BritBox vs. BritBox on Amazon

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As much as I love my BritBox subscription, it seems like there are a few things where they’ve really dropped the ball since their launch earlier this year. A lot of people have had technical difficulties and billing problems. The interface is a bit wonky and it doesn’t make it easy to get back to the next show in a series you’re watching. Some people have had trouble finding shows.

Tip: This page lists everything on BritBox if you have the patience to keep hitting “See More” at the bottom.

All of that’s forgivable of a new service, and it does seem like they’ve been working hard to work the bugs out. Unfortunately, there’s one pretty major issue I feel the need to warn people about. A week or two ago, we announced that BritBox had finally released an Amazon channel where you can subscribe to their service through Amazon and watch on your Fire Stick or Fire TV. This was (and still is) a great thing for those who’ve had trouble signing up on another device.

The only problem? The Amazon subscription is $6.99, just like the direct BritBox.com subscription – but it’s missing tons of content. For example, if you wanted to watch Cracker on BritBox on Amazon, you’d find 1 episode randomly missing from Series 3, and Series 4 isn’t there, either (Thanks for the heads up, Eileen V!). Those episodes ARE available on the main BritBox.com subscription.  I’ve heard from several people now about missing episodes or seasons, which is really disappointing since we had such high hopes for the Amazon alternative.

Cracker doesn’t look pleased

This would all be fine if they included that information on the Amazon sales page, or if they offered a lower subscription rate for the inferior subscription. As of today, that’s not the case. While we do think the Amazon BritBox channel is a good thing, and we do think it will improve over time, we don’t recommend it for everyone just yet. There’s a lot of content there, for sure, but it’s just not as good as the direct subscription. So – who should get it?

  • Those who have a Fire Stick or Fire TV and can’t get the Roku app
  • Those who have had technical troubles signing up with BritBox directly
  • Those who just prefer Amazon’s billing and interface so much that they aren’t bothered by a few missing episodes here and there

If you CAN get BritBox directly from BritBox, that’s definitely the better option right now. We’ll keep an eye on the situation and let everyone know if that changes. We still love BritBox and we have faith they’ll remedy the situation soon, but we also want to make everyone aware of the potential drawbacks before they spend their hard-earned money.

Where to Get BritBox?

Remember, these are two totally separate subscriptions. If you sign up on their website, you won’t be able to watch through Amazon. If you sign up on Amazon, you won’t be able to watch on their website (though you CAN add the Amazon channel to your Roku and watch it on Roku that way with the Amazon subscription). If you sign up for both, you’ll get two bills. I just wanted to make that extra clear since I know we have a lot of people here who didn’t grow up with technology, and it can all get a little overwhelming sometimes!

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17 Comments

  1. Traci Eldridge

    I will be staying with Britbox directly..I also have Acorn, and ROKU.. I enjoy British TV much more than U.S. produced programs… and find that what I cannot find via one system I find via the other… for less than $30 per month I watch what and when I want..

  2. Jack

    If you subscribe to BritBox directly, but also have Amazon Prime (which I watch through Roku), can you access BritBox content both through the BritBox app and the Amazon app (both on the Roku)? Just curious if it works that way. I am was about to subscribe to BritBox through Amazon but now I think I’ll do it directly through BritBox

  3. Maria

    Hi Jack,

    I have Roku and Amazon Prime. I just signed up with Britbox directly after almost signing up through Amazon. I found it easier to just use the Amazon app and Britbox app separately through Roku. The price for the subscription is the same either way. I was worried that there might be difficulties trying to play Britbox through the Amazon app. Hope this helps!

  4. Lisa

    Another problem with Britbox, at least through Amazon, is that there is so little closed captioning. I often have trouble understanding accents so miss so much during these programs, though I do love them!

    I did purchase through Amazon Prime, so maybe that is the problem. Regardless, I must cancel for now. But will happily try again in a few months or so.

    1. I Heart British TV

      I’ve found the CC to be a bit spotty on both (I’ve subscribed to both for testing purposes). I’ve gotten pretty good at understanding the accents over the years, but I still prefer the CC, especially for older shows filmed in the north. The combination of lower quality audio + thicker accents can be pretty brutal. I definitely understand the frustration. Often, I find that the DVD sets have captions on things the streaming services don’t – so that’s always one option if there’s something you really want to see.

  5. Nan

    I have AmazonPrime & just finished the free trial britbox using firestik, but could only watch recent episodes of Eastenders. I want to watch older ones in the series, too, but although the episode will display, I cannot access it. Will I have the same problem accessing episodes if I subscribe directly to britbox?

    1. Amy

      I would like the answer to this too! Also, why on series that have 20 or 30 seasons, do these services only offer 1 or 2 seasons?? I would like to watch from the beginning. Ex EastEnders, Heartbeat, Coronation Street, Miss Marple, Casualty etc

  6. Randi

    My issue is that I have not signed up for Britbox. I have Acorn TV through Amazon Prime. When using my Amazon Video app on the phone I get all the Britbox listings as well as Amazon Prime and Acorn. I do not want to wade through Britbox listings to find a video to watch. Also the show I wanted to watch last night although it said it was available to Prime or Acorn subscribers, when I selected it I was asked to subscribe to Britbox. I hate this! This might be a deal breaker for me for Amazon Prime.

  7. lecatpuke

    britbox thru amazon is a great deal. billing is a lot easier, and those who do subscribe thru amazon would be more inclined to keep the subscription. we wanted to watch inspector morse, and prime suspect. prime suspect is NOT yet available thru amazon. i had to get a separate subscription, so instead of 6.99, it is 13.98/mo. not worth it, so i cancelled both. britbox needs to understand that they would get a LOT more subscriptions if their entire service was available thru amazon.

  8. Ohmo

    Thanks for this information. It explains why I can’t find Young Hyacinth on my Britbox channel on Amazon. Hopefully after Britbox has it for awhile, they’ll release it to Amazon Channels. I maintain the Britbox and Acorn channels for my elderly mother, who hates to watch TV on a screen that’s not a TV. The Britbox channel is the only way I can make this happen in our area. Plus, Amazon is just easier to deal with. I can drive Acorn and Britbox from one interface. Mom will have to make do with what Britbox offers through Amazon.

  9. KC

    your comment that “The interface is a bit wonky” is too kind. The user interface is a POS at best. Compared to easy to use RoKu channels like NetFlix and Acorn, there are a number of key failings: too much on one screen, fonts are too small, continue watching is totally useless, there is no way to find the next episode of season/series that you are watching, no recently watched, does not use streaming platform option functions well (can’t turn on captions for those of us who don’t speak Scotish), episode naming convention missing entirely, did i mention the fonts are too Small…

    They need to adopt the interface tools of the platform they are hosted on, whether RoKu, Apple, or what ever…of simply copy their successful competitors such as NetFlix and put us out of our misery

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