Love the BBC? It's time to subscribe to BritBox
All the details on the BritBox streaming service
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British television has long been popular around the globe, but it can be tricky to find classic TV shows or keep up with the latest British series unless you live in the UK. Until now, that is. BritBox is a streaming service like Netflix that is backed by the major UK networks, namely the BBC and ITV. It’s packed with popular and obscure British TV shows and a few movies, including classics from the last few decades right up to shows that recently aired on the BBC.
Here's everything you need to know about BritBox.
What is BritBox?
Launched in 2017, BritBox is a joint streaming service from the main TV networks in the UK, the BBC and ITV. It also includes content from Channel 4 (including Film4) and Channel 5. It boasts the largest library of British box sets with a strong focus on TV shows, though there are some movies, too. Most of the content has already aired on one of the major UK networks, but BritBox began to introduce some original programming in 2020.
How much does BritBox cost?
BritBox costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 for a year. There’s no contract commitment so you can cancel at any time. There is also a free seven-day trial to enable you to try before you buy. There is no free tier and there are no premium plans or add-ons.
How do I get BritBox?
You can sign up at the BritBox website or through one of the BritBox apps. You must provide an email address and payment information. BritBox is only available in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the UK for now.
What does BritBox include?
Content primarily comes from the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4, which includes Film4. There’s also involvement from ViacomCBS, which owns Channel 5 and Comedy Central UK. In theory, anything in the back catalogs of these networks or currently airing could appear on BritBox, but because of licensing deals, the line up is different from country to country (just like Netflix). As BritBox grows it’s likely that major BBC and ITV shows will no longer be licensed to competing services like Netflix or Hulu.
What TV shows are on BritBox?
You will find a huge range of top British TV shows on BritBox. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Line of Duty – Every series of this thrilling crime drama about police corruption is available. It broke UK viewing records with its recent finale.
- Doctor Who – You can find classic series of the inventive sci-fi show on Britbox, but HBO Max has signed an exclusive deal for newer episodes of the show.
- Downton Abbey – This hugely popular historical drama focuses on the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants.
- The Office – The original British show is a masterclass in awkwardness as Ricky Gervais plays clueless boss David Brent.
- Black Adder – If you think of Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean (which is also on BritBox) you have to see him as the roguish Black Adder in this hilarious historical comedy written by Richard Curtis.
- Fawlty Towers – John Cleese plays a demented hotelier in this classic comedy.
- The Thick of It – The absurdity of British politics is laid bare in this challenging comedy show with a memorable turn from Peter Capaldi as spin doctor Malcom Tucker.
- The Fall – Determined detective, Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) pursues psycho killer, Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) in this disturbingly tense crime drama.
- Sharpe – If you’re curious about Sean Bean’s career before movies, then this epic military drama set during the Napoleonic Wars is must-see.
- Father Ted – One of the best comedies ever made, Father Ted is about three exiled Catholic priests living on remote Craggy Island, off the coast of Ireland.
- Prime Suspect – This dark crime drama based written by Lynda La Plante stars Helen Mirren as Detective Inspector Jane Tennison as she battles to solve crimes in a sexist police force.
The list goes on with many more great comedies like Peep Show, Brass Eye, and Red Dwarf. There’s a lot of crime drama with Midsomer Murders, Cracker, Miss Marple, and Vera. There are lifestyle shows, too, like Gardener’s World, Grand Designs, and the Antiques Roadshow.
Original BritBox shows include revenge thriller The Beast Must Die starring Cush Jumbo and Jared Harris, a series called Crime _based on Irvine Welsh’s _Trainspotting, and Magpie Murders, which has been adapted from the Anthony Horowitz bestseller.
What movies are on BritBox?
While the choice of movies on BritBox isn’t anywhere near as extensive or tempting as the library of TV shows, there are still a few gems lurking here.
- Attack the Block – This smart sci-fi action flick is set in a London council housing block during an alien invasion and stars John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker.
- The Scarlet Pimpernel – An English nobleman turns vigilante to save French aristocrats from the guillotine in this romantic adventure where Ian McKellen plays the baddie.
- Carry on Up the Khyber – Fans of camp and double entendres will be glad to find all the Carry On films starring the likes of Sid James and Kenneth Williams.
- Dog Soldiers – A military exercise in remote Scotland turns into a bloody battle for survival in Neil Marshall’s action-packed werewolf flick.
- Trainspotting – Based on the explosive novel by Irvine Welsh, this journey into heroin addiction in Edinburgh captured the mid-90’s British zeitgeist and stars Ewan McGregor.
You will also find movie versions of many of Shakespeare’s works from Hamlet _to _A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Does BritBox come in 4K, HDR, or multiple streams?
BritBox does not currently support 4K or HDR. Web and mobile streaming are limited to 720p, but you can get up to 1080p on other devices, such as smart TVs. BritBox also allows a generous five simultaneous streams.
What devices do you need to watch BritBox?
You can watch BritBox on a wide variety of devices. There are dedicated BritBox apps for Android, iOS, Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV. There’s support for Chromecast or AirPlay, most LG and Samsung smart TVs, and you can add BritBox as a channel through Amazon Prime Video or Apple TV Channels. You can also stream the service in a supported web browser (Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer) on a PC, Mac, or another device.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.