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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Watching Other Paid Streaming Services

The eight streaming video services previous discussed are the eight biggest, but they’re far from the only services to choose from. There are a number of other subscription services that offer more niche programming. (There are also a handful of services that offer free content, supported by advertising, that I discuss in Chapter 7, “Watching Free Streaming Video Services.”)

Acorn TV

I’ll start with an examination of British TV, as delivered by two separate but similar streaming services to the U.S. market: Acorn TV and BritBox. They both offer new and classic shows from across the pond, but each has a unique program library.

Acorn TV features classic and current programming from a variety of British networks, including BBC Worldwide, Channel 4, and ITV. It also offers a number of original series. The most popular shows include Agatha Raisin, Blood, Delicious, Detectorists, Deadwater Fell, Doc Martin, Foyle’s War, Janet King, Keeping Faith, Loch Ness, Midsomer Murders, Mystery Road, No Offence, Partners in Crime, Seachange, and Vera.

Acorn TV is more than just British television, however. The service also offers some of the best television programming from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and various European countries, including A Place to Call Home, Bang, The Brokenwood Mysteries, Finding Joy, Jack Taylor, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Mystery Road, Murdoch Mysteries, and Pitching In.

A subscription to Acorn TV runs $5.99 USD per month. An annual subscription is available for $59.99 USD.


The second streaming service for British television programming is BritBox, which offers a variety of current and classic shows from the BBC and ITV.

BritBox offers comedies, dramas, mysteries, and more from the UK. You may be familiar with many of these shows, including classic comedies such as A Bit of Frye & Laurie, Absolutely Fabulous, Are You Being Served?, As Time Goes By, Blackadder, Cold Feet, Dirk Gently, Fawlty Towers, Last of the Summer Wine, Red Dwarf, Yes Minister, and the original British version of The Office; dramas such as Brideshead Revisited, Broken, Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Kavanaugh Q.C., Life on Mars, Line of Duty, Poldark, Pride and Prejudice, and Upstairs Downstairs; and mysteries such as A Touch of Frost, Campion, Cracker, Inspector Morse, The Last Detective, Miss Marple, and Prime Suspect.

(My wife and I really like John Cleese’s comedy, Hold the Sunset, about two retired neighbors trying to start a new life together, with complications.)

In addition, BritBox lets you watch Good Morning Britain and other current BBC programming. It’s also the home for all classic (pre-revival) episodes of Doctor Who, which alone might make BritBox worth subscribing to.

A BritBox subscription runs a little more than one for Acorn TV, $6.99 USD per month. If you opt for a one-year subscription, it’s just $69.99 USD.


If you’re a theater fan, check out BroadwayHD. This streaming service offers a mix of recorded Broadway plays and musicals, movies based on Broadway shows, and concerts by famous Broadway performers. Plus lots of behind-the-scenes stuff, of course.

A subscription to BroadwayHD runs $8.99 USD per month, or $99.99 USD per year.

The Criterion Channel

If you’re a true movie lover, you probably know all about the Criterion Collection, well-curated DVDs and Blu-rays of the most influential classic and foreign films in the history of cinema. The Criterion Channel is the streaming service for the Criterion Collection, with many of the same films accompanied by the same superb extras.

The Criterion Channel is where you’ll find films by legendary directors such as Bergman, Buñel, Fellini, Godard, Kurosawa, Malle, Ozu, Scorsese, Tati, and Truffaut. If these names mean nothing to you, skip this service. But if you’re a film aficionado, The Criterion Channel is a must-have service. It costs $10.99 per month or $99.99 per year.

DC Universe

DC Universe is the home to all manner of television series and movies featuring DC superheroes, in both live-action and animated form. You’ll find classic series animated such as Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Super Friends, Superman: The Animated Series, and Young Justice; classic TV series like Adventures of Superman, Constantine, the 1990s The Flash, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and Wonder Woman; live action movies like Batman, Supergirl, and Superman; and various animated movies, including Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, Batman: Year One, The Death of Superman, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, and Justice League: The New Frontier. There are also several original superhero series, such as Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn, Stargirl, and Titans.

Unique to DC Universe are comic books, in digital format. The service offers a rotating selection of DC comics that you can read on your TV screen. (Although, to be honest, they’re easier to read on a computer or tablet than on a TV.)

There’s not a single Marvel movie or series to be found, but if you’re a DC fan, this is the streaming service for you. A DC Universe subscription runs $7.99 USD per month or $74.99 USD per year.

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