While researching my post about CenturyLink’s move from DISH to DirecTV for DBS resale, I discovered prism TV – CenturyLink’s new product name for their IPTV service. I either missed the press release on this one or CenturyLink has been quite quiet about it.

Prism replaces Advanced TV as the flagship IPTV product name for the soon to be third largest telco in the U.S. (after the Qwest acquisition closes). Prism is being offered in five markets so far – Columbia and Jefferson City, Mo, Ft. Myers, Fl, La Crosse, Wi, and Las Vegas, Nv.

It’s a Microsoft Mediaroom middleware platform which CenturyLink delivers primarily over DSL. Prism is very closely aligned with AT&T’s U-verse TV product – same middleware, similar FTTN architecture, similar feature set.

Unlike AT&T, CenturyLink charges a premium for whole-home DVR. CenturyLink pricing varies by market, based on the competition I presume. For example, whole-home DVR is offered for $7/month in La Crosse, but for $12/month in Las Vegas. They’re lowest priced offer is  an introductory video package for $29.99/month and an intro prism powered triple play bundle for $85/month. But again, those prices are slightly higher in Las Vegas. They are competing with Cox in Las Vegas and have already been involved in some interesting competitive battles with them.

With the looming Qwest acquisition and the recent move to DirecTV for DBS resale, it will be interesting to watch the expanding footprint of prism and the competitive battles it takes on.

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50 thoughts on “CenturyLink Quietly Launches prism IPTV Product

  1. I don't understand why they are being so slow rolling this out. I am in Gig Harbor, WA and have FTTH with CenturyLink. I call them every week asking about IPTV and they just say no information and hang up. What is the deal with being so tight lipped and so slow at getting this done? Are there issues in the markets they do serve IPTV to?

    1. Gig Harbor is just marginally big enough to make a facilities-based (IPTV) solution work economically. Don't despair – DirecTV has a fairly equivalent solution, with its own whole-home PVR, and good range of programming. (That's sacrilige for me to say, I know, but it's the fact for that market) – Steve in Issaquah (WA)

      1. I was afraid that might be the case. I don't really want satellite, not to mention it being against my HOA. But anything is better than Comcast I suppose. I don't really care too much about DVR solutions, I just want some good HD content at a decent price. I would also be interested in the on demand capabilities of Media Room based products, but haven't heard too much about what it offers. Well, I will just make do without TV until one day they decide to come to Gig Harbor. I just hope they do eventually. Thanks for the info Steve.

        1. Just an fyi… It is against the law for an HOA to prohibit a homeowner from installing a satellite or TV antenna. I had to deal w/ my HOA regarding this issue, and the FCC was very quick to get in touch w/ my HOA to enforce the law.

    2. I've talked with the CL IPTV team in the past. They are definitely taking a slow and steady approach, as they should. Lot's of moving parts with IPTV and CL has been distracted of late with mergers, etc. They want to get this right. Good for them.

    3. It is economics Dustin. CenturyLink has FTTP services in many areas that does not yet offer PRISM services simply becuase it does require extra equipment to provide such services in the field beyond the home converters. There must be a large enough customer base in an area to warrant deployment and the areas currently deployed have the largest customers bases. Give it time, as with all new technologies it takes time for demand to drive down costs.

    4. URGENT – WE NEED YOUR HELP!! L&E Research, based in Tampa is coming to the Estero area and is looking for triple play customers of Comcast or CenturyLink Prism to participate in a 90-minute focus group on Tuesday, November, 8th. Participants will receive $125. For more information and to see if you qualify please call Kerstin at 919-890-3193 extension 222 or email kkaiser@leresearch.com. If you know of anyone that may qualify for this study, please pass along the information. Thanks!

  2. I can certainly appreciate not rushing anything and doing the job right. I just think taking several years to get beyond 2 test markets is a bit extreme. They shouldn't really be listed as a vendor on Microsofts website either since they aren't in production with this product yet/

  3. re: Microsoft – I don't know if I'd go that far. They are offering the service in five markets today, and that number will grow. That qualifies them as a legitimate MS Mediaroom service provider.

    1. I just moved to Fort Myers. I was on the phone with CL this afternoon to order their metered phone service and they offered me prism in a bundle with regular phone and 3M/768k internet for $90.89 or $102.88 with HD. Interesting to see whether they can deliver.

    2. I live in Naples and am getting mine installed tomorrow! You might want to call a local office if you haven't already. When I called the main 800 number, they told me "no." However, I talked to a CenturyLink employee I know from work, and he told me that when you live in certain areas (myself, I live in a condo), the people at the main customer service center can't always accurately tell if it's available to you. I went into the store and they told me it was no problem.

    3. Acutally Fort myers is being turned on Little by little , this way the network is not overloaded and wwe can work out the issue as they pop up with out affecting a large number of customers…

  4. I have Prism TV and it is great and the picture quality is better than what I had on Satelite or Cable. Very Interactive and great overlays

  5. Just had it installed in Fort Myers last week. First off, it's appears to be a great system. Picture quality is superb (even non-HD channels) and the array of channels is outstanding for the money (when compared to Comcrap).
    The technician that installed the system (very nice, polite guy by the way) told me that he had received an email just that morning stating they are now ready to roll it out (under the PRISM name) big time. Funny, I just saw a new billboard sign advising it a few days ago. He explained that they wanted to have the "bugs" and logistics worked out before the they rolled it out en masse. So far, so good — it's been flawless since I've had it and I couldn't be happier.

  6. Just got off the phone with CenturyLink in the Cape Coral, Fl. market. They quote $ 52.00 a month with a $ 20 discount for the first 6 months. This is for the 150 ch.pakage. $ 85.00 for the 200 ch.

    1. Yes

      Prism Serivice is Currently

      My Prism Tv
      130 digital radiant channels for $52.99 – $20.00 discount for 6 months=$32.99 x 6 months
      Free HD and Free Dvr for 3 months / Additional Tv's are $7.00/Mo

      Prism Complete
      150 digital radiant channels for $65.99-$20.00 discount for 6 months=$45.99 x 6 months
      Free Dvr service for life of service , Free HD for 3 months / Additional Tv's are $7.00/Mo

      Prism Premium
      200 digital radiant channels for $106.99-$20.00 discount for 6 months=$86.99 x 6 months
      Free Dvr service for life of service , Free HD for 3 months / Additional Tv's are $7.00/Mo

  7. Just visited with CenturyLink here in FT Myers for a demo – prior to ordering. I was NOT impressed with video PQ and honesty feel Dish and DTV are much better (I have had both). Comcast is crap, so if you are comparing to that – anything is better.

    ALSO – only 1 HD channel can be received at a time with Prism, so if you have 2 or 3 HD tv's you are out of luck. Cost is about the same as DTV after you add in the whole house DVR fee, HD fees and extra receiver fees (Prisim and DTV both charge these)

    Bottom line… at this time, it would seem Prisim does not offer any real advantage, cost or otherwise over DTV or DishN

    1. I just had this installed yesterday. I am in Naples, FL. For me, there is a few dollars in savings. But, the best feature, for me anyway, is the ability to record, watch, pause and resume recorded shows from any TV in the house. This also means I can start watching in one room, and finish in the other. No more falling asleep on the couch because I want to see the end of a show.

      Also, there will be either 1 or 2 HD streams depending on bandwidth available at your address. As the system gets upgraded, most people will be able to have 2 HD streams. I was also told that 4 streams will be possible in the future.

      1. Where are you in Naples? I went to store on Airport and they said it would not be available for a few more months?

        1. I am in Naples & I just ordered Prism yesterday.Install will be Nov. 9th. Sounds pretty good to me & I'm saving about $40.00 per mo. after year of pro mo's. You'll also be able to bring up Facebook, you tube & other computer things. Also caller ID will flash on the screen. Interesting.

        2. I went to the store on Airport a couple weeks ago and scheduled it. I live off of Davis. Getting mine installed tomorrow!

    2. Acutally Sir it all depends on how many Streams you can receive at your location. The closer you are to fiber the more signal strenth you will have. we can not offer more hd then the system in your area can support. Tha would not be prudent.

      CenturyLink Rep….Visit Fort Myers for Demo-5100 Daniels Prkwy suite 300/400

  8. I live in Columbia MO and just signed up. So far I like everything except that some St Louis Blues hockey games have not been available. I moved from dish for this reason, then dish settles (just my luck). I have not gotten a good response as to why select (so far the last two Saturday's) games have not been shown here. Anyone have any more info.

  9. The reason it's rolling out so slowly is that it is extremely expensive (for the company) to set up the necessary facilities.

    1. this is exactly correct. my dad installs the new hardware required to run prism and some of the parts he handles are $40k a piece. can't wait for the service to come to north carolina

  10. I am in Jefferson City, MO, and just had Prism installed yesterday. So far, so good! I didn't get the largest movie package, but even if I had I think it would still be cheaper than my Mediacom Digital. When I called Mediacom to cancel, they started quoting me all kinds of lower costs. Too late!
    The picture quality is great (I don't have HD televisions yet) and I can watch all the channels on all my sets, which I couldn't do before.

  11. We're seriously considering Prism as our TV provider. We currently have Dish and, frankly, have had no issues with their service. A serious concern for us is the number of HD channels Prism has available at this time. It appears that Prism has about 40 HD channels while Dish has over 70. Direct TV has even more in their channel line up. Additionally, Dish has some channels that don’t seem to be available on either Direct TV or Prism. The reason for our considering a change fromDish TV to either Driect TV or Prism is the cost. As Prism is part of Century Link, they can bundle our telephone and DSL service (10kB/sec) into one package price with is about $60/mo less than we’re paying now for our Dish, Phone and DSL service.

    Has anyone heard if Prism plans to expand its HD line up??

    1. Yes sir a recent upgrade has added another wave of HD channesl this past week

      Mun2 (E)03/18/11Speed HD03/18/11BET HD03/18/11MSNBC HD
      Fox Movie Channel HD Universal HD03/18/11 HBO HD (E)03/18/11HBO 2 HD (E)HBO Family HD (E)03/18/11HBO Signature HD (E)03/18/11HBO Comedy HD (E)
      HBO Comedy (E)03/18/11HBO Zone HD (E)03/18/11HBO Zone (E)
      HBO Latino HD (E)03/18/11Cinemax HD (E)03/18/11MoreMax HD (E)
      ActionMax HD (E)03/18/11ThrillerMax HD (E)03/18/11ThrillerMax (E)
      TruTV HD03/12/11AMC (E)03/18/11WE tv (E)03/18/11IFC (E)03/18/11
      Fuse (E)03/18/11CMT HD (E)03/18/11Comedy Central HD (E)
      MTV HD (E)03/18/11Nickelodeon HD03/18/11Spike HD (E)03/18/11
      VH1 HD (E)03/18/11Fox News Channel HD03/18/11
      This should place us in the 65 to 70 range for HD…

      Come Visit us for a Demo – 5100 Daniels Prkwy suite 300/400

  12. Do you need an urgent loan?If yes email us at kgeoffreyfirm001@kgeoffreyfirm001@w.cnw.cn for more info.

  13. We're set up to start receiving Prism just outside Fort Myers starting in March. I'm a little concerned about the fact that the whole thing is wireless, since our wi-fi (also through Embarq) sputters along, changing speeds constantly. I'd like to know what happens to the show I'm watching if my connection speed suddenly drops, as it constantly does. Does it "buffer" like my laptop is always doing? I admit, there's a lot that I don't understand about this, but I'm psyched to be one of the first people to try it. That's always fun. I'd love to hear about more people's experiences. Please post! We have a month to change our minds.

    1. Well to clarify our TV service (Prism) is not wireless it must be hardwired to our Set top box either with a Coxial cable or HDMI or Cat 5 cable, what is wireless is the Internet Network that is set up in your home…For more info and demo visit our Retail location

      5100 Daniels Prkwy suite 300/400 or Call 239-590-0440

  14. Just signed up for a bundle that includes 6Mb internet (had 5 before) anywhere calling on landline and 4 room dvr Prism. Cost is 127.67 before surcharges and taxes. I have been paying 104.00 for an expanded Dish pkg and 87.00 for basic phone (no longdistance) and 5Mb internet. If the picture quality is as good as I hear it is I'll be happy to save about 60.00 a month. Only prob is that order taker said HD was not yet available yet here in Port Charlotte, FL, however she said it won't be long in coming and the box I get is already HD ready so it will be a quick hook-up. HD is an additional 11.99 per month after the first 90 days.

  15. I got prismtv yesterday…and I figured out almost everything…I came from dish network 2 tuner dvr…..(which i loved and was the biggest advocate) but not any more!

    First off,, lemme start with the cons… and see if this matters to you….

    You cant set a timer to record for just that specific day….for example, i record my fav show every sat night at 8pm.. and its a new episode…and the 830pm rerun that follows…not a big deal since you can just set the timer to record an extra hour afterward

    there is no slo mo function

    volume levels from channel to channel are not all the same…you will find yourself turning the volume down on certain shows

    there is no dish pass…so if the show is not in the channel lineup, you cant record it…

    and you cant delete mulit programs at once after you are done..you have to do the one at a time..or by default, the system will delete them for you when it needs space

    now for the PROS! and i love the PROS!

    this bad boy can record 4, yes 4 shows at once…but if you are doing 5 shows at once..the conflict feature pops up, and asks you to click on the ones you care about…and it will resolve it for you…DISH wasn't good at this.. and always would screw up my recording conflicts,and i would never see the show..

    the picture quality is better and clearer, the colors are brighter the chromas are really red ……you might need to adjusts your tv color levels..

    for sport fans, you can extended any dvr recording up to 3 hours…or as low as 5 mins for those reality shows that never end on time and you miss it…

    the remote is great, and it lights up at night…so you can see in the dark!

    you can also delete shows that you are watching…unlike dish, you have to stop watching it, go into another menu, then delete…too many steps

    also, you can edit the timer settings of a recorded show you are watching which is great!

    when you search for a show…it will also show you the actors in that show or movie…and you can also search by that…so you can find everything that actor is in…

    this prism is set up just like TIVO, the interface is the same and very easy to pick up and learn.. i would say by day 3 you will be a pro at the set up

    they have a 24 hour live tech support line ( no talking to india) its Americans that speak perfect English…so call the 800 number if you run into problems….dont get me wrong…i love indians,,,i have family and friends who are indians…i just dont want them giving me tech support over the phone…

    the best part is the savings, you will save when you bundle the tv, phone and internet…its only $100 a month for the best package and add $50 a month for all the movie channels

    unheard of deal..and the home phone is unlimited long distance…and they include a wireless router for the fast internet…

    my advice..is sign up today….or go into one of the century link retail stores to play with the set up before you buy..

    oh yea….there is NO CONTRACT like dish and direct tv!

  16. We have had Prism for about 1month all is great. It has shut down twice but you tech. got it going with a few minutes. We are in Florida the fishing and boating captial of the world and you need to put on more fishing and boating programs, please look into SHIP SHAPE TV. I think it a great program and would like to see it on 1 or 2 times a week. Your tech that installed our system and has come to help get it going the second time is a credit to Century Link Prism. He did an outstanding job.

  17. Thinking about getting prism installed. I am worried about how much needs to be done inside the house. I have cox cable now, do they just hook into the current cox cables or do they have to get to the phone jack that is back behind heavy furniture that I don't want to see moved?

    1. Jon, I'm a Century Link Employee and I install PRISM TV. The system runs in on brand new CAT-5 telephone line that the techs will run to a location usually close to the Desktop. The CAT-5 feeds a Gateway, which basically looks like a modem. This Gateway is the central brains of the whole system. From the gateway we back-feed onto your existing Coax cable. We will need access to all the Coax ends to replace them because we completely rehabilitate the coax system to ensure there will be no issues. We will more than likely need access to the attic as well. Most installs take 3-5 hours to complete.

      PS. We also have the ability to send the signal through a Power Line Adapter (PLA) and use your existing electrical system to feed each TV as well. In this case, all the tech will need access to is a power outlet (We use these in condominiums all the time).

      Any further questions please call your local Century Link office.

      Thanks, Chase. (Fort Myers, FL)

  18. I ordered Prism May 3rd 2011 and a couple of days later a couple of techs came to the house and metered my phone line. They said that I was too far from the center and I couldn't get the service and there was no word as to when it would be available if ever.

    1. Bob, I'm a Century Link employee. Right now we have a maximum reach of 8000 feet from the Office/Concentrater/CEV, where the DSL/PRISM TV signal comes from. The reason for this is because most areas we are offering this service to is a copper cable field, and copper has resistance. Eventually we plan on having a fiber optic field and once that happens you will be able to get the service. Until then however we will only be able to offer you DSL internet and Telephone.

  19. I'm considering the change from Cox to CenturyLink Prism, Internet and Phone in Las Vegas. Anyone out there from Las Vegas I'd like to hear the pros & cons. I don't want to be tied into a multi year contract when they still have a lot of problems to fix. Might also consider DirectTV instead of Prism (with CentryLink internet and phone.) Would love to hear your comments. Thanks in advance.

  20. I live in Arcadia, Florida. Will I be able to receive prism in my home in this area? Please let me know this right away because dish ish ending soon and I really don't want it anymore. It is a big problem.

  21. URGENT – WE NEED YOUR HELP!! L&E Research, based in Tampa is coming to the Estero area and is looking for triple play customers of Comcast or CenturyLink Prism to participate in a 90-minute focus group on Tuesday, November, 8th. Participants will receive $125. For more information and to see if you qualify please call Kerstin at 919-890-3193 extension 222 or kkaiser@leresearch.com. If you know of anyone that may qualify for this study, please pass along the information. Thanks!

  22. Prism TV will be coming to Seattle area in 2 years, CenturyLink is checking how much bandwidth they have from Qwest's interstructure.They will do some upgrades here and hopefully it will be available in the Seattle area.

  23. We are moving to the 33905 area in Fort Myers in a couple of days and I was told that Prism is available on the first part of my street, but not where my house is. I believe we are literally yards away from getting it! Do you know when it will be available as I really do not want to get Direct TV or Dish Network. I have four kids and no cable for six months won't go over well in our house! 🙂

  24. What input connections must a TV have in order to receive the PRISM signal? We have a flat screen 19" Magnavox TV. It is 5-6 years old, we think. We have a DSL line coming to our house for our two computers. Should we go out and buy an new TV ?

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