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CenturyLink Flips on Prism TV in Portland

CenturyLink has launched its IP-delivered Prism TV service to parts of Portland, Ore., where the telco will duke it out for video subs with Comcast and its X1 platform, as well as with DirecTV and Dish Network.

CenturyLink said Prism TV is currently available to Portland residents and businesses with fiber service in the Sunnyside, Hawthorne, Belmont, Richmond, Mt. Tabor, Kerns, Hosford-Abernethy, Creston-Kenilworth, Sellwood-Moreland, Buckman, Brooklyn and Laurelhurst neighborhoods, and has set up a Web site that allows customers to register and be notified when Prism TV is offered in their area. 

The Oregonian, which has created a map that tracks which portions of Portland are eligible for the fiber-fed service, noted that CenturyLink is also talking to local officials about expanding the service to Vancouver and Lake Oswego.

Prism TV features a wireless set-top box, whole-home DVR, access to a mobile TV Everywhere app, and VOD.

CenturyLink also offers IPTV services in La Crosse, Wis.; Columbia and Jefferson City, Mo.; Tallahassee, Fla. (and areas covering central and southwest Florida; Las Vegas; Phoenix; Omaha, Neb.; Denver, Colorado Springs, and Highlands Ranch, Colo.

CenturyLink added 8,000 Prism TV subs in the first quarter of 2015, ending the quarter with more than 249,000 -- a penetration rate of 10.2%. The company also added 73,000 homes to its addressable TV footprint in the quarter, expanding that total to 2.4 million.

CenturyLink expects to expand Prism TV to about 425,000 additional homes through the rest of 2015, company president and CEO Glen Post said on the company’s May 5 first quarter earnings call.

CenturyLink is currently using Ericsson Mediaroom (the IPTV platform Ericsson acquired from Microsoft in September 2013) to power Prism TV. The telco, however, is developing a next-gen video strategy, and, as part of that process, is evaluating the Reference Design Kit (RDK), the preintegrated software stack for IP-capable set-tops and gateways that’s being managed by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global.