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Lights come online

Camera atop Balboa Pavilion provides live video of the boat parade for your computer.

December 16, 2006|By Alicia Robinson

If you don't want to face parking on the peninsula or brave the rain expected this weekend, there's a new option for watching the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade this year: your computer.

A recently-installed camera on top of the Balboa Pavilion provides streaming video of the harbor, including the procession of boats in the parade, which ends Sunday.

Seven Seas Systems, which provides wireless Internet services and security cameras for yachts, put up the camera, said Charlie Smith, the company's president.

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"I thought, Wouldn't it be nice if people could see the boat parade from anywhere in the world?" he said.

The camera is on the Balboa Pavilion's cupola and looks toward Harbor Island, said Bob Black, general manager of Catalina Passenger Service at the pavilion. It's not exactly a TV-quality picture, he said, but "you can see the boats as they come by…. It's a great idea. I just think they need a better quality camera if they can get that."

The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Black said the best time to start watching the camera is 7:45 p.m., because the boats get close to the pavilion around 8 p.m. The website to see what the camera sees is www.lagunaworldnews.com. Using it may require a free software download.

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