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Drones, virtual reality and good old analysis, TV channels pull out the stops for counting day

PTI     May 22, 2019

New Delhi, May 22 (PTI) Drones that fly overhead to give a "bird's eye view", Rs 1 lakh cash prize if you guess the winner right and good old analysis, television channels are moving from the fantastical to the mundane to entice viewers on counting day Thursday. With millions in India and abroad preparing to tune into television channels and log in to news networks on their phones and other devices as votes for the Lok Sabha election are counted, media houses are making sure they grab TRPs. Many are using VFX and lurid graphics and others are pitching the fact that they have the best network of on-ground reporters and in-studio analysts. And, as the clock strikes 6 am on Thursday, all are promising poll results from ground zero first and fast. CNN-New18's deputy executive editor Anand Narasimhan will hop on to an "elex-a drone quadcopter" that will hover over a virtual map of India to give the "big picture" of the results using "virtual reality on live TV". "Buckle up for a thrilling ride as India elects its next govt. Get the elevated experience. A bird's eye view of India's biggest results," reads a ticker on a video shared by the channel on micro-blogging site Twitter. Times Now has promised to bring coverage cut-out for the "millenial viewer" with the use of "state of the art technology". "Our collaboration with Pixotope (a virtual production systems) means that for the first time ever in India's electoral history and in the broadcast of elections, you will be seeing software innovation powered by the Unreal Engine (a game engine)," Editor-in-Chief Rahul Shivshankar said on Twitter. The technology is expected to "help in virtual, augmented and mixed reality projections" of the poll results data. Zee News has decided to welcome the new government from a new studio that will stream the results "to over 170 countries simultaneously", a feat it claims will be the "first of its kind in India done by an Indian channel". "We will be coming to you on election day from our new studio and would be bringing to you world's biggest election coverage, biggest because we will be beaming to over 170 countries simultaneously," Sudhir Chaudhary, editor-in-chief of the Hindi news channel, said in a video. Not all media houses have something "never seen before" to offer. NDTV, for instance, will be bringing home the results the traditional way. In a promo on Twitter, NDTV co-founder Prannoy Roy promised to stream the "fastest election results and analysis" on television as well as online. "We have pulled out all stops to ensure the fastest update is on our apps and site tomorrow. We've put in new tech to ensure quicker pushes of results as they come in - in faster spurts than anyone else. Features-wise we will have new 3D interactive maps, breaking news alerts and many more state of the art graphics," an NDTV employee told PTI. India TV will be using one of the most significant days in Indian politics to host a contest and give the audience an opportunity to win goodies. "As India counts on May 23, your say matters. Speak out on IndiaTV. Tweet your one-minute video using #ResultsWithRajatSharma and stand a chance to be in next #AapKiAadalat show. Also, the best five videos will win a cash prize of Rs 10K," channel chairman and editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma said in a video. Other contests on India TV will include the opportunity of getting featured on the channel if one predicts correctly the winner of their constituency, and a chance to win Rs 1 lakh if they get right the answers to three questions that Sharma will ask on Thursday. PTI MG/TRS MIN MIN


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