Video on demand giant Netflix is finally spreading its wings from North America, with a UK and Ireland service confirmed for an early 2012 launch.

The platform, which will arrive in streaming-form only, has been a long time coming with rumours of an arrival for these shores doing the rounds for the last couple of years.

Netflix has been under a bit of pressure Stateside the last couple of months, following price hikes and the DVD Qwikster will-it/won't-it saga, so the UK and Ireland launch announcement couldn't have come at a better time for the company.

Back in July, Variety stated: "Sources at leading European film distributors say as recently as last week Netflix reps confirmed plans to put roots down in both Spain and the United Kingdom in the first quarter of next year", and its report looks to be right on the money.

Netflix has confirmed: "Upon launch, Netflix members from the UK and Ireland will be able to instantly watch a wide array of TV shows and films right on their TVs via a range of consumer electronics devices capable of streaming from Netflix, as well as on PCs, Macs and mobile tablets and phones."

No word yet on exactly what TV shows and movies will be on offer, on what devices exactly and how much it will cost, but over the Atlantic users pay $7.99 a month for the streaming action.

It will be entering a crowded arena though, with both Sky and Virgin Media already offering very good on-demand movie services, and Lovefilm managing to become the almost de facto digital film offering for Sony, Samsung and other consumer electronics manufacturers.