It seems last week CenturyLink launched a new service designed with cord cutters in mind, CenturyLink Stream. Like a number of similar options, CenturyLink Stream looks to offer consumers a way to engage with TV content without the need for a traditional contract or subscription. Instead, you pay as you go and in return gain access to a selection of live TV and on-demand content. But that is not all, in addition to launching CenturyLink Stream, CenturyLink has also unveiled its CenturyLink Player – an Android TV device, manufactured by LG no less.
This is CenturyLink's own solution for those who want to use its service but do not have the necessary hardware. So the downside here is that while this is a new Android TV device, it is only available from CenturyLink as it is a device designed to work primarily with CenturyLink Stream. However, that is not to say that it only works with CenturyLink Stream, as this box does seem to come with a full version of Android TV and the Google Play Store in tow. So this is not quite as limited as some of the other network and carrier-related Android TV boxes that have come through recently. To all purposes, this seemingly will work much like any other Android TV box. In terms of the specs, the CenturyLink Player comes loaded with 2GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, and is powered by a quad-core processor (clocking at 1.5 GHz). From the looks of it, the CenturyLink Player only comes equipped with one HDMI 2.0 port, although it does support voice control through the remote control, and includes 4K support and Bluetooth 4.1. In terms of its physical properties, the CenturyLink Player measures 5.09-inches in length, 5.09 inches in width, and 1.25-inches in height.
As for the price, the CenturyLink Player is listed at $89.99 excluding the cost of CenturyLink Stream which is likely to be a prerequisite to buying the box. Speaking of which, CenturyLink Stream is currently only available in two flavors, one labeled as an "Ultimate" package, and one which is designed for Spanish-speaking viewers. The "Latino" options comes in at $15 per month and includes access to a number of Spanish-speaking channels including BeIn Sports, Discovery en Espanol, ViendoMovies, and more. While the Ultimate package is priced at $45 per month and for that amount, CenturyLink Stream offers access to ABC, A&E, CNBC, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, ESPN, MSNBC NBC, USA, and more. Both options also come with Cloud DVR for increased recording storage and the ability to watch from anywhere. And both packages also include the option to add various extras, such as a movies add-on, or a a sports add-on.
Of course, for the general cord cutters who already own the necessary hardware, there is no requirement to buy the CenturyLink Player to make use of CenturyLink Stream. This is a proper cord cutting option which is now available via a wealth of alternative devices. For instance, those who own an Android device can download the CenturyLink Stream app for direct access to the service from smartphones and tablets (does not currently seem to support other Android TV devices), while PC users can also access the service directly from the internet. Likewise, Roku devices owners also have the option of downloading CenturyLink Stream from the Roku Channel Store. With CenturyLink noting that support for an even wider variety of devices is coming soon. Check out the video below (or head through the link) for more details on the CenturyLink Player and CenturyLink Stream.