When you’re looking at new streaming services outside of the most popular ones, one of the first names to come up will probably be Britbox.
It’s pretty fair to say that Britbox hasn’t been as popular as many people thought it would be. Part of that is likely because many classics that people do want to watch, like Only Fools and Horses, have been shown as re-runs consistently on other channels (Gold in this case) for a long time already.
But show you still consider Britbox, or should you look elsewhere for your entertainment needs? Well, we’re going to look at some of the positive aspects of the streaming service, as well as some negatives too.
Britbox is going to be a good option for those who want to watch specific programs, like Doctor Who, and other classic British TV shows. However for the vast majority of people, better value can be found elsewhere with other streaming services.
It’s one of the first apps to come up when you’re searching on a Fire stick. For some reason, it’s not included on the new Chromecast with Google TV, which is a bit frustrating. But it’s included on most other streaming platforms like Roku, Now TV and Apple TV too.
This isn’t the full story of Britbox. There’s actually quite a lot of different television shows on the service, and many of them are a blast from the past. So, let’s look at the service in a little more detail and see whether it’s worth your consideration.
What is Britbox?
Essentially, Britbox is the UK’s media giants answer to the increasing popularity of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime video. It was originally launched in 2017, and it’s available in the US, Canada and obviously the UK too.
Initially, the service was intended to give Brits abroad the ability to watch their old favourites that they couldn’t find on Netflix. It was launched as a joint venture between the BBC and ITV, with neither one really having the material to launch a streaming service on their own.
Although BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub have most of the recent TV shows that you’ll want to watch, Britbox has a wider selection for those looking for older classics.
What shows can I watch on Britbox?
The one thing that Britbox does have is a pretty good selection of shows that some other providers don’t have. The main ones that folks will be interested in watching are probably; Doctor Who, Top Gear, Doc Martin, Alan Partridge and a few more.
Obviously, if you’re a big soap fan then you’re going to love Britbox. It has access to a lot of the older episodes of ITV and BBC soaps, with Christmas special episodes of Eastenders and Coronation Street being pretty fun and nostalgic to watch.
Films aren’t really its strong point, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of the old Carry On movies available on the service too. There’s also a couple of good Film 4 movies on there too.
Personally, I’ve enjoyed using Britbox to catch up with all of the “true stories” television shows that have played on ITV or BBC One over the past few years. This includes shows like The Pembrokeshire Murders, Little Boy Blue, Manhunt and White House Farm, which are all based on true stories that many of the British public will remember.
Though there is a lot more shows than this on Britbox, many of them are also on other streaming services e.g. Peep Show is also on Netflix. So unless you’re looking for something specific, Britbox might not actually be worth it. There’s also a good range of old Shakespearean dramas on Britbox, too.
How much does Britbox cost?
The amount that Britbox costs will definitely depend on your location. For most people, the streaming service will cost £5.99 a month if you’re UK based. In the United States, the cost is $6.99 a month, so it’s not too expensive either. However, when you consider Netflix is only a little more than this, then it might make some people wonder if it’s worth it.
You can get a free trial with Britbox for 7 days to see whether it is worth you signing up. Make sure that you cancel it if you don’t want to continue though, as it will automatically renew.
Is Britbox free with Amazon Prime?
Just because you can access Britbox through your Amazon Prime account, doesn’t mean that it’s actually going to be free to use. You’ll still have to pay an additional fee to watch Britbox on your TV even if you’re a Prime member.
Typically, you can easily access and get a free trial of Britbox through your prime account, but that’s about it. You’ll still have to pay the same renewal fees as you would elsewhere, even if you’re going to access it through Prime.
Is BritBox free in UK?
Although some were under the impression that Britbox would be a free catch up service like iPlayer with a larger catalogue, this isn’t the case. It’s not free in the UK, and it doesn’t look like it will be anytime soon either. It’s a subscription service, much like Amazon Prime.
There is the potential that at some point in the future, the service may be made free for all TV licence payers. But that doesn’t look like it is likely any time soon.
How to watch Britbox
One of the reasons why Britbox has even been moderately successful is they’ve made a lot of deals to have their service added to different methods of viewing. Here are some of the better ways you can watch the service.
One of the best ways to watch Britbox is directly through your smart TV. Although not all smart TVs will have the app installed on the device, the majority of new models from big brands like Samsung and LG will have access to Britbox.
This is probably the best way to watch in terms of connectivity, and will help mitigate any problems that other people seem to face with the app on other devices.
There are various different streaming sticks out there for you to choose from. The most popular is probably going to be the Amazon Firestick, which introduced Britbox to their streaming service in 2020.
A Firestick is a really easy way for you to watch Britbox on your television, as all you’ll need to do is plug the receiver stick into your television and watch. You can also consider a Roku stick for this, too.
Another way that you can streaming Britbox onto your television is by using Chromecast. Chromecast is very similar to a streaming stick, except it’s controlled in a slightly different way.
With Chromecast, you’ll literally stream your content onto the television from another device – your phone, tablet or even your laptop. So, you use that as the controller instead. Chromecast is one of the cheaper ways to connect the two, too.
Although not as common in the UK as many other forms of television, you can also watch Britbox with an Apple TV if you want to. One of the best ways to do this is finding the app directly on your device.
However, you can also choose to use the Airplay function too. This will stream the show from your mobile onto your Apple TV, and you can also use this with many new smart TV’s being released.
An alternative method to watching Britbox on a larger screen is to watch it on your tablet or on your phone instead. This can be a pretty good way to watch TV shows on the go.
The good news is that like other streaming apps, you can download Britbox shows onto your device to watch later. This can help get rid of any buffering issues, and proves useful if you’re trying to watch something on the tube or on the train.
As the moment, although there are a lot of ways that you can watch Britbox, it isn’t as successful as many people though it would be. Why? Well, one reason is that they haven’t done any sort of deal with either Sky or Virgin Media, which means that they’re not available through their boxes.
Another reason is that there’s just a better variety of content out there on other platforms. Netflix are managing to release new TV series and documentaries like The Tiger King whilst also having classics like Breaking Bad, and they’re a similar price to Britbox so.. it’s easy to see why Britbox is lacking behind.
Whilst the selection of shows on Britbox isn’t as extensive as other streaming services out there, this isn’t the main problem with it. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of Britbox customers have had various different problems with their ability to streaming their programs.
Not all of the problems can be fixed, but let’s look at the most common issues that people have with Britbox.
Britbox Crashing Problems
The most common issue that seems to plague Britbox customers is having issues with the service either crashing, or just being kicked out of the show you’re watching whilst you’re watching it. If you have a quick look online, you’ll see that a ton of different people are having these problems with their Britbox account.
Anyone who’s used other streaming services like Now TV will know that they have also had their problems with this at some point in time. Though nowadays, the bigger players have all improved their infrastructure quite a lot – it’s pretty rare in comparison to find people being kicked out of their Netflix account.
Potential Solution: If Britbox has worked well for you in the past and it’s just started to crash, then you might need to update the service to get it working properly again. The mobile app could definitely use some improvement though in the near future.
Britbox Loading Issues
It’s not just cutting out when you’re watching a show that can be a problem with Britbox. Many people have problems with even getting Britbox to load in the first place.
However, it’s most common to have problems with Britbox if you’re watching it via a streaming stick like Roku. So, watching it in an alternative way could be a good solution to this.
Potential Solution: If Britbox won’t load properly for you, then you’ll want to go ahead and delete the app and reintall it. This could help to fix the problem.
Another key area where the company get a lot of flack is in their customer service departments. Of course, with a high volume of issues come a high volume of complaints, and they don’t seem to resolve these very well.
Even if you are having problems with your service, it doesn’t look like their customer support team is going to do a lot to help you. This is especially true if you’re looking for technical help, as they don’t really have a technical support team that’s readily available to fix the public’s problems.
Customer service is another key area where they’re going to have to improve if they want loyal customers. At the moment, there’s little you can do to fix the problem if you do have one.
Common Questions about Britbox
Do I need a TV licence to watch Britbox?
If you’ve made the decision to get rid of your TV licence, then I don’t blame you. Continually paying this fee each year to watch minimal programs is not going to be worth it for many of us. And even a lot of the newer shows out there aren’t great either. However, Britbox does find a way around this. You actually don’t need a TV licence in order to watch Britbox. So, if you’re fed up with paying your licence but don’t want to give up all your terrestrial TV content, this could be a good compromise.
Will BritBox replace iPlayer?
For UK residents, many worried that in time, Britbox would replace iPlayer as a paid subscription service. The BBC have assured us that this isn’t going to be the case, and the two services will remain separate and independent from each other.
How do I cancel Britbox?
If you signed up for the free trial and you want to go ahead and cancel it before the trials up, then it’s pretty easy to do so. All you need to go is go into your Account and head to Edit, where you can easily cancel your subscription.
How many devices can you watch BritBox on?
If you’re looking for a good streaming service to split between several members of your family, then Britbox is not a bad choice for this. You can use your account with 5 different devices, so different members of your family can easily log into your account.
Is BritBox any good?
The truth of the matter is that Britbox is going to be pretty good, but only for those who are after specific programs like Doctor Who. They have a good selection of older dramas, but overall their collection isn’t anywhere near the standard of Netflix and Amazon Prime.
All in all, there’s certainly nothing wrong with Britbox, but the likelihood is that it will only appeal to a select few people out of the population.
Whilst you do have access to a good amount of shows on Britbox, you actually don’t have access to the main things that people will want to watch, like Peaky Blinders. It’s available on most TV streaming devices, and you don’t have to pay a licence fee to use the service either.
So, if you’re looking to rewatch something specific you’ve watched in the past, then Britbox might be a good investment – you can sign up to the free trial and see how it goes. But for most people, you’ll be better off with a more popular streaming service out there.