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Britbox vs Acorn: Which Streaming App is Better?

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Both BritBox and Acorn TV feature an impressive range of shows that will delight entertainment lovers who love to binge-watch UK content.

Acorn TV was established in the US in 2013 before they expanded their services to the UK recently in 2020. Featuring a wide variety of shows in the mystery and crime genres, there’s certainly no lack of choices for streaming fans.

On the other hand, BritBox was started in the US a bit later in 2017 before they expanded their services to the UK in 2019. Founded by ITV and BBC, you’ll find a range of shows from the UK like Comedy Central UK and Channel 5.

It can be challenging to choose only one out of these two great options, so in this guide, we’ll break down their features and compare them to each other.

BritBox Vs. Acorn At A Glance

BritBox Advantages

  • Features a lot more British content than some streaming services like Netflix
  • A wider range of content in its library
  • Features a lot of British classics like Doctor Who

BritBox Disadvantages

  • The app is not very stable
  • Not as user-friendly to navigate
  • The content might appeal more to an older audience

Acorn TV Advantages

  • Slightly less costly than BritBox
  • Features more recent shows
  • More variety in its content as it features shows from Canada, Australia, Ireland, and more

Acorn TV Disadvantages

  • Fewer options across some categories
  • Not as many shows as BritBox
  • Focuses a lot on the mystery and crime genres

Winner: Don’t want to read the full article? The editor’s choice is BritBox.

What’s The Difference Between Them?

Free Trials and Pricing

Both Acorn and Britbox are paid streaming services, so you’ll have to commit to a plan to enjoy either one of them.

Acorn’s paid subscription plan costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 for a year. Britbox is the exact same. If you’re paying in British pounds, however, you will encounter a price change. Where Acorn costs £4.99 per month or £49.99 for a year, Britbox costs £5.99 per month or £59.99 for a year.

When it comes to how long the free trial is, it will depend on where you’re at for Acorn. Acorn’s free trial is only seven days for US and overseas users, but 30 days for those in the UK.

Britbox doesn’t make it this complicated, though. No matter where you’re located, Britbox’s free trial only lasts seven days.

Verdict: It’s a tie! Unless you’re a UK viewer, either service is going to cost you the exact same amount of money, and you’ll only get a free, seven-day trial. If you’re in the UK, however, then Acorn does have a better deal as it’s just slightly cheaper and offers a longer free trial.

Availability

Boy using a mobile phone

Acorn and Britbox both serve similar regions of the world, but Acorn seems to have a wider reach so far.

Acorn is available in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, parts of South America, and the Nordic countries. It can be watched on Chrome, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and through mobile device apps.

Comparatively, Britbox is only available in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. It can be watched in any browser, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, YouView set-up boxes, certain smart TVs, and through mobile device apps.

Both are available as video channels through Prime Video as well.

Verdict: It depends. If you live in the US, the UK, Canada, or Australia, then it depends on the device that you have and plan on streaming with. If you have an Apple TV, it doesn’t matter. If you have a smart TV, though, you will want to verify that Britbox is compatible with it before you decide.

If you don’t live in the US, the UK, Canada, or Australia, then you’re limited. For those in South Africa, only Britbox is available. For those in New Zealand, only Acorn is available.

To determine which one is a better option, it will really depend on where you live and what devices you have.

Content

Both Acorn and Britbox have some great content and have hardly any overlap. If you get one service, you won’t find content from the other. This is why many people choose to get both services to open up their streaming options.

Britbox has a fairly large media library. They offer many classic favorites such as:

  • Fawlty Towers
  • The Thin Blue Line
  • Even some episodes of Doctor Who

But they also have new shows and offer reality TV, soaps, and over 350 options for original content. For viewers that like variety in their content, Britbox is the better option.

Acorn, on the other hand, tends to have a smaller media library than Britbox, as the service primarily provides comedies, murder mysteries, and crime shows. As such, there isn’t much variety in the type of content you can find, but they do offer more than 320 original content options.

It is worth noting that UK users will notice that Acorn has an even smaller media library. As the service is new to the UK (2020), it isn’t as developed. There are also copyright laws that infringe on Acorn’s ability to provide the same shows to UK users as it does to users in other countries.

Verdict: Britbox offers a lot of choices when it comes to the type of movies or TV shows available. They have classics and new releases, but they also have a lot of original content available. If you want more variety in your library, Britbox will definitely have a better media library for you to enjoy.

User Interface and Navigation

Tv Shows

Both platforms have successfully developed user-friendly interfaces that are very easy to explore and navigate. You’ll find useful categories with convenient navigation bars alongside suggested content in simple carousels. There’s no difficulty at all if you want to switch across various genres or between movies and TV content.

You can also jump from their homepages to your show in just a couple of clicks. When you’re switching between devices, you can easily continue watching your content where you stopped on another different device.

While both BritBox and Acorn TV are rather similar in these aspects, they still have some slight differences. With Acorn TV, you get to choose the quality at which you want to stream your content. BritBox doesn’t give you this option.

Acorn TV also allows users to pin their video to their desktop so you can work while your content’s playing. This function isn’t available to BritBox users who are accessing content on their desktops. However, this feature is available on mobile devices.

Another difference is how BritBox allows you to forward your show or rewind it by 10 seconds. This feature is not offered on Acorn TV.

When it comes to having lots of features on the interface, you should know that both can’t be compared to more reputable platforms like Netflix. However, you’ll still have the basics, such as closed captions.

Verdict: It’s a tie! Both are quite user-friendly and easy to navigate. Although they have some slight differences, they have pretty much the same concept when it comes to their user interface and navigation.

Devices Supported

Since most people own a number of devices these days, it’s vital to find out what devices are supported by the streaming platforms.

You can access Acorn TV in your browser as well as download its app for Android and iOS. As for set-top boxes, you can access Acorn TV on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku.

You’ll find that Britbox can also be accessed within your internet browser as well as iOS and Android. It’s also available on Chromecast, Apple TV, and Roku.

Verdict: It’s a tie! Both platforms are adequately supported by a variety of devices. You shouldn’t have any problems accessing them on your devices.

Conclusion

Ultimately, both platforms are around the same price point with one main point of difference: the content they offer. When it comes to the content, it really depends on what you prefer to watch.

If you’re an ardent fan of classic British shows like Doctor Who, choosing BritBox is a no-brainer since that is what they’re known for. That’s not to say that Acorn TV doesn’t weigh up significantly either when it comes to its content.

They do have a range of entertaining shows as well, but they don’t have as significant a library as compared to BritBox.

At the end of the day, both platforms offer free trials, so there’s no harm in signing up to see how much you’d enjoy each of them.