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Starz promises portable digital movies via Vongo

Posted by iTech - 2006-01-03

Starz Entertainment Group on Tuesday introduced Vongo. a new video download service for broadband Internet users. While the service is debuting for Windows PCs and Windows Media-based portable devices, Vongo “will soon be Mac compatible (really!),” promises the Web site.

Vongo is a subscription-based service that costs $9.99 per month. For that fee, users can watch more than 1,000 movies and video selections as well as a live, streaming Starz TV channel.

Based on Windows Media technology, the service allows users to download movies and videos to “three eligible devices,” and also provides pay-per-view features for $3.99 each.

For now, Vongo works with PCs running Microsoft Windows, certain portable media devices and laptop computers — more announcements of compatible devices are expected to come from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada later this week.

Vongo’s compatibility with the Mac is promised, but it’s unknown how or if the product will work with Apple’s video-capable iPod — spokespersons for Vongo were not available as Macworld posted this article.

Starz has announced partnerships with Sony’s Connect music service and Microsoft. According to Starz, Sony will launch Connect Video later this year, with Vongo “a cornerstone” of the new subscription-based service.

Vongo will provide subscribers with content exclusive to Starz — a major player in the premium cable channel market. Starz has deals with studios like Touchstone Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Tri-Star and others.

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