Boxee Box Firmware Update Adds 1080p Vudu Movie Streaming

The Boxee Box is still missing one major piece: Netflix. But that's better than missing two major pieces. Most of the streaming set-top box competition provides access to both Netflix and Vudu, and the latest Boxee Box firmwaer now provides access to the latter. Vudu is yet another movie rental service, but it differs from most by offering higher quality streams. Up to 1080p, in fact. If you've been enjoying your Boxee Box, but have been hoping for a bit more content, the newest update is sure to please.

If you've been really on top of these updates, you'll notice that Boxee actually pushed out and then pulled back an update last week. The company took some time to iron out a few issues, and now it's back and better than ever. Vudu will only be available to those in the U.S., bringing a large selection of on-demand, new release movie rentals. The HDX (1080p) format is supported, which brings Dolby 5.1 audio as well.

Vudu is offering each new user $5.99 for signing up, which is enough to rent a single HDX film. As for Netflix? Boxee's team is still on track to release that update later this month.

Firmware Update is out, VUDU on the Boxee Box Rox Our Sox
by avner ronen

We have released a new version of the Boxee Box firmware. Your Box will update automatically within the next 24hrs or you can manually check for the update by going to Settings>System>Update (this is the update we tried to get out last week, but had to pullback after we received initial critical bug reports). Our apologies to those who had issues with the previous version and thank you for your patience (and that of your significant other).

As always there are many bug fixes and in this case lots of work on the Boxee Browser, but the big news in this release is VUDU (VUDU is available only in the US).


VUDU on the Boxee Box means: access to the largest selection of HD movies on-demand, new releases (same day as DVD), thousands of movies available for rental at $2 for 2 nights (in standard definition). We are psyched.

The VUDU HDX format on the Boxee Box is a match made in geek heaven! (that normal people will appreciate, too). Video is 1080p HD at 24 fps.  Sound is Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround. It takes advantage of some crafty engineering from VUDU dubbed TruFilm™ which optimizes the encoding, transmission and display of HDX movies on 40-inch HDTVs and larger screens. It’s kind of hard to believe this stuff is coming over your Internet connection.

Invite some friends over. Rent an HDX movie. You are guaranteed to gain new respect for your geekness and  pass the crucial WAF test.

VUDU is offering every new user who signs up on the Boxee Box a $5.99 credit towards a first rental/purchase. Take advantage of it!

We’ve heard from many of you about Netflix as well – we are still on track for a release later this month.  We will post another update next week on the subject.

If you’ve gotten this far in the post, we’d appreciate a quick vote for the Boxee Box as the best new device for the Crunchies this year – it’s us vs. the iPad, the iPhone 4, the Kinect, the Kno, and the Google Chrome Notebook – so you know, we’re going up against some strong odds, but it’s never stopped us before : )
Boxee Box

Here are the firmware upgrades included in today’s release:


    * Settings to control de-interlacing and video filters configuration
    * Support for language selection in subtitle/audio
    * Forced subtitle automatic selection during MKV file playback
    * An option to ignore the prefix in the sort order for movies/albums/artists which start with ‘The’ and ‘A’ (big one!)
    * Enhancements to Browser performance
    * Browser opens in lower resolution to allow easier reading of text
    * Browser is zoomed into Video by default for non auto full screen websites
    * Direct launch of website when defining full URL in the search bar
    * Preselecting the current chapter when opening chapter selector for MKV/BluRay

Bug Fixes:

    * HTTPS support for the browser
    * 4:3 Videos Stretched to 16:9
    * MKV Chapter Time is Displayed Incorrectly
    * Audio dropouts in DTS-HD audio
    * Improved WTV support
    * 3gp playback errors
    * Improve BluRay titles loading time
    * Allow larger subtitles time offsets
    * Audio re-buffering when entering commercials in TV episodes.
    * Viewing “Info Menu” while watching 24hz videos cause temp reversion back 60hz
    * With playlist over 999 items, track numbers overlap repeat icon in OSD
    * TV Shows no longer show as watched and can’t set to watched/unwatched
    * Crash at manual resolve if the user rapidly presses the menu/back button whilst the OS tries to apply details to files in a folder
    * When choosing from search suggestion list -> update the search editbox
    * Embedded fonts ignored on MKV playback with embedded SSA/ASS subtitles
    * SSA/ASS Subtitles position and font
    * Overlapping text when network settings changed
    * Empty state for App Favorites appearing for empty third-party repository
    * Crashing while resolving metadata for movies from UPNP
    * Listview mode is not preserved when returning from an artist selection
    * In certain cases video freezes when selecting play after pausing
    * Playing a video and after several times of pausing and skipping the video freezes and audio continues
    * Boxee remembers wrong PGS subtitle track in MKV file after leaving and then resuming playback
    * All subtitles (PGS) appears as ‘unknown’ for some BluRay titles
    * Crash when attempting to identify media via UPNP
    * Some .mkv and .m4v files with 2.35:1 AR are playing back vertically stretched to 1.78:1
    * Hang and video freezes or black screen when Pause Resume and or seeking FF/RWD during playback
    * Hang on WMV Stream Seeking
    * Crashed on shutdown and restarted automatically
    * Scrolling in Files Browse list results in partial control of Files menu and also crash
    * SMB credentials are not saved on reboot
    * When deleting an item from the watch later list the focus location of the last item is not remembered
    * Music tracks which are longer than an hour appears as “01:00:…” on the OSD
    * Rear channels on AAC 5.1 are not played properly w/ LPCM 5.1 out
    * Prompting user for credentials that are not used in accessing shares
    * Can’t access network share due to Window Live on Windows 7
    * large flash videos stop playback when reaching Boxee file system limit
    * Reconnecting to disconnected shares disables selection in the Movies database view
    * Subtitles is disabled in the playback OSD for local content
    * No video only audio while playing certain m4v files
    * Flash video audio drops out for long length online videos
    * Disconnects from OSX SMB sources
    * Occasional loss of focus on main menu
    * Unidentified files in File Source with “Movies” in path name are being identified as a title called ”Movies”
    * Crashed on shutdown and restarted automatically
    * Scrolling in Files Browse list results in partial control of Files menu and also crash

Tags:  Boxee, Vudu, Boxee box