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Cox Offering HD Ads

Marking an industry first, cable provider Cox Communications has begun inserting hi-def local ads into its HD cable programming.

The rollout was initiated in Cox's Rhode Island market with the insertion of local HD ads ESPN HD. The first ad appeared in May, when Cox collaborated with SeaChange International to insert its HD channel digital ad.

"HD consumers are a valuable target audience to our advertisers," Guy McCormick, Cox vice president of technical operations said. "Cox Media will continue to leverage technology to reach new viewer segments with the video products we offer."

Cox used its existing SeaChange Spot digital insertion system combined with SeaChange's DigitalX automated ad transcoder software to insert 720p and 1080i ads into 720/1080i HD streams. With this platform, ads produced for standard definition television can be repurposed for HD insertion, according to SeaChange.

"Cable operators are capturing local HD spot opportunities without the premium pricing often associated with HD operations, " James Kelso, vice president of SeaChange said.