Starz Expands Online Movie Options

Starz has launched Vongo, a new movie download service. What makes Vongo unique is the $9.95 all-you-can-eat subscription plan. PC downloads require a custom app that work in conjunction with Microsoft’s DRM. In addition to desktop or laptop viewing, transfers to MS mobile devices running Portable Media Center v2 are currently supported. Starz intends to expand service to Sony’s Connect download service in the near future. Their stated intention is to also offer video downloads to the iPod, but that strikes me as unlikely.

Starz originally began offering movie downloads via RealOne over a year ago. I briefly gave the service a try, but was dissapointed with an unpredictable selection of mostly older films. If the new service offers current, mainstream content, both the pricing and timing could be right to make some waves.

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2005 Reviewed, 2006 Previewed

2005 Review 2005 was the year we collectively dipped our toes into the portable media pool. Sure, there were many product introductions, price drops, and business mergers across the board but a mobile revolution was brewing. On the hardware side, Apple’s video-capable iPod obviously grabbed most of the headlines. I wasn’t overly impressed with the … Read more

TiVo Takes On Fear Factor

TiVo continues to blur the lines between advertising and content (see Navy Football, CNET Reviews) with today’s debut of a new video feature called “TiVo Takes On…” The first Showcase is a 10 minute behind-the-scenes look of NBC’s Fear Factor. TiVo employee Shanan Carney, of TiVo Newsletter and video advertisement fame, does a nice job hosting the entertaining featurette (assuming you’re into Fear Factor). Based on the audio and video quality, though, I’m guessing either production was handled in-house or they need to work on their video compression. Trivia: Joe Rogan owns three TiVo units.

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XM Goes HD

I’m no audiophile, so this announcement doesn’t do much for me. However, those of you who enjoy fully immersive music are in for a treat. Beginning in March, XM subscriptions will include two “XM HD Surround” stations and special hi-def programming. Obviously, you’ll need some new hardware to handle the 5.1 audio… but why let … Read more

Dave’s Deal Of The Day

OK so I don’t have “deals of the day” on my site, but every now and then I do come across a bargain on some sort of gadget which needs to be shared. Walmart has been selling the Garmin i2 under $200 this holiday season and they’re back in stock today. CNET and Amazon reviewers … Read more

TiVo’s Wireless Adapter Arrives

TiVo’s custom wireless G USB adapter has arrived. As previously reported the adapter is compatible with Series 2 models and off-loads some of the network processing, by utilizing a “full MAC chipset,” resulting in improved throughput over, say, my Netgear WG111. The sexy little adapter retails for $49.99 direct from TiVo or less via Amazon. I’ll post photos with a TiVoToGo and Multi-Room Viewing (MRV) performance comparison as soon as mine arrives.

More visual goodness after the jump…

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DirecTV Goes Mobile

DirecTV is joining TiVo and Dish as a competitor in the portable media market. Next week they’ll be announcing a new partnership, possibly with a hardware vendor and NBC, as part of this mobile content initiative. No word yet regarding which DTV models, current or yet-to-come, and portable devices will be covered. There’s strength in … Read more

ReplayTV Moves To PC

ReplayTV is leaving the hardware business once all 5500 models have been sold. Additionally, D&M Holdings has ported ReplayTV software to the PC platform which will begin shipping next year bundled with Hauppauge tuner cards. ReplayTV intends to become solely a software and services company as first disclosed last summer with their intentions in the … Read more