The 7 Best British Streaming Services in 2022

Best sources for UK TV shows and movies

Are you looking for the best British streaming content out there? We've tried them all, so you know exactly where to go, whether you're looking for classic British TV, old British movies, or the latest shows and movies that Britain has produced.

The recommended services below work on multiple devices, including your computer, TV, phone, and even games console. Some are even free to use, while others are services you already have but hadn't considered for watching British shows. Read on while we guide you through the best picks.

What Is the Best Streaming Service for UK Programs?

There is no one best streaming service for UK programs. It all depends on what you enjoy watching. For instance, if you're keen on classic British TV, your best option is something like BritBox, while for newer content, HBO Max has you covered. It's a similar story for British movies, too, so it's essential to work out what's best for you to avoid subscribing to too many services at once.

Where Can I Stream British TV?

Streaming British TV services is much like streaming other content. These British streaming services will work on most devices, including smartphones, computers, tablets, and smart TVs. The signup process is much the same as with regular streaming services. 

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Acorn TV: Best for Mystery and Crime British TV

AcornTV homepage
What We Like
  • Very well priced with free trial available.

  • Extensive content that includes originals and well-known favorites.


  • Extensive app support.

What We Don't Like
  • No 4K support available for any shows or movies.

  • Limited selection of movies.

  • No parental control settings.

Plans:

$5.99 per month or $59.99 for a yearly subscription plan.

How many shows can you watch at once?

Up to four devices simultaneously.

Where does it work?

Acorn TV works on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Android mobile and tablets, smart TVs, Chromecast, and any device with a web browser.

What's the takeaway?

Acorn TV offers plenty of British mystery and crime shows—generally the genres that Britain does exceptionally well. These include cozy mysteries like Pie in the Sky, Midsomer Murders, and Foyle's War. Each is ideal for a relaxed Sunday evening viewing. 

It also has more modern content, such as Keeping Faith, a Welsh drama about a lawyer whose husband suddenly goes missing. Crime fans won't run out of content here any time soon, although if you're looking for movies, you might be a bit disappointed. Acorn TV is primarily about TV shows rather than anything feature-length. 

02
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BritBox: Best Source for Classic British TV

BritBox homepage
What We Like
  • Decades worth of popular British TV available.

  • Varied genres ranging from comedy to drama to crime and more.

  • Free trial available.

  • Offline viewing support.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited film selection.

  • 4K support is limited to Roku and Samsung smart TV owners only.

  • Original content is a bit patchy.

Plans:

$6.99 per month or $69.99 per year with a free 7-day trial available.

How many shows can you watch at once?

Up to five devices simultaneously.

Where does it work?

BritBox works on Roku, FireTV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Samsung smart TVs, LG smart TVs, all computers, iOS, and Android systems.

What's the takeaway?

BritBox offers a reliable mixture of new and old content. Fans of classic facial British humor will love being able to watch the likes of Mr. Bean or Father Ted. From there, you can switch over to something more provocative like Inside No 9 before deviating to classic comedy like Waiting for God or As Time Goes By. Ever wanted to see famous actors like Judi Dench before they hit the big time? Here's your chance. 

Plenty of genres are covered here, so comedies, dramas, crime series, and much more are available. Original content is hit and miss in terms of quality, but fantastic dramas like Line of Duty and The Pembrokeshire Murders make up for the misses. 

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BFI Player Classics: Best Catalogue of Old British Movies

BFI Player Classics homepage
What We Like
  • All killer, no filler—movies are hand-picked.

  • Curated collections make it easy to find something to suit your mood.

  • Movies from the silent era upwards included.

  • Ideal for movie buffs.

What We Don't Like
  • No 4K streaming support.

  • No TV shows included on service.

  • No yearly subscription plan.

  • Content is relatively limited compared to competitors.

Plans: 

$5.99 per month with a 7-day free trial available. 

How many shows can you watch at once?

Just one device at a time. 

Where does it work?

BFI Player Classics works on Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, AndroidTV, Chromecast, all iOS and Android devices, and web browsers.

What's the takeaway?

BFI Player Classics might 'only' have a couple of hundred movies on the service, but pound for pound, these are some of the highest quality British movies out there. True classics like The Third Man and The Wicker Man (the original film) are on the service, along with terrific Ealing comedies that will make you laugh as you've never laughed before. 

If you don't know where to start, the BFI Player Classics Collection tab helps you pick out some highlights, so there's something for every mood or interest here. The only downside is that content isn't available in 4K, which is unfortunate given some of these classic movies are available in the format now. 

04
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Netflix: Best Streaming Service You Probably Already Have

Netflix homepage
What We Like
  • Thousands of different shows and movies to choose from.

  • Very simple to use.

  • You probably already subscribe anyhow.

  • Variety is almost ridiculously vast.

What We Don't Like
  • Not the cheapest option out there.

  • Not exclusively for British content.

  • You may have already got the most from it.

Plans:

$8.99 a month for the basic package with standard definition, $13.99 a month for standard with HD definition, or $17.99 a month for premium, which offers 4K definition.

How many shows can you watch at once?

On the basic plan, only one device can use it at any time; standard boosts that to two devices while Premium increases the number to four devices.

Where does it work?

Netflix works on Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, all smart TVs, Chromecast, all iOS and Android devices, and web browsers.

What's the takeaway?

You already know Netflix. The one-stop-shop for all things streaming also offers plenty of British shows and movies. These include The Great British Baking Show, The Crown, Peaky Blinders, and Broadchurch

If you're looking for some of the biggest names out there, you'll be happy with Netflix—the service you probably already use. 

05
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PBS: Best Free British TV Streaming Service

PBS homepage
What We Like
  • Easy to use.

  • Entirely free.

  • Reasonably high quality content.

  • Shows include fairly recent releases.

What We Don't Like
  • Interface is pretty clunky.

  • Lacks the wow factor.

Plans

Free for US residents

How many shows can you watch at once?

Unlimited

Where does it work?

PBS works on Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, all smart TVs, Chromecast, all iOS and Android devices, and web browsers.

What's the takeaway?

PBS is a subtle jewel in the crown. Still free in most of the U.S., it offers some fantastic British shows like Poldark and All Creatures Great and Small. Unlike other options, it keeps up to date with the newly aired Around the World in 80 Days available on the service already. 

Just don't count on an exceptionally stylish experience. The PBS site feels like something free to use, but that does mean it's, well, free.

06
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HBO Max: Best Modern British TV

HBO Max homepage
What We Like
  • Plenty of critically acclaimed British content.

  • High quality movies and TV shows.

  • 4K option for some movies.

  • Parental controls.

What We Don't Like
  • Little expensive.

  • Ads on standard plan.

  • Still somewhat US focused.

Plans:

$9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for the standard/HD plan, which is ad-supported, or $14.99 per month or $149.99 per year for the 4K plan, which is ad-free.

How many shows can you watch at once?

Three devices at once.

Where does it work?

HBO Max works on Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, all smart TVs, Chromecast, all iOS and Android devices, as well as web browsers.

What's the takeaway?

HBO Max is best known for having Warner Bros 2021 movie premieres the same day as they hit theaters, but it's also the home of some of the latest British dramas too. These include Russell T. Davies's It's a Sin and I May Destroy You—both truly exceptional dramas. 

Elsewhere, British movies like Dunkirk and The King's Speech ensure you can enjoy the best of British easily through the service too.

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Amazon Prime Video: Best Variety

Amazon homepage
What We Like
  • Comes with Amazon benefits.

  • Simple to use.

  • Vast catalogue of content.

  • Shows are generally high quality.

What We Don't Like
  • Only good value if you use other Amazon services.

  • Content can switch out regularly.


Plans:

$12.99 per month with a free 30-day trial

How many shows can you watch at once?

Up to three devices at once.

Where does it work?

Amazon Prime Video works on Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, all smart TVs, Chromecast, all iOS and Android devices, and web browsers.

What's the takeaway?

Amazon Prime Video offers a little bit of everything. That means it's not perfect, but it's convenient with the likes of Fleabag, a genuinely hilarious modern comedy, and Luther, the Idris Elba starring crime drama, both available on the service. Older British content is also sometimes available on Amazon, but its content can change quite rapidly, meaning some shows soon end up on other services if you wait too long.

Still, if you want the benefits of faster delivery with Amazon, the variety of Prime Video makes it even more appealing. 

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