Britbox vs Acorn – Which is Better?

For more than two decades, Acorn has been the top distributor of British television in the US market. However, a relative newcomer Britbox aims to overtake it.

Britbox vs Acorn - Which is Better?

If you want to stream British TV, you’ll probably have to decide between these two. They both have their own streaming services that offer compelling British television content, but they also have some notable differences. For a start, they have completely different content and pricing.

So, before you decide on one or the other, you should take a look at what makes them different. This article will look into these differences and help you decide which one is better.


Britbox has entered the streaming business recently, so it still has a relatively small catalogue. Since it is a joint venture by BBC and ITV, it only streams the content of these two networks. However, they have multiple channels each and are responsible for the majority of top-rated TV shows and movies in Britain, so you’ll get mostly quality content.


If you get Britbox, you’ll be able to watch a lot of ongoing popular shows and some older classics. For example, you can check out all seasons of EastEnders, premiere episodes of Coronation Street, or classics like Life on Mars. It is also a top place for British comedies. You can watch the British versions of The Office, Fawlty Towers, and Black Adder.

On the other hand, Acorn has its own original production and a lot more shows in its repertoire.  It is the first niche streaming service to have an original show nominated for an Emmy (Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case). Its original production focuses mostly on crime dramas, such as London Kills, Loch Ness, and Blood.

Unlike Britbox, Acorn also offers television programming from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Due to the abundance of content, it’s much easier for you to come across a low-quality show on Acorn. However, you can watch plenty of old-school classics from the first to the last episode. For example, there are all 19 seasons of Midsomer Murders, 7 seasons of Men Behaving Badly, etc.

User Interface

From a UI perspective, you can guess which TV streaming service is younger. Britbox’s user interface has a modern design, with TV shows sorted by genres and subcategories. There’s also quick access to all the current premieres, live TV, and top-rated content.


Acorn’s interface isn’t as categorized. Each section has a grid-like display and selecting a particular show will open the show’s individual menu. There you’ll get a brief snippet and a trailer (if it’s available). The absence of subcategories makes it harder for curious users to browse interesting content. But if you know what you’re looking for, Acorn’s search option is pretty reliable.

Regional Availability

Both Acorn and Britbox are available in the United States. Britbox also streams in Canada, but the programming is slightly different.

Acorn is also available in both countries, but it also extends to Latin America, Europe, and Down Under. You can watch it in ten European countries, Australia, and New Zealand.

Also, if you don’t live in one of these countries, you can still use a VPN. Neither service blocks VPN traffic, so you can bypass the geo-block.

Compatibility and Other Features

You can access both services in your web browser, and they also have their standalone apps for Android and iOS. While Britbox works on Roku and Apple TV, Acorn is also compatible with Amazon Fire. They both let you watch TV on Chromecast.

When it comes to other features, both apps have closed caption subtitles available for all their shows. This is especially so for Acorn, which also has Spanish subtitles to serve its more extensive regional presence.


The pricing differs, especially if you opt for a long-term subscription. Britbox costs $6.99 per month. On the other hand, Acorn is $4.99.

For an annual subscription paid in a lump sum, Britbox costs $69.99/year and Acorn $49.99. This is basically 2 months off if you commit for a year.

Which One is Better?

Since both streaming services have a lot more pros than cons, it all comes down to your preferences. If you enjoy quality original productions and a lot of drama and thriller television, you might want to go with Acorn. It is also more affordable.

On the other hand, if you’re into top-rated BBC and ITV shows with and a chance to watch premieres on the original airing days, you should get Britbox. It also focuses much more on modern-day TV shows, which might better suit younger generations.

In the end, it is completely up to you. Which one would you choose?

3 thoughts on “Britbox vs Acorn – Which is Better?”

Rich Gregory says:
I got CC to work on Britbox.
Levon kavaldjian says:
I have Acorn for a year and would add these comments; the mthly subscription in Canada is $8.99 which is higher than the $US 4.99 stated above. I just found out that a subscription error had occurred and I was being charged for 2 accounts, somehow Acorn should have detected and informed me of this error. I have now canceled one of the accounts through Apple support, but I can’t recover the double charging.
I love the Doc Martin series which shows of 12 seasons being available but when you scroll down you are limited to 9 seasons in Acorn. It seems that they should change to indicate the availability of 9 seasons only and not elevate my expectations.
Jennifer says:
There are only 9 seasons of Doc Martin. Season (or series) 9 was filmed in 2019. I don’t know where you saw there were 12 seasons.
Joan E Regenauer says:
I have Acorn. Thinking about Britbox. Your information is useful.

Comments are closed.

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