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Most homes now have HD sets, but only 53 percent of TV stations can accept HD spots

The proportion of HD spots being delivered to TV stations increased by 150 percent between the second quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2012, but local broadcasters continue to lag behind the rest of the television industry in the ability to air HD commercials, a new report finds.

Only 53 percent of local stations can accept and air HD ads, much lower than local cable (74 percent), network broadcast (73 percent) and national cable (76 percent), finds Extreme Reach, a consultant on video advertising.

Two years ago, HD ads made up about 10 percent of all TV ads distributed by advertisers to broadcast and cable media outlets. Today, that number has grown 150 percent. In Q2 of this year, 25 percent of ads delivered to TV media outlets were in HD.

An additional trend outlined in the report is the movement of TV advertisers to advanced cloud-based systems for ad distribution. This shift has enabled TV advertisers who use the cloud for ad distribution to deliver an average of 98.5 percent of their SD and HD ads digitally.

The Q2 2012 HD Advertising Trends Report showed a significant shift towards HD TV advertising with SD advertisers on network broadcasts outnumbered for the first time by HD advertisers.

“HD TV advertising has seen tremendous growth since 2010, and I think the rise of cloud computing has really helped move the industry forward into high definition,” said Dan Brackett, chief technology officer of Extreme Reach. “By taking advantage of advanced cloud-based solutions, advertisers have been able to leverage higher performance/lower cost workflows, and those efficiencies have helped fuel the rapid growth in HD advertising.”

For the first time, Extreme Reach studied sports venues, where televisions of every size are prominently featured around the game in lounges, concession areas, large-screen signage and other areas. It found widespread acceptance of HD advertising around sports venues. Compared to local TV broadcasters, sports venues have higher HD adoption and distribution rates, presenting an HD-ready audience and a clear opportunity for advertisers.