BritBox vs. Acorn TV in 2020: Which British TV Streaming Service is Better?

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BritBox vs. Acorn TV: Which British TV Streaming Service is Best for YOU?

Acorn TV vs. BritBox

Ever since BritBox joined Acorn TV on the British television scene, one of the most common questions we get is this: Which company comes out ahead in the Acorn TV vs BritBox debate?

Now, before we get into the differences, I want to be very clear about one thing. We recommend both. If your budget allows and you have time to watch programmes from both, then definitely sign up for both. There's little to no overlap in terms of what they offer, and they both have somewhere around 250 titles at any given time.

A Compromise on the Acorn TV vs. BritBox Debate

So what if you DON'T have the time or money to subscribe to both?

The second best option would be to sign up for one, keep it for a few months, then switch for a few months. In our experience, no more than 5-10% of the programming changes each month on either service, so you're not going to miss much going back and forth like that. Just keep a close eye on the “Leaving Soon” programs and you should be fine.

The only real hassle is just the fact that you have to remember to go in and cancel/re-sign up somewhat frequently. If you subscribe via Amazon, they make it particularly easy to track which subscriptions are active and when they expire. They also allow you to cancel early in any subscription period, and it remains active through the end of that period.

If you're not sure how to cancel, we created a simple guide to show you how (without the need to call on the phone or talk to any humans). Check it out HERE.

But if I MUST Choose Between Acorn & BritBox?

A lot of people just want to know: Which is better, Acorn TV or BritBox? Unfortunately, that's going to be a different answer for different people. To help you figure out which is best for YOU, let's take an in-depth look Acorn TV vs. BritBox.

Acorn TV


Acorn TV has been around a lot longer than BritBox. Even before their streaming service launched back in 2011, they'd been distributing British TV to grateful North Americans for years.

Acorn has had years to work out the bugs and improve customer experience – and believe me, there were issues in the beginning. Those days are over, though, and Acorn TV is a pretty solid product now.

Acorn TV Subscription Methods

There are a number of ways to subscribe to Acorn TV:

  • Directly, via their website (some people prefer to go direct)
  • Through Amazon Prime Video HERE (some people find it streams more smoothly for them or makes it easier to track subscriptions + the Amazon app is compatible with more smart TVs)
  • Through your local cable company, in some cases (not recommended – we hear more complaints about this option than any other)

If you're not sure how to get Acorn TV (or BritBox) on your television, we recommend picking up a cheap Roku device (like this one). Models start around $30, and they're extremely easy to use. You just connect it to your TV and internet, and you can use it to display the content from virtually any streaming service.

Acorn TV's Programming

In terms of programming, Acorn TV currently has slightly less than BritBox, at 327 offerings (as of June 2020). Not all of Acorn TV's programming is British, and an increasingly large portion of the new programming is non-British (including a fair bit of foreign language programming). Still, the majority of Acorn TV's programming is British. 

Curious about more than the shows listed below? We've gathered up some of the Best Shows on Acorn TV HERE

Popular Ongoing Series at Acorn TV:

Popular Completed/Classic Series at Acorn TV:

In recent months, we've noticed a number of titles that are also free on Prime Video or Tubi (see our list of British TV Shows on Tubi). Most of them are older titles, but we still wanted to mention that so you can be aware of it if you're on an extremely tight budget and you want to seek things out elsewhere.

You can view all shows currently on Acorn TV here. Or, check out our recommendations for the best shows on Acorn TV.



britbox logo image

In early 2017, BritBox came along to give us more wonderful British programming and complicate the lives of those who now have to make a choice between two great services. I've been using BritBox since it became available – first through my browser, and later on a Roku. Though it's a newer service, it's a join venture between the BBC and ITV – so they're not exactly new to the British TV game.

Overall, BritBox is MUCH more similar to actual British TV – and if you're an expat who can only pick one service, this is the one I'd recommend to you. In addition to the popular mysteries and dramas British TV is known for, you'll also find British soaps, quiz and panel shows, current events coverage (like some of the flower shows and Trooping the Colour), and BBC favourites like Springwatch/Autumnwatch/etc.

In the last year or so, an increasing number of titles have been getting pulled from other services and brought over to BritBox. Given that BritBox is a joint venture between the BBC and ITV, that's something a lot of us were expecting to see eventually.

If you follow one of the major British soaps (Emmerdale, EastEnders, or Coronation Street), you'll be very pleased to know that BritBox offers next-day viewing for these). BritBox is also the place to be if you're a Classic Doctor Who fan.

BritBox Subscription Methods

There are a number of ways to subscribe to BritBox:

BritBox's Programming

In terms of programming, BritBox has a total of 415 titles (compared to Acorn's 327). BritBox's programming is ALL British, though you'll find a few shows set in different locations (like Death in Paradise or Mallorca Files). 

Popular Ongoing Series at BritBox:

Popular Completed/Classic Series at BritBox:

British Soaps on BritBox

I've found far less overlap between BritBox and other services, but as with anything, that could change.

View all BritBox offerings HERE.

The Short Answer: What Should I Choose, Acorn TV or BritBox?

Woman confused about Acorn TV vs BritBox


Like we said in the beginning, it really depends on your situation, and no matter what we recommend, it's very possible your decision will boil down to one or two shows that one service has and the other doesn't. If you're into Emmerdale or EastEnders, for example, BritBox is definitely the service for you. Still, here are some general guidelines to help you decide between Acorn TV and BritBox.

Note: All stated program availability is based on what was current in June 2020. Please check the programming links I've provided above to see what's currently on offer if you're reading this much later.

You Should Get Acorn TV If…

  • If you're new to British TV and you want a great introduction to many of the most popular, current shows that are loved stateside
  • If you're a die-hard Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders, or Agatha Raisin fan
  • If the slightly lower price matters, definitely go for Acorn TV – plenty of great content here at a slightly lower price
  • If you enjoy the occasional Canadian, Australian, or European show in the mix, go with Acorn TV
  • If you're really price-sensitive, go with Acorn TV – it's roughly $1 less/month

Start a free trial of Acorn TV here.

You Should Get BritBox If…

  • If you've had Acorn TV for years and you've watched much of the programming they offer
  • If you've watched a lot of British television on Netflix/Amazon/PBS/Acorn and you want to see fresh shows that often can't even be found on Region 1 DVDs (Some shows are only released on Region 2 DVDs, meaning you have to have a region-free DVD player to play them. Learn more about that by clicking here.)
  • If you appreciate older British shows from the 70s, 80s, and 90s – BritBox has a great selection of classics like Keeping Up Appearances, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, Fawlty Towers, and Are You Being Served?
  • If you love British soaps – BritBox has next-day availability for Emmerdale, Coronation Street, and EastEnders (along with a few other shows with next-day availability)
  • If you enjoy a lot of lifestyle content like Countryfile, Coast, Autumnwatch, Robson Green's travel shows, and The Great British Countryside, BritBox has a slight edge in this area
  • If you enjoy current events like the Trooping of the Colour, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the Royal Weddings.

Start a free trial of BritBox here.

If All Else Fails…

If you still can't make up your mind, remember you can get a free trial of both Acorn TV and BritBox. If and when you decide you want to cancel one or the other, here are the instructions. It's all very easy, and you don't even have to talk to a human to do it.

Your Thoughts on the Acorn TV vs. BritBox debate?

Please feel free to add your advice and opinions in the comments. Have we overlooked any major decision-making factors? Which service have you enjoyed more?


  1. I have both and I do enjoy them, but Britbox you get half of a season and if you want to watch it you have to pay more,with Acorn TV you can watch every movie that is presented, but something they don’t have all season either,today I think people are out for more money, but some of the people that watch these programs are not rich and have little encome, but it is better than having cable! For me i like them both!

  2. I tried both and went with Britbox. It offers more television shows that I know and love. I love that you can watch Gardener’s World the next day. As for Acorn TV stuff, I find my local library has all of the Acorn TV shows I like and I can borrow them (I adore “Queens of Mystery” but not enough to pay for an entire channel) either via the Hoopla app or directly from the library.
    Between Britbox and my PBS membership, I’m quite happy.

  3. BritBox has a nasty practice. I pay a subscription, higher than Acorn but I do have both, Death in Paradise is a great example…the 9th season you have to pay them in addition to the subscription another $2.99 per episode, or $22.99 for the season. This should be included in the subscription. So I think I will be dropping Britbox which makes me sad since I do like it. Poor business practice.

  4. I have acorn thru spectrum and I don’t have some of the new shows that are advertised on acorn. Like dead still.
    A general complaint is I wish they had all shows in a series. I am one of those that likes to watch a show from beginning to end. Vera for 3xample you need both services to watch all episodes.

    • I agree. Start to finish in a series would be great!
      I hear Coronation street is great but I don’t know if I can get all the seasons

  5. Hi. I just watched Seasons 1-21 of Silent Witness (after recently catching up on Grantchester, the Tennison prequel, DCI Banks, etc.), and I’d like to graduate from Prime video. I’m interested in Inspector Morse (before continuing Endeavor), Prime Suspect and potentially Midsomer Murders. These are the shows I’m generally interested in— is Acorn vs. BritBox better for this kind of content? (I’d love to watch Silent Witness S22 on BritBox but keeping up to date isn’t my priority when there’s such a rich back-catalogue.) Apologies if redundantly asked (didn’t see this type of content mentioned above), and I’m open to any suggestions! Thanks!

  6. I had Acorn for years first through ROKU then through fire stick. In February, 2019, I gave up when began to use fire stick exclusively. It simply was not compatible. Also their billing and customer service was dreadful

  7. I subscribed to Acorn TV today for exactly 15 minutes, then I cancelled: low resolution and no subtitles. Unacceptable.

    • Did you subscribe directly through their website, or through Amazon? Either way you go, most programs do have subtitles available, so it seems likely you either didn’t have them turned on, or you found one of the very few episodes that lack them.

      In terms of resolution, a lot of that is determined by your internet provider. If you have relatively slow internet or you’re in a rural area, I strongly recommend streaming through Amazon. It can also help if you pause it a bit to let it buffer if you’re experiencing difficulties.

      Older shows also have footage that looks a lot worse – but in those cases, it’s a matter of original video quality, not the streaming service.

    • I use subtitles on Acorn all the time – British slang some accents are hard to understand! I subscribe through Amazon Prime and maybe that’s why I can easily turn them on.

      • I have tried eventing and cannot get subtitles on Agatha Christies Marple on Acorn. Is there some trick you know? There is no CC icon in the upper left corner of the screen, “Audio and Languages” on the left lower corner doesn’t allow it, and CC is turned on in all my settings.

        • Agatha Christie’s Marple is on Britbox. I am watching on the website and I see captions. If you are having issues accessing it, you’ll need to send Britbox an email so they can look into it. Make sure you include the platform you are viewing on. Good luck.

  8. I have what may seem a silly question, so please excuse it if it seems overly simple. I see all the options, add acorn to my comcast account, add it to my Prime account, and subscribe directly (which I’m curious would I go to my comcast apps menu or prime menu to watch). Is there any content difference? Also we travel and take a firestick with us; would we be able to access our subscription from that if we subscribe any way except Prime? Really want to add it just don’t know the best way. Thanks in advance!

    • If you travel with a Fire Stick, you’ll definitely want to go through Prime. We generally recommend against doing it through Comcast because we’ve heard a lot of complaints about access away from home, support, and speed to add new shows. Several people have also said they found it much more trouble to cancel when going through their cable companies (Amazon and direct Acorn subscriptions have easy online cancellation).

  9. Took time to decide as had both. Didn’t want to keep both as don’t want to bounce between two paid services quite frankly.
    In the end- BritBox won a bit easily.

  10. When I realised which of the options I watched the most I realised BritBox was easily where I always tended to venture.

  11. I called comcast (Xfinity) to sign up for Brit box and was told brit box was called Acorn TV and that they were one in the same.
    In the morning I’m getting my money refunded AND a free month of Brit box for free for myntroublesz watch

    • Hi Suzy – The Comcast employee you spoke with is misinformed. BritBox and Acorn TV are two entirely different services. I would recommend not signing up for either one through your cable company unless you have absolutely no other way to do it. It’s much easier to cancel and re-add as you please if you either go direct with them or use Amazon.

  12. Now that I’m retired since my earlier posting- I can actually watch both! My beloved Grandmother was London born so I’ve always loved anything British. I travel often and generally use London as a main base until/if I go into other parts of Europe on a particular trip. I used to watch BritBox as my favorite but frankly I love them both as Acorn does have many great offerings!

  13. I have been lied to so many times today that I have lost track. This used to be my favorite. Something happened in July. The app ceased to work with Apple. The company lied and said they just learned about it. I was told this TODAY, in NOVEMBER. The app store reviews back me up. They don’t answer their emails. NONE OF THE ONLINE NUMBERS WORK. Everything connects to Totes, who are the US company. AGAIN, NONE OF THE PHONE NUMBERS WORK. I finally got a Totes employee who told me to call 844-734-8466. You will not find this number connected to this company. Sometimes employees will lie and say it is a wrong number. Sometimes it will just not connect. Keep calling. Eventually it will work. They will say this is a recent problem that they just learned about TODAY. LIE. They will tell you you must cancel thru Apple. LIE. Something has gone very wrong at this company. RUN AWAY.

  14. Acorn was great until Britbox came along and pirated half the shows. I should say half the seasons. What is the point of that?? I don’t like Britbox for that reason. Take all the seasons or leave it alone. Idiots. I am disgusted with Prime, I think it charged me extra for Acorn and I already have an Acorn membership. I am going to research Roku. I have a smart dumb tv, but only has Prime and Netflix.

  15. I had both Britbox and Acorn. Found was watching Netflix and PBS and spending less money but mostly – I didn’t have a chance to actually watch much tv.

  16. In case you have a Smart TV and are considering subscribing to one of these two, you should know that Acorn no longer supports the Acorn app on Smart TVs, or at least on Samsung Smart TVs which is what I was using to watch it. I had to go out and buy a ROKU, which was quite annoying since I spent the extra money for a Smart TV just for this purpose. Quite frustrating. So far, I have found that the Acorn app on the ROKU is rather unstable. I frequently can’t access my Recently Watched but get an error message and occasionally, it will just stop broadcasting and bounce back to the home page. I’m not sure this is an Acorn issue, but it is annoying. All that said, I love the programming on Acorn. I had Amazon Prime for a while and quickly ran through everything that I was interested in watching. I can’t imagine doing that on Acorn.

  17. I subscribed to Acorn using an existing Amazon Prime account and was disappointed to find out that Poirot is not currently available (with either service). The same goes for Gosford Park. Another show I enjoyed was Endeavor, but the current season is only available through a PBS Masterpiece subscription. How does that one compare with these two?

    • Sorry to hear that – we do our best to keep lists updated from time to time, but services are constantly changing their offerings. PBS Masterpiece is a solid service, but they definitely don’t have nearly as many titles as Acorn or BritBox. That said, the number of titles isn’t that important if the shows you want to watch aren’t there.

      Personally, I’d recommend using Amazon for your subscriptions and rotating every couple of months. They have a subscription management page that makes it very easy to cancel without talking to a person or wasting a ton of time. We wrote a guide here:

      Hope that helps, and happy watching!

    • Later seasons –7+ of Poirot are on Acorn. Earlier seasons are on Britbox. I hate that. Same with Shetland. I want Britbox to go out of business and Acorn can have the full line up like they used to .

  18. All I want is to be able to watch Doctor Who from the beginning to current day, in order, whenever I want. That’s my goal. Sounds like Britbox is my choice, but the article said “classic” as though it wouldn’t show the newest effort after the classics are finished being shown. Does anyone have any other information that i’m missing? I’d appreciate it being shared if you do. Thanks a bunch.
    P.S. I DO have Amazon Prime, but haven’t had a chance to do much with it lately.

    • You’re correct in assuming “classic” means just the old ones. To watch both old and new, you’d need BritBox + Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime has been getting the new ones, and BritBox has the old. We still haven’t seen any info on where the very newest series will appear, though (the Jodie Whittaker ones).

  19. I signed up for Britbox 2 months ago and really got hooked on Our Girl. I am very disappointed to find out that Seasons 3 and 4 are out, but not offered by Britbox. These seasons are being offered on another high priced streaming Channel, Show Time or something. It was my understanding that Britbox was an answer for seeing the BBC / ITV Channels outside of the UK. That’s really too bad.

    • @Tom Guyse–if that show is on Showtime (not sayin got is)
      You can sign up for Showtime for into period for free — have to give credit card and cancel at end of trial period but your card won’t be charged if you cancel timely…
      You can do it via Amazon site or online via the Showtime NOW app/platform–not via your cable service probably

  20. I find BritBox to be terrible. Too many old shows that I have no interest in watching, and the new shows they add I can watch elsewhere, like Acorn, Amazon or Netflix.

  21. We have old TV’s. No flat screens. we have a Wii and get Netflix with that. We also have cable TV, and internet. Would like to get Britbox and maybe Acorn. Maybe cancel netflix. If we buy a Roku 2, can we run it through our wii to the old tv to get Britbox?

    • Roku has several models…I bought my sister one with the old-fashioned cable AUX hookup cables as well as the HDMI port connection…she has older flatscreen and I think the HDMI port runs to hot…she has lost two Roku wifi sticks–the Express type–within a year because they just “burn out” is our best guess…
      You CAN access Roku to a tv using AUX cables–the red, yellow, white older technology–IF your flatscreen/tv has those ports on back–
      Not as easy to access and you have to make sure you connect the right cables or your input signals will be scrambled and not transferred to the screen….’
      My sister has had hers for about a week now and says hooking up to the AUX ports went fine…hoping this one will last longer…I have had Roku stick (not used as often as hers probably) that has lasted couple of years–very happy…

  22. Acorn was a waste of money, albeit a modest amount. It showed lots of possibility, most of which I could not access for some reason. Cancelled after having it for a year and watching virtually nothin

    • I’m sorry to hear that. Did you try contacting their support or switching over to the Amazon offering of Acorn TV? Many people who have had trouble with the direct Acorn subscription find Amazon suits them better.

  23. Acorn stopped working on my Apple TV. Acorn has The Heart guy, and we got hooked. Now Acorn is dead in the water.

    • You might try the Amazon version – I have relatives for whom it works much better (and the Amazon channel gets fixed a LOT faster when there are issues).

  24. Hi , so I have Acorn and have run into the not available in Canada problem. Ie Vera season 8. Does Britbox have Canadian blocking on any of their shows. Very infuriating considering Canada is steeped in British traditions etc etc.

    • There are some shows that are not on the Canadian service, but unlike Acorn they don’t show up when you’re browsing either. For example, EastEnders is not available on the Canadian service.

  25. So I have a question for all of you who are currently using BritBox. I currently am using Acorn via my Roku streaming stick. I signed up for it with my iPhone and bill through iTunes. I can’t get the iPhone or iPad apps to work. It opens then immediately disappears. I’ve got an email into them about that. When I went to research BritBox and read the reviews in iTunes, the number of people who have had app issues is off the chart. Every review (as a general rule) says Great Content, App is horrible. If I only saw one or two with this statement, I’d be okay with it, but when 95% of 200 reviews say it, there’s a problem. I was getting my U.K. TV through a U.K. VPN and going to the iplayer or others but the beeb and ITV have gotten wise to that and won’t allow VPN connections any longer. I don’t want to give up my U.K. programming and also don’t want to subscribe to a service that has a great content library that’s unable to be seen due to a buggy and ineffective app. So, BritBox subscribers, what say you? I have Roku, FireStick, and Android TV on each of my flat screens. I don’t have an Amazon Prime Account, though. Do you at this time recommend going with BritBox? I may rid myself of Acorn if they can’t make their apps work as well. Thanks for your time.

    • I use Roku but use an android tablet app to help me navigate the tv screen. No problem with that. Sounds like android is better. Maybe get a cheap tablet?

  26. I have both Acorn and Britbox. I love Acorn for the Australian series they also run but hate it for the “not available in Canada” that appears frequently and makes me feel like I’m being ripped off. I just signed up for Britbox and am binge-watching like a maniac. Love all the British Gardening shows! Nobody does murder mysteries better than the Brits!

  27. I have both Brit Box and Acorn, and Netflix and Amazon Prime (and the Firestick). My main complaint about BritBox is that many shows, like Holby City and Casualty, are only available briefly, then you can’t watch the earlier shows, even ones you have seen before. This may be a licensing issue, not sure. Otherwise, to me they offer different shows. I especially enjoy the Australian and New Zealand shows on Acorn.

    • I was unhappy with Britbox because Silent Witness starts with series 20. Luckily, I found it on Amazon Prime and have started watching series 1. So far, series 1 through 20 are free with Amazon Prime and it is a great show.

  28. Do either have the new series of Vera or Death in Paradise? How about call the Midwife or Endeavor?

  29. I just got the Acorn trial and I really like it. Shows that are not being updated on Netflix I can access on Acorn TV (Murdoch, Detectorists, etc.) My only issue with it is that it has some MAJOR glitches when watching on Samsung smart TV. Their reply was that these were known issues and to buy something like a Roku. That’s not a good customer service answer. Either fix it or don’t offer it, OR let people know on your site that if you use Samsung to access you are going to have problems.

    I have Amazon Prime, so the TV thing is not a deal breaker, but if you are only going to watch this on a Samsung smart TV be sure to do the trial and see if it is to glitchy to use.

    • We just bought a Samsung Smart tv and added a ROKU Express so that we could watch Britbox….we love Samsung tv for the sharp picture but use only our ROKU to navigate thru channels. We’ve added several free channels to the ROKU and are super happy!

  30. I like Acorn’s programming, but what drives me crazy is that if I stop watching something and come back to it later, I have to start from the beginning. I watch it on either Apple TV or my Smart TV Acorn app. Is Roku different as far as holding the place where you stop watching and then want to pick up again? Thanks

    • I think you’re seeing their new format which is really bad. It wasn’t like that previously. It was so simple before.

      • Agreed! I’ve subscribed to Acorn for many years now, and this is by far the worst it’s ever been. The most recent version before this change was easily one of my favorite channel interfaces anywhere – simple and efficient and a total delight to use.

  31. I singed up for the trial of britbox wanting to watch the original Upstairs Downstairs and the first thing I see is that it is not available after Feb 6. What’s up with that??

  32. We have Acorn and britbox. We love the content on both (with BritBox having a significant advantage here) but HATE the user interface on BritBox. We use Roku for streaming and the great strength of RoKu is that many of the channels use a common toolkit so the streeming sites have a common appearance and behaviour. NetFlix and Acorn (amoung other channels we watch) look and behave alike.

    The BritBox experience is painful. Its one thing not to be able to find the last episode watched of a multi-year series, it another not to be able to read the text descriptions of whats on offer. Just replaced a TV with a UHD set thinking that issue would be resolved, but all it did was make it harder to read the print.

    BritBox has the win when it comes to content, but if the user interace ruins the experience.

    • Now acorn has changed user interface and I think it’s worse. A lot of the same problems as Britbox. You probably have seen that already but I’m so disappointed in them I have to keep publicizing it. I wish I didn’t prefer the content over US content.

  33. I wish BritBox would discount an annual subscription like Acorn. I like them both for the same reason as most of reviewers above have noted.

  34. Does anyone know why New Tricks isn’t on Acorn or BritBox? The show has been on for years, but it’s never shown. I’ve found it on Xfinity but I have to pay for each episode.

  35. If you feel that the price of Acorn or Britbox is a problem but have a Roku device, I would encourage you to check out Tubi TV. It is a free service but you have to put up with commercials. Thus far I haven’t found that to be a problem. They have a fair selection of British, Australian, and other international titles, as well as OLD episodes of classics like Dragnet.
    I have had Acorn for several years and have never had a problem with it streaming. The synchronization of dialogue and subtitles is a minor problem at times, but otherwise excellent service from Acorn. I haven’t tried Britbox yet and don’t have Netflix.

  36. I just signed on to britbox and am able to compare the two services, but with the warning that I abandoned acorn years ago so the comparison might not be fair.
    But I’m happy to report that at least the britbox captions remain synchronized when you backwind & restore.

    The other salient difference sees to be that britbox has a far grreater collection of the older mysteries like Morse, Last Detective and Miss Marple. The last features the incomparable Joan Hickson exclusively which is a HUGE advantage over acorn which shows only the newer and VASTLY inferior series. The new series with Geraldine McEwan is an abomination. Not only is McEwan totally miscast but the episodes deviate grossly from Dame Agatha Christie’s books. For example, McEwan insinuates herself into “Endless Night” whereas the book is not even a Miss Marple mystery.

    As for the newer UK shows, I haven’t seen anything comparable to the above-listed. The absolute depths of depravity is represented in” Dark Mirror” which is unspeakably vulgar and should not be shown at all.

    But the greatest of all, “Midsomer Murders”, is not included in britbox. What a tour de force! To see these I recommend Netflix just for the duration of seeing the first 60 episodes or so, then canceling. The later episodes are unfortunately a great big dud compared to the earlier. The new (John) Barnaby is a most unsatisfactory replacement for Tom and the plots almost entirely lack the phenomenal ingenuity and characterizations displayed by the former.

  37. I dropped acorn after many a frustration with its crummy interface, the worst being lack of synchronization between spoken and captions. Why can’t everone have an A-OK interface like Netflix? How is britbox in that regard?

    A propos which – what percentage of britbox shows are closed-captioned?

    • I don’t have as much issues with the CC since I replaced an old roku with an Express. So far, anyhow.
      Haven’t run into any Britbox shows w/o CC yet. Don’t like the new Netflix interface at all.

  38. did anyone ever help Ellen Mc Carroll? I am interested in getting britbox but don’t want to go to a hassell. I have acorn now and love it but want to see more british tv.

    • I have it and Acorn too. I prefer acorn but partly because of Britbox lousy site navigation. See my previous post re that.

  39. I have both. For the most part,I watch older series on Britbox,and newer series on Acorn. Also, I like Acorn for selections from Australia,New Zealand and Europe. I use an older Netbook with an HDMI connection direct to my TV.

  40. I have both Acorn and BritBox and am happy with both. However, I signed up with BritBox through Roku and instead of $6.99/month, I’m charged $7.27. I’ve asked why, but Roku has not responded.

    • At the moment, neither one offers any kind of profile or different watcher accounts. Then again, each platform has around 200-250 titles in total at any given time, and the genres don’t vary as wildly as you might see with Netflix or Hulu. It’s not like your child would be watching cartoons and messing up your recommendations or flooding your watchlist 🙂

    • Reply to earlier post–even if they don’t offer separate viewer profiles, you can still have more than one person signon to the account and just access the same programs.

  41. I have to use closed captioning when watching British TV or I can’t understand the dialogue. I signed up for a 7 day free trial of BritBox so I could watch the Vera series. There were captions, but they were for some other episode. I can’t find any way to contact them to let them know.

    • Hi Pam – I agree, some accents (particularly northern ones) are harder to understand than others. You’ll get better over time, though! If you need to contact BritBox, this is the contact information from their website: Send an email to or please call customer service Monday – Sunday, 24 hours a day at 1-888-636-7662.

      • I have been trying to sign up for Britbox for almost a week. The customer service is crazy making. I have been told there is no technical help on the weekend and rep couldn’t help me as they only do billing at this number???? Yesterday I got a very helpful customer rep who located a supervisor and came back with the message that there was some kind of computer glitch and the supervisor would get back to me later in day. No phone call!! Called again today and asked for a Supervisor and was told there are no Supervisors at this number. When I informed her I had been assisted by Supervisor yesterday rep said she’d look into it and I was disconnected. Next call I clearly said what I needed and the rep responded with “how can I help you today” I was so frustrated I could have screamed! Then a woman comes on and says she is a Supervisor, why should I believe her I ask when I was told by rep no supervisors there. Supervisor looked in system and was possibly the one who was supposed to call back yesterday, her answer to my problem is they don’t know why my enrollment has not been completed and no time frame on when they will know. Really, I did ask if they wanted to do buisness with people because based on their customer service it would appear they did not. When I said forget it I will go with Acorn the Supervisor sounded only too happy to get rid of me. When I asked for a number to call to relay my frustrations the answer was “we are in Philadelphia and they are in New York and we instant message, I have no telephone numbers to give you.” Who is running this show? I feel like I am out in the Twilight Zone when I get such conflicting information from these reps. At this point in time I am still no closer to being able to get Britbox. I went to their site, put my enrollment information in including my card every indication was I was good to go. I chose a show and pressed to play and I went straight back to the enrollment page. This has been since Friday night and actually FIVE customer service reps and ONE possibly TWO Supervisors.
        This is really awful, my feeling from the reps is they could care less, well at least two of them and I was left with that feeling at the end of my conversation with the Supervisor this morning. I do not know if this is just my unique and unfortunate experience but this is what happened to me. The website is not helpful at all as far as getting anything resolved.

        • You’re not alone. Not the smartest helpers there. Also, the site navigation on Britbox stinks. I have to use my tablet with the tv to either set up or delete programming. The print is so small I can’t read it. I have Acorn also which tends to have more episodes of the same series and better navigation.

          • Well, I have to take back my statement about Acorns site navigation. They just revamped it and it’s terrible. It was so simple and it seems like they released the new one before it was right. Can’t keep track of recently watched which makes it impossible with multiple series. Small text, and they seem to be copyng Netflix and Britbox which is not very user friendly now. At some point I will cancel until they fixed it, which is what they keep telling me they are.

        • You’re American, right? The expression is “I couldn’t care less”, not “I could care less”. Ponder the logic. Think about it.

          • Vivien, you are absolutely correct in one line of thought. But Americans are famous for sarcasm. Therefore, in another manor saying, “I could care less”, dripping with heavy sarcasm would also suffice. Just stepping back to get the “big picture”. 🙂

    • That’s very odd Suzanne – I see it as available when I look. Did you try the link in the post? It should go directly to the subscription page. Are you in the United States?

  42. Both. I have both. They aren’t expensive, there is not a lot of overlap, and both have great selections.

  43. I just bought a Roku a couple of days ago. After hooking it up I joined Acorn TV but cancelled a few minutes later because the content seemed limited to me. I immediately signed up for BritBox and am quite satisfied. I also have Amazon Prime as well as Netflix, both of which I enjoy.

  44. I got rid of cable quite a while ago and bought a Roku..I have both Acorn and Britbox which I absolutely love and also I subscribe to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, so I can watch regular tv programs when I want, though I tend to watch Acorn and Britbox the most..

      • Amy, besides just getting a nice Channel Master 8 Bay antenna and picking up a crazy amount of channels (83 in Atlanta area from a 20 mile away suburb) which allows every major network, METV, Grit, and at least 20 other specialty channels, you could get a Fire TV Recast box (500GB or 1TB) that without a monthly payment allows you to record and playback tons of shows from your live antenna! The other famous (infamous) brand of DVR forces a lease monthly/yearly or the box shuts down. The Fire TV Recast however, also allows recording Amazon streams as well as through the air live TV! Those will probably go on sale for black Friday or holidays upcoming. I do not work for nor receive any money from Amazon but I love my Recast!
        If you want Britbox, Acorn TV and Netflix, you must have an internet provider. Most areas only have one, (sigh), but you can sometimes, if you have a mobile tower nearby, get broadband fast internet from a phone provider! I have been at a customer’s house where his AT&T internet was only able to provide about 10Mbps down (too far from the SLICK), and could get 80Mbps through t-mobile. Watch to see which options are best for you. Also a new Internet service is about to be available to everyone from low Earth orbiting satellites (ten times closer than DirecTV satellite). There will be thousands of them launched and supposedly Internet costs should plummet to crazy low prices. They are testing them now. The first launches began just months ago.

  45. In reading all of the information about the different subscriptions offered for TV viewing that I have read over the past few months I still have no clue as to the devices needed for viewing. What exactly are Roku, Firestick, Apple TV, etc? I mean what does the device actually look like? How does it attach to my TV? I do not have a smart TV. My sets are flat screens on the den and bedroom walls. I have a feeling they need to attach in some way to the back of the set. If true, it ain’t happening in my house. ?

    • Cut the cord 4 months ago. Bought a Roku 2 on sale at Best buy. It took about 4 minutes to attach to my not smart TV. Simple connections from cable or router to TV HDMI input. A click and you are done. Netflix, Amazon prime and either acorn or britbox are all you need. Monthly bill went from 148 to 84. Give it a try! No commercials if you so chose. Good luck!

      • Wish we could cut the cord, but at this point our local tv channel does not live stream. We want the ability to access local channels.

        • If you’re talking about the basic network channels, get an antenna for your tv. That way you don’t have to pay to watch local channels. Then you can make the jump, buy a streaming device, and stream while still having access to your local channels.
          Just from antenna in Southern California, I have CBS, the CW, NBC, ABC, Fox, more local affiliate channels, a ton of PBS channels, Ion, and plenty more. The only thing you need to have for the streaming device is WiFi, and then pay for whatever subscriptions you want.

    • You have to have an HDMI port in back of your tv. There is an L shaped connection for the cord that might work against the wall. But you will have to undo tv to connect the cord. I have all rokusp which are nothing more then a small box with a remote. You don’t have to have a smart tv only a flat screen.
      Lots of different programming on a roku. I have an over the air antenna and a roku. Cut off satellite and the $$ it costs. With a roku you can subscribe to slingtv and get most popular cable shows for a fraction of the price.

  46. I just subscribed to Acorn & have watched all of A Place to Call Home & am now watching The Heart both shows, no commercials is a plus. Can’t wait to check out more programming. I also subscribe to Netflix but changing over to Acorn is a change I enjoy.

  47. I’ve had Acorn since it’s streaming onset. I really do recommend the Australian and Canadian additions to the choice. I also enjoy some of the Scandinavian choice too. One of the problems with those however is: You make get hooked on Series 1 and never see another follow-up series.

    I will try Britbox but I’m also hoping the competition will fix some of the Acorn issues, including the very annoying ‘one episode a week’ control (for new series) that they and many other of these smaller streaming sites have.

    • I have both Acorn and Britbox, but I find that with Britbox that sometimes you can see a current series (like Silent Witness) but cannot go back to the first season. With Silent Witness, I was able to find all 20 seasons on Amazon Prime. I am now on Season 1 and looking to a long time ahead watching the other 19 series.

  48. I have had Acorn for a long time and I like it… I also like britbox and find the programming a bit different. I also liked that I could watch The Queens Birthday Parade and the Trooping of the Color live from London on britbox.. I live in Nevada USA so had to jiggle the times but it was great. I am from Liverpool originally so love keeping in touch with the UK so bottom line is get both!

  49. I would very definitely get both if BritBox were available on Amazon Fire TV. I currently have Acorn, PBS Masterpiece and Netflix. I do not want to have to buy Apple TV, Roku or the like to view Britbox. I’ve seen way more British TV than the average American so would love to expand with BritBox, but will wait. I am hoping they negotiate a deal with Amazon Streaming. Britbox’s business would expand enormously.

  50. I have both and love the content of both. I only watch British programs, so this is a total win for me. I started with ACORN and added BritBox when it became available, stateside. I’m never disappointed with either.

  51. I had Acorn about 2 years ago and it was so glitchy I cancelled. I so wish Brit Box
    was available on the Fire Stick.

    • Acorn has definitely gotten better – and the Acorn TV streaming experience through Amazon Channels seems even faster. If you have Amazon Prime, I’d definitely recommend giving Acorn on Amazon a try with their free trial (assuming that’s not where you tried it before).

    • To the person who had ACORN and had to cancel… I went through that as well…it just wouldnt stream… now I have ACORN through Amazon and it works great! I have Netflix, Acorn , Amazon Prime and Britbox… but I can always drop one for awhile if I want to.. Ive never dropped Netflix in all the years Ive had it… Id probably do something like going back and forth between Acorn and Britbox if I do anything. I have seen so many of the British shows over the last few years that sometimes its hard to find things ot ny taste but , usually, I can. I had Hulu but gave it up…just didnt suit me and I objected to having to pay more NOT to put up with commercials… Im older and retired so I have more sites than perhaps I should… Still, as te admin said, I can go back and forth.. For instance… I will pick up STARZ through Amazon when Outlander comes back… and will “juggle” things for that time frame. I enjoyed DCI Banks too.. and Id love to see ALL CREATURES come back on either Netflix, or Acorn or Britbox… its older so Im not sure its available. Another series Id love to see is the Dalgleish series with Roy Marsden.

    • Have you tried a ROKU to stream BritBox? Just get the HDMI plug in for ROKU from Target for about $30 and plug it in,following set up,just as you did for the Fire Stick. Your post here is old and you’ve probably done this but it might help someone else. We LOVE. Britbox and they have really worked the bugs out!

      • Hi! I have both Acorn & BritBox through Roku and I love Acorn’s new interface. Check out Hulu too, they have DCI Banks, White Chapel, Silk and a very funny series called Stella.

    • It is. We have Amazon Fire TV sticks and Just ask for Britbox the install choice popped on the screen. We are in a trial right now. Just got a 90% usage warning! Does Britbox have bandwidth limits per month??

  52. I have Acorn, Britbox and Netflix. So I am all set. I have had Netflix for many years. I got a Roku about 4 months ago and got Acorn and Britbox at the same time. Love all 3. I was a long time fan of EastEnders years ago when PBS showed it. Now I can see it again. I have also discovered Emmerdale. Love it too. I love Vera that used to ne shown on PBS. Hopeing one will pick up. DCI Banks.

      • Acorn on Amazon only has 2 seasons of Vera. To see season 3 it says I should sign up for Britbox. Is this just an Amazon thing? I found this very annoying that they got me hooked and then I couldn’t finish the series without paying for an additional subscription.

        • I totally agree. Cancelled Britbox when they got me hooked and then wanted me to pay for additional seasons of Waking the Dead. Frustrating…

          • Hi Kirsten – BritBox never makes you pay for any shows. However, if you’re subscribed through Amazon and Amazon offers another season but BritBox doesn’t, it will look like BritBox is asking you to pay. In reality, they just don’t have that season available. Hope that helps!

      • Well, where I am, in California, Acorn does not offer Season 8 or Vera. I subscribe to Acorn directly, not through Amazon. I am only able to see Vera Season 8 on Britbox.

    • My mom and I were in the UK in March and saw Inspector Lynley, but we didn’t get to see the conclusion! Do any of these modalities have that program?

      • BritBox has Inspector Lynley, but I don’t think they have all the episodes available. There does not seem to be a lot of episodes available, but I don’t know how many were made.

  53. I currently have both. Neither is very expensive. I do hope Britbox will make improvements on its user interface. It is, as you say, clunky.

  54. I had Acorn for over a year, but checked out Britbox for the free 7 day trial, and they offered so much more, I switched. It is worth the $2 difference. I will miss a couple of the shows from Acorn, but in the long run, I like Brit.

    • I’m going to drop Netflix and still both of them cheaper netflux is 14.09 but acorn needs to update cause it’s not 4.99 I pay 5.99 but the app on iPhone wanted 6.99 what’s up with all that diffident pricing

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