Election Night Live: Tech Report


7:17 p.m. ET

CNN breaks out the big guns by going to its holographic technology for the first time for a live interview with Jessica Yellin from Chicago. Dubbed "CNN Virtual View," the virtual-set based system showed a holographic image of Yellin appearing on the New York set, including camera pans from back to front. Light applause from CNN staffers could be heard in the background.

"We beamed you in," said Wolf Blitzer, noting that it was the first time it had been on live television and commenting to Yellin that "instead of having thousands of people behind you, we can have a little bit more intimate conversation."

While there was a definite fuzziness around Yellin’s holographic image, there weren’t any major flaws in the image and no big lip-synch problems. Yellin explained to viewers that she was standing in a [green screen] tent in Chicago with 35 HD cameras aligned in a ring around her to capture the image, and appeared proud of the technical breakthrough she was part of.

"It’s like I followed in the tradition of Princess Leia," she said, in a reference to the "Star Wars"-like appeal of the technology.

Blitzer then completed the interview, saying, "You were a terrific hologram. Thank you very much."

6:20 p.m. ET

CNN’s John King and Campbell Brown unveil the 3D virtual model of the Capitol to show the projected outcomes of the Senate races and how they will change the balance of power in the Senate. King notes to viewers that they haven’t done this before, and they can’t see it themselves. It works for about two minutes before freezing up when showing images of the candidates in New Mexico, superimposed to the right of the virtual Capitol. King keeps rolling with the discussion. — Glen Dickson, Senior Editor

6:06 pm ET:

No virtual-set-based "holographic" interviews yet from CNN. The network has shown remote field reports from correspondents Dana Bash in Phoenix, at McCain headquarters, and Candy Crowley in Chicago, at Obama headquarters, but both have been traditional standups. — Glen Dickson, Senior Editor

5: 50 p.m. ET 

MSNBC takes a commercial break – and its graphic overlay with it.

When on live coverage, the network displays graphics top to bottom on the right side of the screen featuring state factoids, and poll closing times across the bottom of the screen. This graphic stays through the break with the exception of one commercial, for Merit Financial (local ad insert?). — Melissa Grego, Executive Editor

5 44 p.m. ET

Chuck Todd political director at MSNBC has lost me.

He’s standing at a podium next to a map that looks like it is floating in a regal room with pillars and marble steps. He is switching through data displayed on color-coded states. It’s coded for age in the state. Now income. Now voting history. Now there are red and blue push pins. Ahhh!

I’m starting to feel like B&C EIC Ben Grossman – in high school all over again. And this time I am glazing right over the lesson. — Melissa Grego, Executive Editor

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