BritBox and Acorn TV are two of the major TV channels in the UK presently. With these TV channels, you can have access to the best British television shows ever made. Now, having both channels might come as expensive and unnecessary to you.
Deciding which one to go for between the two streaming services can be hard, but don’t worry, we can help. This tutorial explains the key difference between BritBox Vs Acorn TV and tells you which streaming service is better for you.
BritBox Vs Acorn TV: General Overview
BritBox is a joint venture between ITV and the BBC and is known as the home of British entertainment, providing more complete box sets of old and new shows to customers than any other streaming service on the market. The streaming service has already gained over one million subscribers in the US and has a steadily growing userbase in the UK which has already reached 500,000 people.
Meanwhile, Acorn TV is a targeted service aimed at bringing new shows from around the world to fans of detectives, police dramas and thrillers.
Acorn TV reached its one million subscriber milestone back in 2019, which is equally impressive for its more niche, highly targeted content.
BritBox Vs Acorn TV: Prices And Free Trials
Here, we take a look at both streaming services’ variation in paid subscription and free trials
An Acorn TV subscription costs $5.99 / £4.99. The annual subscription for $59.99 / £49.99. This saves you the equivalent of two months’ monthly subscription. Its free trial period lasts for just seven days in the US, but UK viewers get a 30-day period to try the service without paying a penny.
On the other hand, a BritBox monthly subscription costs $6.99 / £5.99. An annual subscription option available for $69.99 / £59.99. There is a difference here too, that’s 12 months’ access for the price of ten.
The free trial lasts for seven days, regardless of which region you’re watching in.
Note: UK readers can get six months’ worth of BritBox access for free as long as they’re a BT broadband customer, or if they pay for their mobiles with EE. Head to BT.com or EE.co.uk for all the details.
Generally, both BritBox and Acorn TV are priced very similarly to other competitors. By the above details, Acorn TV wins as the cheaper service, with one dollar difference between the two.
Background And History
BritBox is a joint venture between the top two networks in the UK i.e., BBC and ITV. BritBox launched in March 2017, just three months after the two networks announced the project. They provide a viable alternative to Sky TV.
Acorn TV is much older, having launched in 2013. RLJ Entertainment Inc. owns and manages the service. Interestingly, one of RLJ’s subsidiaries (Acorn Media Group) has been responsible for distributing UK content in the United States since the mid-1990s. It means the developers behind Acorn TV have a solid understanding of what American audiences enjoy watching.
BritBox Vs Acorn TV: Content Quality
Let’s take a look at the quality of the services and contents that they provide:
Acorn TV Quality
For Acorn TV, they don’t only specialize in UK shows. They also feature programs from Ireland, Canada, Australia, Spain, and New Zealand. The company has rights to some of the largest producers in those countries, including ITV, Channel 4, BBC Worldwide, All3Media, DRG, ZDF, and Content Media Corp.
Their contents are majorly categorized into six divisions namely mysteries, dramas, comedies, documentaries, feature films, and foreign-language shows
Some of the most famous shows from recent years are available, including Doc Martin, George Gently, Line of Duty, and Foyle’s War.
Apart from well-known network shows, Acorn TV also makes some original content of their own. Its most successful original show was an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Poirot in the summer of 2014. The show stands as the only production by a niche streaming service to be nominated for an Emmy. Other original series include Agatha Raisin, Close to the Enemy, Agatha Raisin, and Manhunt.
Lastly, Acorn TV also possesses the rights to the US premieres of a number of shows, including the final episodes of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Partners in Crime, and The Witness for the Prosecution. If you want to avoid spoilers and get first access to the main content for new episodes of these shows, Acorn TV is the answer.
After careful investigation, we have come to the conclusion that BritBox has a lesser area of specialization than Acorn TV. Its contents are only from the UK’s main over-the-air networks. That includes the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5.
Soap Operas like EastEnders, crime thrillers like Silent Witness and Waking the Dead, long-running family series such as Casualty, and a whole range of famous comedies like The Office (the British version, naturally) and The Vicar of Dibley are all readily available.
BritBox also prospers in its collection of classic British comedies all Americans should watch. It provides shows like Porridge, Are You Being Served? and Fawlty Towers, as well as more recent hits like Absolutely Fabulous and Keeping Up Appearances. The service does not offer any content from BBC America.
The company has confirmed that it will start offering more original content in 2020 and beyond.
Leniency Of User Interface And Features
In this aspect, they both opt for very simple, easy-to-use interfaces that are very similar and easy to navigate in your browser.
Both map their content into helpful categories with navigation bars, and both showcase their recommendations in helpful divisions, too. Viewers can quite easily navigate between TV shows and movies, A-Zs, and genre-specific lists with relative ease.
Sometimes, navigating around Acorn TV’s site involves long load times in-between specific pages which isn’t experienced on BritBox, though.
The actual video player is basically the same on each service, too, minus subtle variations. For example, Acorn TV offers the choice of streaming quality whereas BritBox doesn’t, but BritBox has the option to skip ahead or backward by 10 seconds which is not available on Acorn TV.
The upper hand in utility possessed by Acorn TV is the picture-in-picture player. This will pop out a small player and pin it to your desktop as an overlay, allowing you to proceed with other tasks on a computer.
However, BritBox users can opt to download their favourite shows on iOS and Android mobiles and tablets, which Acorn TV users cannot do.
Acorn TV and BritBox, like many streaming services these days, are both available in different areas, and on different platforms.
BritBox is currently available in the following countries Australia, Canada, the US and the UK, with intentions to bring the service to South Africa soon. Subscribers outside of the UK can use their subscription in any region.
BritBox can be accessed on the following devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast, YouView set-top boxes, select smart TVs, iOS and Android mobiles and tablets, Roku devices, and also in your browser.
For Acorn TV, it is available in many more regions right now, including the US, Canada, the UK, parts of Southern America, the Nordics, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.
Platforms you can currently use to watch Acorn TV include your browser (their website recommends Chrome, specifically), Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV devices, Chromecast, and on iOS and Android mobiles and tablets.
Both Acorn TV and BritBox can also be added to your Amazon Prime Video subscription as Prime Video channels in the US. BritBox will be available as a Prime Video Channel for UK viewers soon!
BritBox Vs Acorn TV: Other Features
There are a couple of other features (or lack thereof) worth shedding light on.
Firstly, at the time of composing this write-up, neither service permits downloading videos for offline watching. Due to this, you can’t rely on either service for long plane journeys or extended periods of time in other countries.
Secondly, neither service supports multiple user profiles. If you have other close relatives or friends, you’ll all have to share the same portal. This equates to no personalized recommendations or other benefits that go hand-in-hand with multiple profiles.
On the plus side, both apps offer closed-caption subtitles on all of their shows.
In general conclusion, selecting one above the other is relative. Both services are available to watch in a multitude of ways, both are similarly priced, and both offer fairly standard user experiences. This means there’s really only one way to decide which service is right for you: What shows are on BritBox, and what shows are available on Acorn TV? Price is also a determinant factor, the one dollar difference could mean a lot to some viewers.