Our Team Blog

Boxee Box Grows Into a Size 1.1

**UPDATE** MAY 18 - Boxee version 1.1.1.19092 is now available and rolling out starting today (May 18) through the weekend. This version contains volume control as a setting, and fixes to the way we were processing sound.

So it might only be a few decimal points difference from the current 1.0.4 release, but this version of the Boxee Box by D-Link has quite a few new things under the hood. We’ll be rolling this version out over the next few days to all Boxee Boxes, but if you can’t wait you can find instructions on manually updating your Boxee Box on our forums.

Here’s what we’ve got for you in our fifth update to the Boxee Box:

1) Browser Upgrades

Favorites (Bookmarks) & History - Now you can easily get back to pages you’ve just viewed or ones you visit most often.

Browser with Top Bar

Browser - Favorites

Browser - History

New On Screen Display (no auto-full screen*) - We’ve cleaned up the web playback OSD to let you see more of what’s going on in the background and to include access to a few more options down below.

Full Metal Jacket - Boxee Web Playback OSD

HTML 5 To The Max - We’ve improved our support for HTML 5 so you’ll now be able to access more content, like HBOGO.

HBO Go

2) Movie Trailers - What better way to keep up with the latest movie releases than by watching movie trailers on your TV until your heart’s content.

Movie Trailers

3) On Screen Display Loses Some Weight - We’ve revamped the OSD and included an awesome new seek bar for precise rewinding/fast forwarding, slimmed down the button count, and made it easier to see what’s going on behind the scenes. We’ve also removed the volume control for a more consistent experience.*

OSD v1.1

4) Customized Artwork / Info for Media Files - Why let Boxee pick movie art and descriptions when you can have your own? Import video into Boxee and add your own artwork and metadata to accompany it with NFO files. Works like a charm on home movies.

5) Local File Playback - We now have support HFS formatted drives, seek functionality inside music playback, and you can filter local files by source.

6) Share Where You Want - now you can specify whether you want to share that ColdSteel video to Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr with a helpful character counter built-in.

Share Pop-Up

7) MLB.TV Upgrades - This new version has enabled a lot of updates to the MLB.TV app so now you’ll be able to watch live and archived games, jump to specific innings or game events, see pop-up details on every pitch, and have a much easier time rewinding and fast-forwarding in games.

8) More Languages - The Boxee Box is on sale in 34 countries. While “Boxee” translates well into all of them, the rest of the words on screen are a bit off. Now users can enjoy Boxee in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Hebrew, Danish, Dutch, Turkish, Russian, Arabic, Portugese (Brazil), Czech, Norwegian, Finnish, Polish.

Language Support

9) New Content - we threw in some extra content just for good measure.

Wealth TV Logo

A team of acclaimed producers create fresh programs on private jets and exotic first-class travel as well as intellectual discussion on money and philanthropy, all in HD.

SnagFilms Logo

Committed to finding the world‘s most compelling documentaries, whether from established heavyweights or first-time filmmakers to make them available to the wide audience these titles deserve. SnagFilms serves up full-length documentary films for free.

Conclusion

We hope you like all the changes (full release notes here), and we always love to hear your feedback on Facebook, Twitter, and on our forums.

You may have noticed the * next to the volume and auto full-screen features above. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing internally and have decided to create a more consistent experience by removing features that work inconsistently. While it might not instantly be apparent, over the next few versions we will streamline the interface so that everything works the same, no matter whether you’re in an HTML 5 app, a normal web page, playing a movie file, or watching video from inside an application.

**UPDATE - We have heard from enough passionate users about the volume control functionality that we will be bringing it back via settings in the next update. We will continue to search for an elegant solution that works across content sources as well.

**2ND UPDATE - If your sound isn’t being processed properly in the new version - we have fixed the issue and it will be part of a new version rolling out to users this week (that also includes the volume control update above).

May 11, 2011 at 8:59 am

Boxee Coming to the UK

It’s official!

We’re throwing our very first international event in London on June 7th. Sign up to join us here!

Register for Boxee UK Launch Party in London, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

Since launching the Boxee Box last November, we’ve seen a lot of growth in the UK and with lots of great broadcast content appearing online through services like BBC, SeeSaw, LoveFilm, BlinkBox, and others it’s a market that’s ripe for our type of TV. We can’t wait to visit with our London users, demo a few new partners, and raffle off some Boxee Boxes… and hopefully enjoy a good pint.

Since we’re new to London we’re asking people for 5 quid for the RSVP to better gauge head count. In addition to getting you in, that 5′er gets you:

  • a special edition Boxee T-Shirt created just for the London event
  • a Boxee sticker
  • a free drink

In addition to the upcoming event, we’d also like to announce that Wil Stephens has officially joined the Boxee team. Wil shall be heading up our business development and marketing efforts in Europe, and has already been making the rounds at events like MIPTV to help bring more European content onto the platform. His expertise in digital media from running Cube (a company he founded) made him a logical fit as we look to become the dominant software provider for set top boxes in Europe . We’ll also be hiring a few more positions in the London office so follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see an alert when those job posts go up.

Avner, Wil, Rob and I will all be at the event so you’ll have a chance to catch up with quite a few members of team Boxee whether you’re an app developer, content provider, user, or journalist.

May 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

Refer a friend’s resume, win a Boxee Box

Refer A Friend

April 5, 2011 at 8:46 am

It’s Time For The Opening Pitch…

It’s opening day for Major League Baseball fans around the globe and on Boxee.

Passionate fans have been anxiously watching pre-season games in anticipation of today. Now that Opening Day is here, fans can watch every out-of-market regular season game LIVE or on-demand in HD quality on Boxee’s MLB.TV app*. Sign up now for either MLB.TV Premium at $119.99 a year and $24.99 a month, or MLB.TV at $99.99 and $19.99. For fans on the fence about purchasing a subscription, you can access a free game of the day with your MLB.com account through the month of April to help knock it out of the park.

If you haven’t seen a game on MLB.TV, you owe it to yourself to see how good live streaming events can look. MLB.TV has done an amazing job of not only delivering great picture and sound for live games, but they’ve added enough extras to make any techie drool.

Chewbacca Baseball

To start watching your favorite teams go at it, sign up for an account with MLB.com, and then pair your MLB.com account with Boxee.

To everyone who’s lucky enough to be attending a game today, have a hot dog for us. We’ll be cheering from our desk chairs : )

- Team Boxee

* HD quality subject to availability. Blackout and other restrictions apply and are subject to change. Visit MLB.TV for more details

March 31, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Boxee Road Trip - Part 2 + Boxee RV Kegger

So we had arrived in Atlanta, anxious to see how the night’s meetup (and BBQ) would turn out.

Boxee Atlanta Meetup

We arrived at the new Engauge offices at 5:30. Little did we know that the team there (Thorin, Tomer, and many more) had set up Atlanta to be our most successful meetup and some delicious Golden Maple Food BBQ. Over 150 people showed up to hear Andrew and Avner talk Boxee, answer questions, and develop plans with Tatum and Yuval for upcoming apps and Boxee Box projects. We gave away T-Shirts and a Boxee Box to everyone who competed in our stupid human tricks project - the winner @curiousjohn managed to pull some Cirque de Soleil type moves with our own Idan Cohen. John had us all sign the box, and he’s selling it to raise money for DonorsChoose.org and an upcoming trip West.

Atlanta_Meetup

A big thanks to Engauge and our food / beer sponsors Anteo for helping us throw a killer meetup… we could not have done it without you.

On The Road to Louisiana

Invigorated by the wonderful BBQ at the Engauge party, we traveled to Greenville, AL in search of more. We arrived at a 12′ x 8′ BBQ stand in the parking lot of a gas station. A few slices of brisket, beans, ribs, and pork sandwiches later this had become one of our favorite stops along the way.

Real Pit BBQ

We drove through Southern Alabama and became enamored with the Gulf Coast landscape. We decided to stop in Gulfport, MS to drink it in… We drove along Highway 90, took in the beach, the sunset, the ocean, and then stopped to shoot things at the Gun Ho shooting range.

Relieved of 1300 miles of stress, we set back out on the road for New Orleans. I’d forgotten how different New Orleans feels from any place else in the US. Colorful and intricate, New Orleans welcomed us with open arms quieted from Mardi Gras just 2 days before. Stands still marked the parade route that escorted us to our meetup at Twist. A little chicer than the dive bars and rock and roll clubs we’re used to, Twist proved a great venue for our meetup. We had a chance to chat with users, do a walkthrough of the Boxee Box software, answer questions and giveaway a Boxee Box after our first ever trivia contest. A big thanks to Jeffrey K. for helping us organize this event and we hope you got the Boxee Box we left for you.

The next morning we set out early to enjoy a swamp specialty - Air Boat rides. Avner, Idan, Tatum, and Andrew had a boat with two Brits and Cap’n Monkey (he’s been on the Bayou since he was 7). We saw lots of gators out since the sun was shining. We even had the chance to play with a baby gator that Cap’n had stashed away to show a group of kids later that day. He explained to us the gator would be docile until he warmed up a bit so Avner said, “let us handle him first then and then you can give him to the Brits.” : )

Tatum & Idan On The Air Boat

After the airboat tour we continued our adventure into manifest destiny, all while coding and emailing via our Verizon MiFi in the SUV. We rolled into Perjean’s for some delicious Cajun food for late lunch, hit up Target for blankets and pillows since our RV didn’t come with any (don’t ask and don’t rent from American Dream Vacations), and tried our hand at picking up an iPad 2 at Best Buy (they were sold out).

With all these pit stops we arrived in Austin on Friday night at about midnight. We picked up the RV in the middle of the night, drove to our favorite Austinites Henric and Melissa’s house, and then ventured into downtown Austin for some amazing Korean Taco Truck action at Coreanos. We highly recommend the Three Wise Fries.

SxSW

Saturday we continued last year’s morning ritual of breakfast & coffee at Jo’s, then focused on working from the RV and planning for Sunday’s Boxee party. That night we headed into town and got dinner at Lambert’s BBQ - an Austin favorite - and then headed to the Foursquare party where we proceeded to own the dance floor with @baratunde, @elspethjane, and many other friends for 2-3 hours. Highlight of the night? Avner walking onto the dance floor with white sunglasses and his hoodie on… We didn’t know quite how we were going to top off the dancing and we weren’t ready to go home so we cabbed to the RV, grabbed as many fireworks as we could carry, and then set off for a spot near the river.

It took us about 10 minutes to set all the fireworks up - mortars, bottle rockets, saturn batteries, and more… probably at least 100 total. We picked our escape route, distributed poison pills, lit punks, and proceeded into fits of joyful adolescence as splashes of color popped across the midnight Austin sky. We ducked, dispersed, and disappeared quickly only to realize that no one had come after us. We walked slowly back to the RV, the merry firework misfits that we were and slept like rocks.

Boxee Kegger

The next morning we had port-potties, tables and chairs all at the ready in Henric’s backyard (he continues to invite us back each year!). The first Boxee fans arrived at 1pm on the dot and more kept coming. Ready at about 1:45, around a 100 lbs of sausage and brisket from John Mueller disappeared in about 25 minutes. Fortunately our kegs of Shiner Bock and Sonos boomboxes held strong throughout the afternoon. All in all we had about 300-400 people come out to our South Austin backyard BBQ, a 30% increase from last year (even when we were farther away from the convention center). It was a great chance to connect with users in a relaxed atmosphere and wonderful people who showed up.

John Mueller BBQ!

The highlight of the afternoon was our contest to giveaway a Boxee Box. Andrew once again orchestrated a heated battle of Stupid Human Tricks. People popped ears, twisted tongues, and stretched skin to win. Chris L. from TMZ wooed the crowd with a magic trick, Tom D. created an image of a man washing his backside in a spoon, but the ultimate winner leapt into first place by clearing a 6ft picnic table lengthwise with a running jump. If you’ve got photos of the event - please share them in the comments! Thanks to everyone who showed up and we’re looking forward to keeping in touch.

The next day we caught an early morning flight to NYC to get back to the cold and start recovering from the BBQ addiction we were beginning to develop. Thanks Richmond, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Austin for a great trip. We can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Oh, and just because I can… here’s this again:

Let Avner live in your driveway!

March 17, 2011 at 11:53 am

Boxee Road Trip - Days 1 & 2- The Richmond & Road Report

The #BoxeeRoadTrip has begun!

I spoke with Avner on Sunday and went over the plan. We had Boxee Boxes to give away. We had T-Shirts. Stickers are arriving Saturday. Hotel reservations had been made. The playlist had been made. And we had a stunning Minivan waiting for us at Hertz. “Do we really have to drive a loser cruiser?”, Avner asked. I did my best to sell him while agreeing with him in the back of my mind.

Day 1 (NYC - Richmond)

We finagled a SUV instead of a minivan and left New York at about 11:30. By 11:52 Idan had crawled into the back and gone to sleep. Avner played DJ and navigator - “just keep how you’re going,” he was happy to tell me. Tatum answered emails and looked longingly out the window. Andrew drove and wore a big belt buckle since he claimed “we’re headed south. it’s good to blend in.”

Our first dilemma was lunch. In addition to meeting users, we were really hoping to explore the local food scene. A Yelp search for nearby 4+ star restaurants later we were 8 miles off the highway for Vietnamese at Pho Nhu Vo. We realized we might have been led astray when one comment mentioned, “‘I’m giving it four stars because it’s in Delaware. Near a spot on Route 40 where the road expands to SIX eastbound lanes (including turning),” but we decided to press on. Fortunately the pho and bun bowls hit the spot.

Next up? Coffee. We searched and found Grape & Bean that served Stumptown, Blue Bottle, and Counter Culture coffee. We got off Whoot 95 South and cut into Alexandria, VA to enjoy our afternoon coffee and tea. After driving over an hour from Vietnamese, Grape & Bean was closed. At 4pm. On a monday. WTF? We stumbled around Old Town (see picture below) and traded coffee for dessert at La Madeleine.

Idan & Andrew Road Trippin'

We hurried through Alexandria traffic, passing the NSA, Quantico, and all the other famous places you hear about in spy movies to finally make it to the Capital Ale House in Richmond. $2 cheeseburgers, a great beer list, and our own private room - could not have asked for more. Met with Brad, Frank, Johhny, Pam, and many others to talk about where Boxee has come from and where we’re headed. We also heard a Bill Murray “they’ll never believe you” story where he tackled a kid in a hotel hallway. I’d love to have the people at the meetup comment about what their favorite part was.

Day 2 (Richmond - Atlanta)

We set off Tuesday morning in search of coffee. We headed to Rostov’s coffee, touted to be the best in town. Once there Andrew perused their massive selection of teas and chatted with one of the shopkeepers in French while Avner talked politics and healthcare with the owner. We left for the pastry shop they recommended called Jean Jacques which we walked in and immediately out of. New York has spoiled us with fresh pastries.

We landed our first major road trip bingo win when Tatum got a speeding ticket in Brodnax Virginia. Thankfully Idan had no problem blatantly photographing the whole affair (complete with Milano cookies). We tried to make the blog photo more dramatic by asking the officer to pose while frisking Tatum with his hands on the hood… there must be drug mules along this route and we think our driver must be one of them. Unfortunately he wasn’t willing to comply with our requests so we took down his badge number and name to take it up with the judge.


Tatum's Police Encounter

With the first ticket behind us we hit the road with reckless abandon headed for Greensboro North Carolina’s Stamey’s BBQ - had some delicious vinegar based BBQ pork, cole slaw, and hush puppies. Andrew says he’s still partial to Texas BBQ, but we think it’s more nostalgia than anything else. Salt Lick outside Austin will help us judge. From Stamey’s we made our way towards Atlanta, but on the way we passed by something magnificent… a fabled Muffler Man.

The first figure was a Paul Bunyan, done for the PB Cafe on Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona in about 1962. Most of the statues were derivatives of that mold — fill in the beard in the mold, or add a new chest for Indians, etc. This was created by a fellow named Bob Prewitt, who owned Prewitt Fiberglass. Bob was a cowboy, and his real love was rodeos. He had a bunch of cowboys working for him between contests. You can read more about muffler men above, but needless to say we had to turn around and take some photos.

Muffler Man 2

We knew the excitement of a quasi-Muffler Man sighting was going to be hard to top. Little did we know the Shelton Fireworks Warehouse would be there to blast our excitement into a childlike frenzy. It’s one thing to buy fireworks when you’re a teen and you’ve got to be selective. It’s a wholly different experience when you’ve got some disposable income, a big SUV, and a whole lot of country around you to light them off. It was like Toys R’ Us for adult boys. $200 worth of fireworks later our car is set to explode like a Robert Rodriguez movie if we get into an accident.

With all this gunpowder in the back we decided it was best to pull into the next truck stop and do some donuts. Andrew had tried unsuccessfully to get some donuts going on flat concrete earlier in the trip, but this time we had some gravel to work with. Idan balleted our Yukon around the parking lot of a truck rest stop like a drift racer. As the natives started to make their way over to determine what the hell was going on, we shot out of the parking lot on an adrenaline high… ready for wherever the road would take us.

After one more coffee stop, we made it to Atlanta.

We’re currently working from Octane coffee shop in Atlanta where we’ve had the first great coffee since leaving NYC. We’ll report back in tomorrow after tonight’s Atlanta meetup… 280 RSVPs and counting

March 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Netflix Update

We’re in a bit of an awkward spot at the moment.

The Netflix app is up and running on Boxee (we watched the intro to Full Metal Jacket earlier today), but we have not yet satisfied Netflix’s security requirements. We anticipate availability soon. It’s terrible to be so close to releasing and yet still be waiting on one thing to fall into place.

There’s not a day that goes by without dozens of emails, comments, tweets, asking about Netflix. We all want it. We hear you in every medium (even audience cries at the Crunchies) that you tell us you want it and we’re doing everything we know to do to make this happen as quickly as possible

February 1, 2011 at 12:05 am

New Firmware Update, Hot off the Presses

UPDATE: We had an issue with TVs that were set to 1080i. We fixed the issue and testing with our Early Access users. Hope to post it back up soon.

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 latest Boxee Box firmware update has many bug fixes and in this case lots of work on the Boxee Browser. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at CES to ask questions, make suggestions, sing praises, and generally give us energy on the show floor for 9 hours a day.

The change list is below, but we do have one frustrating bit to share with you that while we’ve been demoing VUDU without a hitch this week at the show, there’s still a few issues the technical team is trying to get to the bottom of. We’ll push the app out to you as soon as it’s ready and send out an email so you know the moment it goes live.

Enhancements:

  • 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”
January 9, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Watch Boxee. Get Fit with the Gymbox.

The Gymbox App for Boxee launches today and it’s a bittersweet day. For three and a half years many of us have been able to use the “I have to work” excuse with co-workers, friends, girlfriends, spouses, and ourselves. We traded dead-lifts, push-ups, treadmills, and pool laps in favor of keyboard finger crunches, chair balancing, and quick hustles to the bathroom.* Well, the Gymbox has taken that excuse away from us.

GymBox-WorkoutSelection

I’m a martial arts guy, I’m not doing Pilates with a bunch of spandexed 40 year olds. I fired up the App, and I saw the Pilates section and thought, hah!, I’m off the hook. I scrolled a bit further and saw the Yoga section… then the Kickboxing section… then the … then … There literally was something for everyone – from beginner to advanced.

When I went back a few days later, all the categories were there, but there were new videos. How could this be? Not only are they offering workouts for any type of person, but you get new workouts each week so that it stays interesting. Personal trainers be damned. Granted the app is geared toward Boxee’s elite female users, but men who feel too self-conscious to work out in front of the TV (you really shouldn’t), consider this one more thing to help sell the Boxee Box to your spouse or girlfriend.

GymBox-Live Workout

*NB - aside from being codemonkeys, Boxee employees are marathoners, triathletes, and martial artists. Or at least we try to be in the spare time that startup life presents us.

December 23, 2010 at 9:27 am

MUBI & Boxee Premiere REVOLUCIÓN Worldwide This Weekend

This weekend only, November 20 - 21, MUBI, the on demand movie service for independent, international and classic films, will stream the film festival hit Revolución to Boxee users around the globe for free.

One of the rare films to play at the Berlin, Cannes, and New York Film festivals, Revolución was made in honor of the 100th anniversary of Mexican revolution. The project was masterminded by the ten hottest young Mexican directors, from the established (art house master Carlos Reygadas) to the buzzed about and up-and-coming (Amat Escalante and Gerardo Naranjo), to international superstar Gael García Bernal, who shares directorial credit with his Y tu mamá también co-star, Diego Luna.

Nov. 20th also coincides with the film’s simultaneous release in theaters and on DVD, and the online premiere represents the impressive ability of MUBI to deliver an exciting new film to fans worldwide, exclusively and for free, all at once . We’re honored to be able to share this visionary film and innovative release with our users around the globe thanks to MUBI (look for it in the featured section this weekend).

The Mexican revolution began one hundred years ago with the overthrow of the country’s dictatorial President Porfirio Díaz. In Revolución, ten directors look back sat the violent upheaval that was to bring dramatic changes to the country. Enjoy the rich cinematography, impressive storytelling, and cultural reflections on their own heritage of these young visionaries this weekend for free on MUBI.

November 19, 2010 at 10:08 pm