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Starz Unveils New Web Movie Download Service

Alan Breznick

Starz Entertainment Group is joining the portable video parade. But it won't be marching with Apple's new video iPod, the early leader of that parade. Starz, which launched a movie download subscription service for broadband subscribers more than a year ago, is now rolling out a broader subscription service that enables high-speed data users to transfer films from their computers to portable video players and TV sets. Known as Vongo, the new subscription service will offer more than 1,000 movie and other video content, as well as a live, streaming Starz TV channel, for $9.99 a month. That marks a big improvement over the current Starz Ticket service, which offers about 300 movies for $12.95 a month. The new Vongo service will rely on from either Microsoft Windows Media or new Sony Connect to carry out the downloads to compatible computers, portable media players and TV sets. But it won't enable consumers to transfer content to the video iPod, the trailblazer in the portable video market, because Starz hasn't been able to work out a deal with Apple. As a result, Vongo may be a slow-go unless the Microsoft-powered and Sony-powered portable video players take off like iPods have.

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