Boxee just announced a new firmware update to its Boxee Box that adds new features to its user interface and video playback, as well as support for more languages. (Click through for a complete list of new features.) But the update also brings on board some new content, including movie trailers, new apps from Wealth TV and SnagFilms and — due to an improvement in HTML5 video playback on the device — access to HBO content. (s TWX)
The Boxee Box update brings independent cable network shows from programmer Wealth TV on board, boosting the availability of premium content on the box. While it has struggled to gain distribution through traditional operators, Wealth TV recently launched plans to take its programming direct to consumers with the launch of over-the-top video apps on connected device platforms. That initiative started on Roku, but it appears Wealth TV is keen to add new platforms for its $2.99 a month online video app.
In addition, indie documentary site SnagFilms has also added a channel to the Boxee Box, expanding its distribution online. Launched in 2008, SnagFilms is devoted to promoting and displaying ad-supported, full-length documentaries. It has a library of more than 2,000 films for streaming, which should keep Boxee users that are fans of non-fiction films.
While not a direct relationship, Boxee announced that an update to its browser will provide better support for HTML5 playback. Among other things, that opens the door for streaming content from HBO’s on-demand TV Everywhere site, HBO Go. Boxee users that also have cable subscriptions and pay for HBO will be able to log in and have access to every episode of every original HBO show, as well as a number of new movies. But HBO Go isn’t the only HTML5-optimized site the Boxee browser can now access: According to Boxee VP of Marketing Andrew Kippen, sites with video like TNT, The New York Times (s nyt), YouTube (s goog), Netflix (s nflx) and MeeGenius are all also now accessible through the updated browser.
Finally, Boxee Box version 1.1 also sports a new movie trailer library, enabling viewers to check out previews of new or upcoming films they might want to see from the comfort of their living rooms.