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Starz Unveils Vongo 2.0 Service

Englewood, Colo. — Starz Entertainment today launched Vongo 2.0, a user interface to its broadband subscription movie and video download service, offering enhanced functionality and a smoother user experience, the company said.

In addition, the service has been expanded to support a number of additional personal media player devices including the Creative Zen, Zen: Vision M and Zen Vision W players, as well as the Archos 405 and 605 WiFi players. The service continues to support Toshiba Gigabeat S and V series devices.

Starz said movies downloaded through Vongo 2.0 are now also watched more easily on the TV through new compatibility with several recently announced media extenders for Windows Media Center that will be coming to market soon.

“Since Vongo’s inception, our goal has been consistently to provide an entertainment service and ecosystem that allows movie lovers to enjoy content on their terms,” stated Bob Greene, Starz Entertainment advanced services executive VP. “We are listening continually to our passionate customer base. The top request voiced is the ability to watch our movies on the TV and the next request was more choices for portable devices. Vongo 2.0 and the associated support for all of these new devices answers many of these needs.”

The Vongo Internet movie and video download service now totals more than 2,500 movie and video titles, including first-run Hollywood features, anime, concert and extreme sports videos.

Vongo subscribers may register up to three devices, including PCs and portable media players, per account as part a $9.99 monthly subscription fee.

In addition, Starz is providing Vongo an easier way to access and watch its videos through a new, enhanced application that enables resizing and pinning the Vongo video player in order to watch a movie or concert while doing other tasks on the PC.

The company said Vongo also runs faster through better PC resource utilization, and offers an updated recommendation engine to personalize the service.

The updated recommendation engine simplifies finding a movie with more listed recommendations. Vongo’s unlimited subscription model now encourages sampling and experimentation.

To speed up the process, Vongo was redesigned to use less memory and run more quickly.

In the “near future” the system will enable the use of forthcoming Microsoft Extenders for the Media Center platform that will allow playing Vongo programs on the TV. Vongo content watched in one room from a Windows PC can be streamed to any room in the house that has a product utilizing Extenders for Windows Media Center, such as the Xbox 360.

New products featuring the Extenders for Windows Media Center will be available soon from companies including Linksys, D-Link and Niveus Media.

Since January, the Xbox 360 has enabled moving Vongo movies and videos to the TV. The new Extenders will work in a similar way with PCs.