While I'm on the early adopter thing (see below), I just want to mention Vongo. Vongo is Starz' downloadable movie offering that, all in all, is pretty good. But let me provide some background.

About two years ago I found that I was paying about $70 a month for DirectTV and only watching a couple of shows on Fox News Channel. It seemed pretty silly paying that kind of money just to watch thirty minutes of Special Report every night. So I dropped the service and started looking for alternatives on the web.

It turned out that I could watch clips of Fox News on their site and get pretty close to the same amount of content as before. But I also discovered MovieLink, a really great movie download service with a reasonably good inventory and prices not unlike going to BlockBuster. So for the next couple of years I used MovieLink.

Recently, however, I discovered Vongo. Not unlike MovieLink in content, Vongo is different in one distinct way - it is a subscription service. As before I was paying an average of $3.50 per movie rental, with Vongo I pay about $10 a month for unlimited use. Sad to say, I probably watch four or five movies a week, so I'm saving a small bundle.

The downside of Vongo is that their file sizes are smaller than MovieLink, so the video quality is a bit worse. On the plus side, however, the files upload faster, so movies start almost immediately. All in all, it is a good trade off and I have pretty much abandoned MovieLink.

The criticism I have of both sites is that their inventory is light. Vongo claims they will ultimately have a thousand movies available for download. That seems like a lot, but considering that probably 70% are pretty much standard Hollywood trash, it doesn't amount to much for someone with my movie consumption habits. So I'm waiting for the day when Vongo and other subscription movie services cut enough deals with the studios so the Longtail becomes a reality.



11:02 PM

I wish I had time to watch movies. I've missed them ever since I had kids. Between work, family, household chores and exercise, there is no time, maybe when I retire (at 75), that will free up some hours, but for now, forget it ...


12:24 PM

Dear Deprived -

One of the few advantages of depriving oneself the pleasures of a family, I suppose.