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This split-screen view is the best way to watch tonight’s debate

September 26th, 2016 at 5:20 PM
How to Watch Presidential Debate

I know what you’re thinking: the only good way to watch tonight’s debate is with one eye on the TV, one eye on your Canadian passport application, and both hands clutching as much alcohol as possible. But believe it or not, there is a way to enhance your experience.

C-SPAN (remember them?!) is livestreaming the debate in split screen, allowing you to keep your watchful gaze on Clinton and Trump at the same time. Catch every coughing fit, see incredulous glances as they happen, or just marvel at Donald’s hair all night long. The choice is yours.

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Split-screen viewing might seem lazy or strange, but it actually makes a lot of sense for the debate. Showing reactions (or not, as the case may be) is a case where an editor’s choices can make a huge difference in how the debate is perceived by the audience.

Committing to showing both candidates all of the time removes any chance of bias in a race where both candidates are polarizing the electorate. It does also make life quite easy for C-SPAN’s editors.

It also makes you think about how VR coverage could improve a debate. I’m yet to be sold on using VR to watch something like a baseball match, where there’s so many camera angles and so much going on already. But for a political debate, where there’s virtually no camera angles needed, I could imagine a VR perspective, shot from about where the moderators sit, to be a neat trick.

Sadly, that won’t be happening tonight, so in the meantime, cue up C-SPAN (or another channel of your choice), set the corn to pop, and prep the fireworks.

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