Expect a mass focus on portable video at CES this week, as Microsoft and Sony team up to support a new service from Starz Entertainment Group.
Starz will launch an Internet movie download service today with support from those two firms, Reuters reports. The service will be called Vongo and will offer a rotating schedule of feature films for PCs and portable media devices for a monthly $9.99 fee.
The company can offer approximately 40 per cent of Hollywood movies because of its existing relationships with partners that include Walt Disney.
The news follows Apple's huge success with video downloads through iTunes. Apple has become the de facto standards-setter for digital music, but its rivals still hope to stake a claim in other digital media-based markets, such as video.
The service uses Microsoft digital rights management technology and will be mentioned by that company's chairman Bill Gates during his keynote speech at CES this week.
The service will also feature in future as part of Sony's Connect service.
Such services may face hurdles emerging outside the US because of differing legal agreements internationally to ensure artists, writers and actors involved in movies are compensated for such use of their work.