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Cor blimey, guv’nah!
BritBox sounds like a great idea in theory - a one-stop-shop for all your favourite British programs, both old and new. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, the lack of original content, limited features and rare new additions makes it a harder sell than it should be. Still, the website and apps are neatly designed and easy to use, and it’s still well worth a look if you’re a true anglophile.
After a successful launch in the US and Canada, Britbox quietly launched in Australia in late 2020, offering anglophiles access to all their favourite British content. But with its relatively niche content and arrival into an already crowded market, is the BBC and ITV’s joint streaming service really worth yet another monthly subscription fee?
Here, we break down everything you need to know about Britbox Australia, including how it stacks up against the competition.
BritBox price and plans in Australia
- $8.99 per month
- $89.99 per year
- 7-day free trial
As far as streaming services go, Britbox is on the cheaper side of the pricing spectrum at $8.99 per month or $89.99 for the full year. There’s only one plan, which massively simplifies things and means you won’t have to pay more for extra streams or better resolution - more on those later.
BritBox Australia free trial
If you don’t want to commit to that monthly or yearly fee without knowing what you’re getting yourself into, Britbox Australia offers a seven-day free trial. It’s not the longest trial period in the world, but it’s more than enough to give you a sense of the content and features on offer.
To put that into context, here’s a round-up of every other streaming service in Australia, including their free trial period (if any), monthly price, max resolution and max number of devices.
Max. Video Resolution
# of streams
|View Plans|| ||$6.99||4K||3||30-day free trial|
|View Plans|| ||$10.99 - $19.99||4K||4||No deals available|
|View Plans|| ||$7.99||4K||6||7-day free trial|
|View Plans|| ||$11.99||4K||4||Save over 15% with annual subscription|
|View Plans|| ||$6.99||HD||1||7-day free trial|
|View Plans|| ||$6.99||HD||1||7-day free tiral|
|View Plans|| ||$8.99||HD||3||7-day free trial|
|View Plans|| ||$8.99||HD||5||7-day free trial|
|View Plans|| ||$10 - $18||HD||4||2-week free trial|
|View Plans|| ||$10 - $19||4K||4||30-day free trial|
|View Plans|| ||$25 - $104||HD||2||10-day free trial|
|View Plans|| ||$25 - $35||HD||3||2-week free trial|
BritBox app and features
As one of the newer streaming services on the block, Britbox still has a way to go in terms of the features it has to offer. Still, the current user interface is perfectly user-friendly, if a little minimal. Content is divided into just five genres (Drama, Crime Drama, Comedy, Documentary and Lifestyle), so navigating the catalogue of programs couldn’t be easier. There’s also an A-Z list or search function if you’re after something specific.
Like most streaming services, you can create a watchlist of everything that tickles your fancy, but unfortunately, this list will be shared with whoever uses the account as there are no individual user profiles. On the upside, BritBox supports up to five simultaneous streams, which is more than premium tier plans from the likes of Netflix and Stan.
Clicking on a program will surface every episode of every season, along with a “More Like This” section to help you discover new content you might enjoy.
In terms of other features, BritBox is a little lacking. There’s no 4K content to be found, no non-English subtitles, and no support for offline downloads. And as for accessibility, the only feature we could find was closed captioning.
What content does BritBox offer in Australia?
Britbox’s biggest asset is right there in the name - quality British content. From classics like Midsomer Murders and Fawlty Towers to contemporary hits like Luther and Line of Duty, it’s got just about every BBC or ITV show you could want. That said, there are a few glaring omissions - namely, The Great British Bake Off, Sherlock, Downton Abbey and the trio of long-running soaps, Eastenders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
Still, it’s a pretty robust collection, boasting every season of Doctor Who (yes, that includes the classic series!), Call the Midwife, Doc Martin, the O.G. House of Cards and The Office, not to mention a ridiculous number of docos by David Attenborough and Brian Cox. You’ll also find classic miniseries like a remastered version of the iconic 1995 Pride and Prejudice, allowing you to view a young Colin Firth in glorious HD.
Unless you also happen to be into the royals (like, really into the royals) there’s not really much more to be said about BritBox’s library. While the quality is certainly there, it’s seriously lacking in quantity. In fact, I was able to tick off everything on my watch list in about a month (granted, I spend most of my waking hours watching TV).
Even if BritBox does sound up your alley, it’s worth considering that, at the time of writing, many of its programs are available on other streaming services. For instance, Luther can be found on Stan, Call the Midwife on Binge, and Blackadder on Amazon Prime Video.
Unlike other streaming services, BritBox barely has any original content to speak of. In fact, there’s only one - Spitting Image, a revival of the classic ‘80s satirical puppet show. Additionally, there are rarely any new additions to Britbox’s catalogue, aside from new seasons of shows it already offers. It’s still early days for the service, so we’re hoping that changes soon.
On what devices can I watch BritBox Australia?
Content limitations aside, BritBox is pretty standard when it comes to device compatibility. All the usual suspects are there, but if you’re used to streaming on your gaming console, you’re out of luck.
We mainly used the mobile app and desktop for testing, using Chromecast to enjoy it on the big screen. Unfortunately, there’s currently no dedicated BritBox app for Chromecast with Google TV, though just about every other streaming device is supported.
Here’s a full list of devices compatible with BritBox Australia:
- iPhone and iPad
- Android devices
- PC and Mac via most web browsers
- Apple TV
- Google Chromecast (Note: There is no dedicated app for Chromecast with Google TV)
- Fetch TV
- Telstra TV
- Samsung Smart TVs
- LG Smart TVs
How much data does BritBox use?
How much data BritBox uses is dependant on the quality of your stream. Mobile devices need a speed of about 1.5 Mbps to watch content, which translates to a little over half a gigabyte per hour. For those watching via their browser, Smart TV or streaming device, you’ll need 3 Mbps, which works out to be almost 1.5 GB per hour. If you’re watching in high definition, that speed requirement jumps to 6.5 Mbps, or almost 3GB per hour.
If you’re a frequent binge-watcher and find your stream is constantly buffering, it’s worth taking another look at your NBN plan. We’d recommend going no slower than NBN Basic II speed, which clocks in at up to 25Mbps. However, unless you live alone, we’d suggest opting for an NBN Standard plan which, at speeds of up to 50Mbps, should be more than enough to give everyone in the household a smooth and snappy internet experience.
Here are the most popular NBN 50 plans right now.