Why BritBox is the perfect streaming service for 2020
If 2020 has taught us anything at all about our TV viewing habits, it is that one streaming service is not enough. Whereas other TV streaming services concentrate on new and US content, relative newcomer BritBox hosts the absolute best of British TV & film. In addition, it can lay claim to being an intoxicating archive of the biggest collection of British shows from the 1970s and 1980s, perfect for reliving classics or taking a retro journey through some of the best video on demand available. It’s also the home of the best up-to-date British television available, with exclusive content including Happy Valley, Love Island, Broadchurch, World on Fire, and, of course, the new Spitting Image.
Panasonic is proud to be in partnership with BritBox, and you can enjoy watching all your favourite shows on our televisions. BritBox features in the list of apps on the home screen of your Panasonic Smart TV for easy access.
What is BritBox?
The UK launch of Britbox was hot on the heels of a successful debut in the US and Canada. When BritBox launched in the UK on 7 November 2019, the joint venture BBC and ITV platform was hailed as the UK's answer to Netflix. The platform is home to an extraordinary collection of British box sets and presents a wealth of "do you remember?" television as well as modern classics such as Downton Abbey and Wolf Hall.
BritBox stands alongside and yet separate from BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub, providing a separate service to catch up platforms. BritBox's focus is on the wealth of existing material, and new shows are unlikely to move to BritBox before they have appeared on catch up services.
How does BritBox work?
Like other streaming services, BritBox can be viewed across a variety of devices and platforms, including iOS and Android, and on phones, tablets, Smart TVs (including Panasonic TVs), and Apple TV. You will need a subscription, although there is a 30-day free trial for you to make sure that BritBox has the kind of content you want to watch. It will also work on your Amazon Fire TV, your laptop or PC, and Google Chromecast.
Content is not just from the BBC and ITV; box sets from Channel 4 and Channel 5 are also available, making the biggest selection of British shows available anywhere. Other major content partners include Film4 and the RSC. The BritBox website has a helpful how-to for watching on your Smart TV – just download the app and follow the onscreen guide which will walk you through setup. You can also watch by connecting your laptop through an HDMI port (you may need an adaptor if your laptop does not have one) and selecting the HDMI source using the remote control. BritBox is a watch on-demand service rather than allowing you to record, but the easy to navigate site will give you access to all your favourites at any time of day or night.
In addition, you can download material to watch later when you don’t have an internet connection.
If you choose to continue your subscription beyond the trial period, BritBox costs £5.99 per month for access to HD video content across every device you wish to use to view it. This makes it cheaper than some of its rivals.
Some mobile and internet service providers intermittently have offers on BritBox, so keep an eye open for deals offering six months for free if you are coming to the end of a contract.
What is on BritBox?
For the dedicated Whovian, BritBox is a must, as every available episode of classic Doctor Who from 1963 to 1989 is available on the platform. Other classics include landmark 1970s sci-fi drama Blake's 7, Only Fools and Horses, and modern classics Broadchurch and Spooks. There are also famous British movies, including Hitchcock thrillers, and Carry On films.
BritBox is not just the home of archive material, however. The revival of the 1980s Fluck & Law satirical comedy show Spitting Image is being premiered from October 2020 on the platform. As with the original, no one is safe, and everyone from world leaders to pop culture icons will find themselves lampooned in rubber. Better still, the second series of Spitting Image is already confirmed - if 2020 is good for nothing else, satire is still popular. As the show's original co-creator, Roger Law, said "It's time to come off furlough! The people have spoken and the puppets are oven ready."
BritBox has also announced other original series, including two exciting adaptations of novels by Irvine Welsh (Crime) and Anthony Horowitz (Magpie Murders). With new dramas A Spy Among Friends and The Beast Must Die, BritBox is positioning itself as the must-have streaming service for British television content.
What is the difference between BritBox and other streaming services?
The difference between the BritBox app and web platforms and competitors like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, iPlayer from the BBC, ITV Hub and many others is the range of exclusively British content available.
In addition, it is a collaboration between British television channels, so not primarily a commissioning platform in its own right. The mixture of genres is impressive, as is the astonishing range of archive television. Neither will it replace catch up services as current and new series are only likely to become available when they have already completed their television run and been available to watch on catch up for a period of 12 months - the standard availability on BBC iPlayer.
As BritBox becomes more established, it will also increasingly become the home of exclusive content from British production companies, showing the best that UK television has to offer. This is likely to make BritBox the go-to place for lovers of everything British television has to offer