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Toshiba To Carry Starz Vongo Service

Irvine, Calif. — Toshiba has inked a deal with Starz Entertainment to preinstall its Vongo movie service on all Toshiba Satellite and Qosmio notebook computers.

The deal, which goes into effect today, will give Toshiba customers a 30-day free trial of the service, said Joe Cantwell, advanced services VP for Starz Entertainment. Toshiba will place a Vongo icon on the notebook’s desktop; after the trial period ends, customers can sign on for $9.99 per month. The service enables the viewer to watch streaming content or download movies from Starz’s library.

Starz and Toshiba will work through a direct marketing campaign to entice the installed base of Satellite and Qosmio owners to sign up for the Vongo service, Cantwell said, and while the service has been found to be more attractive to notebook owners he hinted similar deals could place Vongo on desktops.

Starz has had a similar deal with Hewlett-Packard notebook division.

Cantwell would not say how many HP customers have taken advantage of the service, but he did give a look into how notebook owners are using Vongo.

About 25 percent watch content streamed directly from Starz’ live channels, he said, and the average user downloads between 12 and 15 movies per month with each storing four or five of these on the notebooks hard drive for later viewing. Just over 30 percent attach their notebook to a TV or large external monitor to improve their viewing experience.