Finally I have reached one of the three New Year's programs I will be reviewing. So things should be wrapped up for this project near the end of the month.
This is a good article to explain what AR is and can do.
Being the traditional year end music program Kohaku leans towards the more conservative side of things. So the general atmosphere is more sedate than other special music programs and acts that may typically have been more unconventional will tone down to be a better fit for the program. That said it is also the program that artists tend to go the extra mile when it comes to bringing out a more memorable performance, or at least one that will stand out from the rest. This could definitely be seen when comparing the performances of the artists that were on most of the other music programs and performing the same song(s) but bringing things up a level for Kohaku.
But unless you are really interested in watching the show to see a greater range of artists from Japan you would be better off hunting down clips of the acts you are interested in. This is one of the longer programs as it clocks in around four and a half hours, so you also need to make sure you have a good amount of free time to watch the full things as well.