Ohio-based Horizon Telcom and Horry Telephone Cooperative in
South Carolina have announced
plans to deploy a HDTV ad-insertion system
from RGB Networks and SeaChange
"It is basically an issue of market share," said SeaChange
director of advertising product management Yossi Weihs, who noted that the
deals highlight growing interest from smaller and midsized telcos in high-definition
ad insertion. "If you are not inserting on HD channels, you're giving up an
increasingly large percentage of ad-insertion revenue. As HD usage goes up, HD
ad insertion becomes a must."
Smaller telcos with limited footprints have traditionally
struggled with local ad insertion and typically either don't insert local ads
or farm out the business to outside rep firms.
That has changed in recent years, as automated systems have
made it easier to add ad-insertion capabilities.
SeaChange partnered with RGB
to develop a turnkey solution to make it relatively simple for smaller and midsized
telcos to deploy HD ad insertion, said Weihs, who added that the companies have
been aggressively marketing the product to telcos in 2009. The all-automated system
uses RGB's Broadcast Network Processor
equipment and SeaChange's Spot advertising-system software.
HTC, which uses coaxial
cable to deliver its video products to customers in Horry
County, S.C., was the first
operator to deploy the ad insertion product under the two companies' new
reseller agreement. HTC is the nation's
largest telephone cooperative and serves more than 200,000 homes.
In addition to the ad-insertion product, HTC
has also acquired RGB's Simulcast Edge
Processor and Modular Media Converter as part of a major network upgrade to
expand its HD offering. As a result of that upgrade, the co-op will be able to deliver
three HD programs over each of its 6 Megahertz channels, rather than the usual
Horizon Telcom, which provides video, voice and data to
eight southern Ohio counties, is
expected to begin local ad insertion for 30 of its most popular HD and standard-definition
channels by the end of the year.
Besides the growing interest in providing HD ad-insertion solutions,
Weihs said operators have shown increased interest in products that offer more
customization and greater flexibility in handling signals, so ads can be
delivered at the highest possible quality.
Also driving demand is a recent move to regulate
differences in audio levels between network programming ad commercials,
Weihs added. "It's a problem that everyone has to deal with, operators and
programmers," he said.