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What is Acorn TV? Everything you need to know about the UK TV streaming service

Check out some of the best TV shows from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and more.

Published onAugust 12, 2022

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As the streaming TV resolution continues to grow, more niche services are gaining subscribers. One source of new and acclaimed shows is getting more attention. It’s called Acorn TV, and it’s actually been around for a few years. But what is Acorn TV? That’s just what we are going to find out in this article.

Read moreBest video streaming services

You can sign up for the service right now at the link below, with a seven-day free trial:

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Acorn TV
Acorn TV offers lots of TV shows from the UK, Australia, and New Zealand to US audiences.

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 $6.99 a month, or you can spend $69.99 for an annual subscription.

Is there a free trial offer?

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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 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?

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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.
  • Close to the Enemy — This post-World War II spy tale centers on a British officer trying to convince a captured German scientist to create a jet aircraft engine.
  • Harry Wild — Jane Seymour plays a retired literature professor named Harriet “Harry” Wild who decides to help solve crimes, much to the chagrin of her son, a Dublin police detective.
  • The Straits — You can catch Succession’s Brian Cox in an earlier role in this series, as the head of an Australian crime family.
  • Agatha Raisin — Extras’ Ashley Jensen stars as a city woman who retires to a small town, and quickly becomes an amateur detective for the community.
  • Darby and Joan — A woman looking to solve her husband’s murder teams up with an ex-detective in the Australian outback.

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 logo

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.


netflix uk

Netflix, the biggest streaming service of all, includes several top-rated UK-produced TV shows in its lineup. That includes originals like the Netflix megahit The Crown, along with other shows like Sex Education, Peaky Blinders, Bodyguard, and of course The Great British Baking Show. However,  the price for a Netflix subscription is on the high side, at $9.99 a month for its cheapest plan.

Other FAQs

The service does not state how many devices can stream Acorn TV at once on one account.

The service does not state if it has put limits for sharing accounts.

At the moment, the service does not offer 4K streaming shows.

Currently, the service does not have a free plan.

No, there are no ads while streaming shows on the service.

Although it’s not officially supported, many VPN services work with Acorn TV. Learn more about the best VPN services.

No, you cannot download shows for offline viewing on the service.

That’s everything you need to know about Acorn TV. We will expand and update this article when more shows are launched and updates to the service itself.