Netflix is to launch a subscription service in Ireland and the UK in early 2012, offering unlimited TV shows and movie streaming over the internet.

The service will be available to customers on a monthly subscription basis, Netflix said.

The company said further details about the service, including pricing, content and supported devices, would be announced closer to its launch.

Coming from nowhere nearly 15 years ago to shake up the media and cable industries with its simple, but effective, DVD-by-mail service, Netflix now is trying to regain its footing by emphasising online streaming of movies and TV shows.