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Netflix to stream new movies to PCs

Netflix users may soon be able to watch new video content without purchasing a disc

Subscribers of the US video rental store Netflix will soon be able to watch brand new films and TV shows broadcast straight to their home PC.

The films will be streamed through a proprietary media player, offering copyright protection and allowing the user to watch instantly. There will be options to pause, fast forward, rewind and to skip to any point in the film.

The service will be introduced in June and will be part of Netflix subscribers' monthly packages. Users on the entry-level $6 (£4) plan will be allowed six hours of streaming per month. Users on the $18 (£9) plan will be allowed 18 hours of streaming per month.

Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, hinted at plans to develop the service beyond the home PC and the 1,000 films currently licensed for the service.

"Over the coming years we'll expand our selection of films, and we'll work to get to every internet-connected screen, from mobile phones to PCs to plasma screens." says Hastings.

Netflix is a US-only internet service which offers subscribers DVD rentals by post. It launched in 1998.