Boxee Box Firmware Update Released … And Then Pulled

by Damian on January 10, 2011 · 1 comment

in News

Well, it looks like the folks at Boxee are already making a splash in 2011, just not in the manner in which I am sure they hoped. There has been a lot of talk about the upcoming firmware release for the Boxee Box (called SP3). Boxee had made several promises over Twitter and via their blog that the firmware update would be released by the end of the week. As Sunday moved along (and at the time I went to bed around 9PM EST) there was no sign of a release which led to a lot of grumblings from current Boxee Box owners about broken promises. Boxee did keep their word and released the firmware update right before midnight. However, as quickly as the firmware appeared within a few hours it was pulled. Reading through the AVSForum thread it appears the latest firmware update actually broke more then it fixed. Also, one item that was originally promised with this firmware was Vudu, yet once again it has been delayed. Some of the more significant issues I am reading about include web videos not working, DTS-MA audio dropouts (this is a known bug yet the release notes for the firmware update notes it as fixed???), and increased buffering when playing back local content (once again, a known bug that was fixed for many previously but has now regressed).

My concern with Boxee (as I mentioned briefly at the end of my post here) is that the Boxee Team may be taking on more then they can handle, especially since there are still significant bugs present in their software. At some point their approach of over promising and under delivering is going to hurt their credibility in the eyes of current and potential consumers, if it hasn’t already. It is great to see the amount of enthusiasm the Boxee team has over their product and their willingness to communicate with their user base. With CES now over this may be a good time for them to drop all the marketing nonsense and focus solely on getting their software where it needs to be. Unfortunately, if you are a current Boxee Box owner (as I am) or a potential owner understand that for the foreseeable future you will be a beta tester. I still have until the end of the month to decide whether or not to keep the Boxee Box, as in its current form there is very little value in it over the other players currently in my setup.

For anyone interested, below are the release notes for SP3.


  • 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”

Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for you can find me over at my blog at or follow me on twitter

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