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CNN HD Brings High-Tech to Debates

Those who think that TV screens are already cluttered enough during sports and news programming may wince at CNN's latest toy for presidential debates, while high-tech enthusiasts might finds themselves transfixed. Friday night (Sept. 26), during the first of three scheduled presidential debates, CNN HD rolled out some on-screen live stats (that changed second by second).

Perhaps most notable was an "audience reaction" box that consisted of three colored-coded lines running across the screen representing Democrat, Republican, and Independent voters. As each candidate spoke, the lines (prompted by a focus group) slowly slid across the bottom of the screen—the red, blue and green lines moving up for approval, down for disapproval, or flat-lining for "no reaction."

The audience-reaction box was also shown in CNN's 4:3 feed, although another new on-screen gizmo, an "analyst scorecard," was shown only in both side panels of the network's 16:9 HD feed.

As one might expect, the live on-screen stats were easier to decipher in HD mode. A screen capture of the HD graphics is posted online at TV Newser.