Netflix Finally Arrives on the Boxee Box

Can you hear that? That’s the sound of relief coming from Boxee’s offices in New York, as the startup is finally able to add a Netflix (s NFLX) app to its Boxee Box today. Owners of the device can access the app by manually initiating a firmware update, and Boxee will also begin automatic updates later this week.

The UI of the new Netflix app is the same as the one recently rolled out on Google TV (s GOOG) as well as Sony’s PlayStation3, (s SNE) and it includes the ability to search and browse the entire Netflix catalog. Netflix titles won’t initially be integrated into the Boxee movie library.

The rollout of the app comes after multiple missed deadlines for Boxee. The company had originally promised to offer access to Netflix by the end of last year, and then by the end of January. These delays have been a major point of contention with early adopters of the device.

The firmware necessary to access Netflix comes with a new security model that makes it impossible to run third-party apps on the device if those apps aren’t signed with an API key released by the company. Some users have voiced concerns that this may lead to many apps disappearing from the platform, but Boxee CEO Avner Ronen said via Twitter last week that the app signing process is progressing “without any hiccups,” and that “most developers already signed their apps.”

Boxee was already able to secure a major boost to its content library in January when it added a Vudu app to the device (s wmt). It is also supposed to get access to Hulu Plus as well as content from CBS, (s CBS) but the specific timing of these additions is unknown.

Related GigaOM Pro Content (subscription required):

  • Why Boxee Must Evolve or Die
  • Apple’s Path to the Living Room
  • The Future of TV Can Bet on “Apps Everywhere”