Starz' Vongo v2.0 Supports New PMPs and Media Center Extenders

Starz' PC subscription video service, Vongo, reaches version 2.0 today.

On the mobile front, it now supports the Archos 405 and 605WiFi, as well as Creative's Zen, Zen Vision:M and Zen Vision W.

The software will also make streaming video to Media Center Extenders possible: it is compatible with the new lineup from Linksys, D-Link and Niveus that are soon to hit the market. (We'll add Vongo to our list of tests for those products.)

Vongo has also added new picture-in-picture resizing options for the desktop, and an updated user interface with improved personalized recommendations and better device management. [Vongo]

Starz' Vongo v2.0 Supports New PMPs and Media Center Extenders

New Vongo 2.0 Application Makes it Easier to Take Your Movies with You, Enjoy on Your PC, and Watch on TV

Newly Certified Portable Devices Announced, Vongo Service Enhancements Implemented, More Support of Extenders for Windows Media Center

Ushers in Next Generation for Movie Download Service

Englewood, Colo. - October 25, 2007 - Starz Entertainment announced today that the company has launched Vongo 2.0 with enhanced functionality and performance to create a more robust, smoother overall user experience for the broadband subscription movie and video download service. As part of Vongo 2.0, Vongo has expanded the number of certified portable media devices it supports by five to now include a total of seven different models from ARCHOS, Creative, and Toshiba. Movies downloaded are now also watched more easily on the TV with the announcement of new Vongo compatibility for several recently announced Extenders for Windows Media Center.

Starz Puts More "GO" in Vongo

Vongo has certified five new portable media devices as officially compatible with the Vongo service and which it will offer customer support. These include the ARCHOS 405 and 605WiFi and the Creative ZEN, ZEN Vision: M, and ZEN Vision W. Adding these five devices to the previously certified Toshiba gigabeat S and V series family of devices - which Vongo continues to support - brings the number of Vongo compatible portable devices to seven, with multiple models and versions of each.

"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 Bob Greene, executive vice president, advanced services, Starz Entertainment. "We are listening continually to our passionate customer base. The top request voiced is the ability to watch our movies on the TV (see more below) 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 certification of new portable media devices with the Vongo Internet movie and video download service expands the way consumers can enjoy the more than 2,500 movie and video titles available on Vongo, including first-run Hollywood blockbusters, anime, concert and extreme sports videos. Taking Vongo's robust subscription movie and video library beyond the PC through portable media devices allows Vongo users to become immersed in entertainment content anywhere from the comfort of their home to the hustle and bustle of a city subway. Vongo subscribers may register up to three devices, including PCs and the aforementioned portable media players, per account as part their $9.99 monthly subscriptions.

Multitask with Work and Entertainment on your PC
Starz is providing Vongo consumers with a thoroughly more convenient way to access and watch movie and video content. The new, enhanced Vongo application allows the user to resize and pin the Vongo video player in order to watch a movie or concert while doing other tasks on the PC. Vongo now also runs faster through better PC resource utilization and offers an updated recommendation engine to further personalize the service.

Updated Personalized Recommendation Engine - Enhancements to the Vongo personal recommendation engine have made it easier for users to find a movie they will enjoy by the genre with more recommendations listed. Particularly appealing with Vongo's unlimited subscription model - encourages sampling and experimentation.

Better Device Management Screen - The updated Vongo device management screen allows users to more easily swap out old registered devices with new ones.

PC Speed and Efficiency - Vongo now uses less memory, runs more quickly, and taps less of the PC's memory and core operating resources.

New Extenders for Windows Media Center Offer More Ways To Bring Vongo To the TV
Further enhancing how Vongo can be used by customers in the near future, the availability of new Extenders for Windows Media Center platform will allow individuals to play Vongo movies and videos on their TVs. Vongo content watched in one room from a Windows Vista or Windows XP-based PC can be streamed to any room in the house utilizing Extenders for Windows Media Center, as well as the Xbox 360.

New products featuring the Extender for Windows Media Center technology will be available shortly from companies such as D-Link Corporation, Linksys, a division of Cisco Systems Inc.; D-Link Corporation, and Niveus Media Inc.

Greene continued, "Wireless connectivity is a recipe for success in bridging the gap from the PC to the TV. Since January, the Xbox 360 has ably provided a successful solution to get Vongo movies and videos to the TV. These recently announced devices illustrate new ways Extenders for Windows Media Center can wirelessly bring Vongo to the TV. With Vongo and Extenders for Windows Media Center, our subscribers are empowered with the ability to enjoy movies from their comfort of their sofas, while the movies are downloaded to the PC."