other packages, costing €9.99 and €11.99, allow members to stream in HD on more than one device simultaneously.

Netflix can be accessed by anyone with a PC, Mac, tablet, console, internet connected top box, smart phone or smart TV and the company are offering new Italian users one month free in a bid to tempt new customers.

The service is threatening to shake-up global TV habits and will provide stiff competition to well-established and more expensive Italian competitors such as Mediaset and Sky Italia, both of which have recently launched their own on-demand streaming services.

Netflix will allow users to choose from a range of language and subtitle options, meaning foreigners in Italy can veg-out while watching shows in their native language, or use subtitles for language learning effect.

The first Italian TV show produced for Netflix will be Suburra – a ten-part series set in Rome from the makers of the hit mafia series, Gomorra, which was based on a book by journalist Roberto Saviano.

However, the hugely popular shows House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, which were made for Netflix in the US, will not be available to users in Italy as their rights have already been sold to Sky Italia.

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But can Italy's inconsistent broadband service cope with all this streaming?

Netflix thinks so. The company recommends speeds of 3MB/s per second for standard viewing and 5MB/s for HD.

The service also launched in Spain earlier this week and is already available in many other European countries including Germany, Switzerland and the UK.

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