DVD/VCR Combos: Double Your Viewing Fun
Loren Barstow started at Crutchfield in 1999. After working a few years as a sales advisor, he moved on to become a writer and then an editor. He has written about televisions, Blu-ray players, speakers, and various other audio/video components.
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Looking to replace your older VCR, or add DVD playback to your home theater? A DVD/VCR combo is a sure bet. Not only do you get to record in VHS and watch movies from your collection of videotapes, but you can also view DVD discs, which offer much better picture and sound quality, easier navigation, and often, extra features. You can watch a DVD while you record a TV show to VHS. Most models even include DVD recording capabilities. And hookup is very simple. [Shop for VDV/VCR combos.]
If you already own a DVD player, replacing it with a combination model adds VCR functionality without taking up additional room. And since they give you both functions in one box, combo units are also great for space-challenged areas like a dorm room or bedroom.
|DVD/VCR combos deliver double functionality in one space-saving component, and are very easy to set up and use.|
A connection for any TV
Got an older TV that's only equipped with an antenna-style RF jack? Some DVD/VCR combos allow you to watch both DVDs and VHS tapes through the RF output. That's a great convenience, since connecting a conventional DVD player via RF usually can't be done without a separate accessory called an RF modulator.
Alternatively, if your TV has composite (RCA) inputs, using them will give you a better-looking picture for both DVD and VHS. Have a TV with higher-quality S-video, component video, or HDMI inputs? Just hook the player to the appropriate jack to enjoy even clearer DVD playback. And if you have an HDTV, today's DVD/VCR combo decks can upconvert DVDs to resolutions up to 1080p via HDMI for a better picture. Some can even upconvert VHS tapes, too.
DVD recorder/VCR combos
These components are perfect for archiving your VHS home movies and TV programs. With the touch of a button, valuable VHS recordings can be saved to durable DVD. DVD recorder/VCR combo decks can also enable you to record TV programs directly to write-once or rewriteable DVDs, so that you can keep them for as long or as little as you likelike (However, these decks cannot record programs in high-definition. Any high-def signal is automatically converted to standard-definition before it's recorded). Many even allow you to archive material from a compatible digital camcorder using an IEEE 1394 jack. For more information, see our DVD recorder shopping guide.