Boxee CEO Avner Ronen has been waiting months for Netflix to allow his company to make the hugely popular movie streaming service available on the Boxee Box. This week, more than three months after the much-anticipated device was released with promises that Netflix and Hulu eventually would be part of its ecosystem, the service finally is officially supported on the $199 set-top box in the United States and Canada.
"Netflix support was the most common request we had on our blog comments, forum posts, tweets, etc.," Ronen wrote in a blog. "We heard you loud and clear. We were bummed that we could not make it happen earlier, but are very excited to have it out today."
Boxee has been struggling to meet Netflix's security requirements for months, frustrating some users who bought the box with promises of a quick add, and putting it in a precarious position as a device with access to less content than it needed to be seen as a serious contender in the push to bring web content to the TV.
The new update, however, will give it some breathing room as it continues to negotiate with Hulu to potentially add the Hulu Plus premium service to its offerings.
Boxee said it planned to update software on the box automatically to the new version (188.8.131.5243) quickly, but users can manually check for the update by going to Settings>System>Update.
Netflix on the Boxee Box rolled out simultaneously in the U.S. and Canada with a brand new Netflix UI. There also are more discovery options featuring unique Netflix recommendations and many of the movies are available in HD.
Check out all the updates to the firmware here.
"I've been a Netflix member for years now, and anxiously waiting for the day when I could use it at home on my Boxee Box," said Ronen.
Unlike any other set-top device, the Boxee Box has support for a full web browser, full HD streaming from the Internet, support for all popular media file formats, and integrated social networking which delivers personal recommendations straight to the TV. It also supports movie on-demand service Vudu. Netflix currently has more than 20 million members.
The Boxee Box features an SD card slot, two USB ports, optical digital audio, HDMI output, 802.11n wireless, and an Ethernet port for connectivity flexibility. With a double-sided remote featuring a built-in QWERTY keyboard and simple browsing interface, consumers can kick back and watch virtually anything. Beyond traditional content, consumers can easily discover new videos from friends on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, which are pushed directly to their TV.
- see the Boxee blog
- see this release
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