Starz Entertainment has announced Vongo 2.0, adding new functionality and support for additional portable media players to its Vongo broadband video subscription service offering. Available for Windows XP and Vista (all other operating systems don’t even need to bother viewing the Vongo site), the new application now supports a total of seven portable players from Archos, Creative, and Toshiba, and offers compatibility with announced extenders for Windows Media Center.
“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,” said Starz Entertainment executive VP Bob Greene, in a statement. 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 addresses many of these needs.”
The Vongo broadband video service is priced at $9.99 a month, and offers more than 2,500 video and movie titles that can be viewed on PCs, including new blockbusters, anime, concerts, and extreme sports programming. Vongo users can register up to three devices to view Vongo video—including both PCS and supported portable media players. Vongo will also work with recently announced Extenders for Windows Media Center, so users can access content stored on a PC from other locations in the home, including to the Xbox 360. Wireless extenders have been announced by companies like D-Link, Linksys, and Niveus Media.
The new version of the Vongo application also offers better performance, the ability to resize and pin the Vongo video player, offers updated personalized recommendations, and a new device management system which makes it easier for users to swap out old devices in favor of the latest and greatest.
Vongo’s subscription model has yet to gain significant traction against pay-to-download video services like Xbox Live MarketPlace, Amazon Unbox, and (of course) Apple’s iTunes store, but the growing ubiquity of broadband and video capable portable media players might make a subscription service a viable option for some folks, especially if Vongo can expand out to the wider world of Windows Mobile-based smartphones. Unfortunately for Vongo, the service doesn’t offer support for the most popular video-capable portable media players on the planet: Apple’s iPods, new iPod nano, and the ever-popular iPhone.
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