What is Acorn TV?
Acorn TV is a streaming service that was first launched in 2011 as part of Acorn Media Group. This company has actually been selling UK-based television VHS tapes, and later DVDs and Blu-ray disks, to consumers since 1994. In 2013, Acorn TV relaunched as a completely stand-alone streaming service. It now offers its subscribers access to many popular and highly acclaimed TV shows, documentaries, and TV movies. Most come from the UK, but some content has come from Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Mexico.
Acorn TV is operated by RLJ Entertainment, which also operates the Sundance Now and Urban Movie Channel streaming services. RLJ was acquired in 2018 by AMC Networks.
How much does Acorn TV cost?
The service costs $5.99 a month, or you can spend $59.99 for an annual subscription.
Is there a free trial offer?
Yes. The service has a seven-day free trial before subscribers are charged the monthly fee.
Where is it available?
Acorn TV is available in the US, Canada, and the UK.
How does it work?
Acorn TV works like other streaming services: Log in to the service via your PC, mobile phone, tablet, or another connected device. Select the show or movie you want to watch and start streaming. The service does not offer ads with its subscription fee, so you don’t have to worry about your experience being interrupted by commercials.
Is it worth it?
Acorn TV is almost the very definition of a “niche” streaming service. It concentrates on dramas primarily from the UK and features shows from Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the world. Many of the shows are murder mysteries, and there’s no doubt that the British TV industry loves offering that kind of programming. The service has a small but growing list of exclusive shows. Don’t look for too many comedies or any kid shows at all on this service. This one is strictly for adults. If you love UK murder mysteries, this service is for you. If you don’t, you might want to bypass this service.
What platforms can I watch Acorn TV?
The service is available for iOS and Android to watch its content on mobile devices. It’s also available on Roku streaming sticks, set-top boxes, and TVs that have the Roku OS installed, and the same goes for Amazon Fire TV-based sticks, set-top boxes, and TVs.
Acorn TV supports casting to TVs via Google Chromecast and devices that have Chromecast built-in. You can access it on the Apple TV set-top boxes. You can stream the service on Samsung smart TVs. PC owners can use their web browser to surf the AcornTV.com site to sign up and watch content. Finally, Acorn TV is preloaded on the Xfinity boxes from Comcast, and you can sign up for the service via Amazon Prime Video or Roku “channels.”
What are the best Acorn TV shows?
While there are quite a few Acorn TV shows that are entertaining, several stand out from the rest. Many of them are exclusive to the streaming service, at least in the US.
- My Life is Murder – Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) stars in this Australian drama. She plays a retired police detective who is constantly being called in to help solve murders.
- Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – Set in Melbourne, Australia, in the 1920s, this series centers on a glamourous female detective, Phryne Fisher, trying to prove herself in a profession ruled mostly by men.
- Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries – A spinoff of the series centers on Miss Fisher’s niece Peregrine who also tries her hand in the detective game, this time in the swinging 1960s.
- Queens of Mystery – A modern female detective in the UK gets help in crime-solving from her three aunts.
- Foyle’s War – The long-running UK mystery series that centers on a quiet but determined detective during and after World War II.
- Blood – In a small town in Ireland, a doctor’s wife has just died. Everyone in town believes it was an accident, but the doctor’s daughter thinks otherwise.
- Deadwater Fell – David Tennant (Doctor Who) and Cush Jumbo (The Good Fight) star in this mystery thriller. Set in a small town in Scotland, the residents have to deal with the mass murder of an entire family by someone trusted in the community.
- Gold Digger – Julia Ormond plays a 60-year-old woman who begins an affair with a man that’s 25 years younger than her.
- Dead Still – In late 19th century Ireland, a photographer that takes pictures of dead bodies becomes a suspect in a murder case himself.
- Keeping Faith – Eve Myles (Torchwood) stars as a lawyer whose husband suddenly goes missing. She then learns that the small Wales town she lives in has lots of secrets.
Acorn TV alternatives
There are certainly ways to watch even more British TV via streaming services. Here are just a couple of other alternatives to Acorn TV that are available:
BritBox is certainly a major competitor to Acorn TV for fans of British television. Indeed, the service is supported directly by the two biggest UK broadcasters, the BBC and ITV. That support means subscribers will get a wider variety of programming, including comedies, game shows, daily soap operas, and even news shows like Good Morning Britain that are available to stream a few hours after they are broadcast. The service does cost a bit more, at $6.99 a month, or $69.99 for a year.