Still reeling from Time Warner Cable’s ABC lockout? Create your own damn TV station with the Sony DCR-TRV820 Handycam ($1,299, J&R Computer World in late May), which lets you beam high-resolution video and stereo sound right into your television. Just aim your Handycam in the general direction of the Sony IFT-R20 Super Laserlink Wireless Receiver ($49), a small black box that goes on top of your TV set, and (provided you’re within 26 feet of the TV) “broadcast” directly from the camcorder – no cables, no adapters, no nothing. The Handycam’s other gee-whiz feature is a built-in mini-printer that spits out color video stills on business-card-size paper or small stickers.
The two sweetest cell phones for spring? The diminutive Motorola Timeport P8167 ($299) and Samsung 6100 ($179), which both operate on Sprint’s PCS digital network and include “microbrowser” Web-surfing capabilities (check your stocks, read the latest headlines). They’re also worthy featherweight contenders designwise – the Timeport’s clamshell shape has a satisfying solidity, and the Samsung features a flip-down keypad cover, so you can take and terminate calls by one-handedly snapping it open and shut. It’s an oddly satisfying gesture, and it makes borrowing a friend’s one-piece Nokia anticlimactic: You end a call and your phone just … sits there. It’s sad, really.
It’s almost creepy how much control the X10 MP3 Anywhere 2000 remote gives you. Yeah, it puts you in command of your stereo, TV, DVD player, etc. – not to mention X10 modules you can use to operate lights and appliances (say, a space heater or a fan). But the X10 can also control a PC’s MP3 audio files with a 2.4GHz mini-broadcast system – part goes into your PC’s sound card and part into your home stereo. The neatest trick of all is that X10 has kept remarkable control of the price: The entire system is $49.99 (available direct at www.x10.com or 800-675-3044).
Head Cases Do your long-suffering neighbors bang on your apartment walls if you turn your stereo’s volume above 3? Invest in a pair of wireless, rechargeable headphones. The Sennheiser RS6 ($149.99, J&R; 212-238-9000) uses 900MHz RF technology and has a 250-foot range; the high-end Sony MDR-DS5000 ($499.99, J&R) has just a 33-foot range but more than makes up for it by wirelessly broadcasting Virtual Dolby Digital surround sound – the only one on the market that does… . Unleash Your Mouse Microsoft’s Cordless Wheel Mouse ($39.99, CompUSA; 212-764-6224) uses digital radio technology to wirelessly control your Windows PC (it works up to five feet from the receiver) – perfect for the ultra-minimalist desktop.