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When it comes to streaming content, you might not think of BritBox right off the bat. But this is the perfect place for British television fans to binge-watch TV content from the UK. Overall, you’ll find a rich library of British shows, and it’s a bonus that the subscription is extremely affordable too.
However, the library is quite limited when it comes to new content, and there are no offline downloads or full HD streaming.
Still, you might prefer this streaming service if you want to watch BBC or ITV shows. Keep reading as we go into more detail about what BritBox offers as well as its pros and cons.
BritBox At a Glance
- BritBox features a wealth of TV content from the UK
- Affordable compared to many other streaming services
- Accessible on Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku, as well as both iOS and Android
- Playback quality: HD and only SD for some older classics
- Simultaneous streams: 5
- Profiles allowed per account: 0
- Lots of great content, including all in the shows on BBC and ITV
- Very affordable at just $7 a month or $70 for the entire year
- An easy-to-use interface
- Doesn’t allow users to download content to watch offline
- Can’t skip the introductions of each episode
- Doesn’t feature content in HD
We rate BritBox 7/10.
Why Get Britbox?
BritBox comes at a pretty good price for everything that you can watch, costing you only $7 per month, or if you subscribe for an entire year, just $70 for the entire year. As a service with no ads, this is admittedly a great price point and clocks in cheaper than pretty much every other streaming service out there.
Just for comparison, only a few other services are cheaper. For example, apple TV+ would cost you $5 a month, although it doesn’t offer you too much to watch. You can get Hulu and CBS All Access with ads for $6 a month as well, or Disney+ at the same price as BritBox.
BritBox doesn’t have ads, which is unique. Of course, you can also start with a 7-day free trial if you want to test out the service first, but you do need to input your payment information to get started.
There are some good shows like Doctor Who, but beyond that, you do have a lot of great content available to you.
Think of all the shows on BBC and ITV. You also get all the shows from Channel 5 and there should be a lot of content on Channel 4 as well.
Basically: BritBox is an online portal for your British TV boxsets. You get a good balance of modern and classic content from BBC and ITV too. While it’s not exactly comparative to Netflix, it can be a good contender if they keep growing their library.
Most of the time, BritBox fans love the classic content they get to enjoy. From Miss Marple to The Office to Gavin & Stacey, there are hours and hours of excellent TV shows to binge-watch. Even the entire original Sherlock Holmes series can be found or you can enjoy modern shows like Professor T, Line of Duty and Pembrokeshire Murders.
Fans of period dramas also love watching Mansfield Park, Oliver Twist, Cranford and more. There’s certainly no lack of all the most popular British programming for the anglophile, although you shouldn’t expect any original content.
Just be sure to check whether the shows you want to watch are already on BritBox. With it adding new content beginning just last year, you can potentially begin to find more content than you could before too.
For the most part, the entire BritBox interface is easy to use. It looks clean on every place you can stream, generally looks familiar if you’ve ever used something like Netflix, and doesn’t feel too crowded or difficult to navigate.
You even have a few great navigation features, like drop-down menus to help you find genres or dedicated sliders to go through the seasons of a show.
Not to mention that if you log into BritBox, it will remember where you were when you were watching last time—and that’ll be marked across all the devices you log into.
The interface isn’t perfect, though. One point of frustration is that BritBox often requests your password when you want to access specific areas in your account or settings. Some examples are parental control or subscription settings. Unfortunately, this means you often find yourself having to reenter the password before you can access these areas.
You also can’t skip the intros of each episode, so if you’re doing a marathon, you do need to watch the intro every time. The TV app specifically also lacks more information about the actual shows. For the most part, you do have your usual navigation tabs at least to find your shows: Home, Explore, New, A-Z, Help, Search, and one user account icon.
You can look at pages in individual categories in alphabetical order, which is your only option for now. You can also just look at every entry in the library, which might take a while since you do lack a few more filtering options.
But when you find what you want to watch, you can click on what program you want to see, select an episode, and add it to your watchlist. Keep in mind though, that you can only watch 1080p streaming on smart TVs; your quality will be at 720p on your computer and phone.
The mobile app has a similar sort of aesthetic compared to the website. You can easily browse and look through your icons to figure out what show you want to watch. Personally, we had no issues signing into the service either.
Profiles and Accessibility
For those of you who need closed captions or who simply prefer watching with the captions on, you do have options here. First, you can pick captions for your show, and from there, choose from three different font sizes.
You might struggle with some of the text on the FAQ page. It includes a lot of text that is a little small and difficult to read, so while you might not necessarily read all the FAQ, you might struggle a little if you need to figure something out.
Unfortunately, BritBox also doesn’t allow user profiles to be set up. However, depending on the page you are on, it suggests some similar types of shows to whoever is watching. Being able to customize individual profiles will definitely take user experience up a notch, so hopefully, that’s something that BritBox incorporates down the road.
Platforms To Watch It
You can watch right on the web or any one of your streaming devices like Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku. Of course, you can also watch on your usual mobile platforms, like both iOS and Android.
Don’t forget that you can watch on other types of smart TVs too from all brands, including Samsung, Panasonic, and Westel. The only thing you really can’t watch on is gaming consoles, like the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.
You can also try to cast using AirPlay or Chromecast, but we found that was a little bit difficult. After episodes end, it can be difficult to get the next one to play. Usually, you’ll have to exit the app and go back in or completely restart the TV to get it to work. This doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens enough that it’s frustrating.
BritBox features a video player that resembles a pop-up box when you’re accessing it on an internet browser. Unfortunately, this pop-up box can be rather frustrating as it can intrude on your experience as a viewer in the way that it seems to block the show’s description as well as the Add to Watchlist button. The user experience will be that much better if BritBox redesigns this video player.
The controls you get with the video player are quite basic. You get the usual play/pause buttons along with volume, Closed Captioning, and full-screen settings. It doesn’t help that with the Closed Captions settings, you can only personalize the font size.
In comparison, other platforms like Acorn TV give a lot more functions and customization when it comes to caption settings. You also don’t get a rewind or forward button with the playback video player, although you can simply adjust the progress bar to move back or forward when you’re watching a show.
Unfortunately, the streaming quality leaves much to be desired. You won’t get to watch content at 4K or even HD for some programs. However, perhaps that shouldn’t be expected given the comparatively cheaper monthly subscription fee.
The best streaming quality you will get to enjoy is 1080p but bear in mind that many of the older classics can only be watched in standard definition.
If you’re a huge fan of British TV, BritBox is for you. There are tons of British programming available, but keep in mind that this streaming service excels in legacy shows. You won’t be getting as many new shows as other available streaming services.
You will, however, be getting an interface that’s easy to use and a decent service for a more than reasonable price. You’ll also get access to tons of legacy shows that are difficult to come by.