The 5 Best DVD Recorder/VHS VCR Combinations of 2021

Don't want to say goodbye to DVD and VCR recording? Check out these options.

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The Rundown
Best Overall:
Funai ZV427FX4 at Amazon
It's easy to use so it won't take a lot of effort to convert your family VHS home videos over to DVD.
Best for Playback:
Philips DVP3345V at Walmart
If you're primarily looking for a device to convert DVDs over to VHS, you'll like the Philips DVP3345V Combo DVD Player/VCR.
Best Upscaling:
Magnavox ZV427MG9 at Amazon
Perhaps its best feature is the ability to upscale so you can automatically convert your videos to a higher resolution.
Best With Built-in Tuner:
LG RC897T at EBay
If you're willing to spend a lot on a quality DVD Recorder/VHS VCR combo, it offers everything you could need.
Best Multi-Format:
Samsung DVD-VR375 at EBay
It's one of the best multi-format devices thanks to its ability to record to all five types of DVDs.

The best DVD Recorder/VHS VCR combinations allow you to easily back up your existing VHS collection to a more modern media, saving you physical space and keeping your precious videos safe. Besides helping you slim down your existing media library, literally, it means you can migrate any media from VHS to a writable blank DVD, allowing you to easily access your beloved videos. It'll save you plenty of physical space, too, as you can easily put your VHS collection into storage afterwards. 

When it comes to a good-quality DVD Recorder/VHS VCR combination, you can expect more than just the basic facilities. Many of them allow you to upscale your media, meaning anything previously recorded in a lower resolution can be changed to more accurately fit modern TVs.

Physical media continues to be on its way out, and these devices are becoming increasingly difficult to come by, but we've gathered some of the best models still available. Each one should make it much simpler to keep your favorite videos secure, and in a more portable and practical format than before.

Best Overall: Funai ZV427FX4 DVD Recorder/VCR Combo

Hammacher Schlemmer DVD Recorder/VHS VCR Combination
What We Like
  • HDMI Output

  • Simple to use

  • HD up-scaling facility

What We Don't Like
  • No built-in tuner

  • Only works with DVD-R discs

At a time when DVD Recorder/VCR combos are getting harder to find, the Funai ZV427FX4 DVD Recorder/VCR Combo continues to be highly reliable and easily the best overall option out there for everyone. It's easy to use so it won't take a lot of effort to convert your family VHS home videos over to DVD.

The only thing to be aware of is that it lacks a tuner so you'll need to connect an external tuner such as a cable or satellite box to the unit's AV line inputs if you want to record TV shows to either DVD or VHS. For simple VHS-to-DVD conversion though, you can't go wrong with the ZV427FX4. It just simply works. 

It records to only DVD-R (rather than DVD+R), but that means it's compatible with playback on most DVD players so you won't have to worry about any issues when watching them. For all your playback needs, the ZV427FX4 is compatible with DVDs, CDs, Kodak CD Picture Discs, and VHS tapes, so there are plenty of options here. It also offers progressive scans out via the component video outputs and HDMI and 1080p video scaling via HDMI. 

The ZV427FX4 covers all the bases, is built to last, and is affordable for all its features.

Up-Conversion: 1080p | Compatibility: DVDs, CDs, Kodak CD Picture Discs, VHS tapes | Conversion: 2 ways

“The Funai is easy to use, versatile, and perfect for preserving family home videos.” Katie Dundas, Tech Writer

Best for Playback: Philips DVP3345V Combo DVD Player/VCR

Philips Combo DVd Player
What We Like
  • Progressive scan feature

  • Compatible with JPEGs and MP3s to play photos and music

  • Easy to set up and use

What We Don't Like
  • Records only DVDs to VHS

  • Relies on remote for inputs

If you're primarily looking for a device to convert DVDs over to VHS, you'll like the Philips DVP3345V Combo DVD Player/VCR. It won't convert the other way but it makes up for this lack of functionality with the ability to play both movies and music comprehensively. You can use it for MP3 media files so it's great for listening to music, as well as viewing JPEGs on your TV. If you want to share family photos this way before watching home videos, it's got you covered.

We're also big fans of its Progressive Scan feature, as this player can optimize your recording's image quality so you get clearer and sharper videos with fewer lines on screen. It's an attractively versatile and easy-to-use media player that should handle all your multimedia playback needs.

Up-Conversion: VHS conversion | Compatibility: CD- (S)VCD- DVD- DVD+R/RW- DVD-R/RW- DVD+R DL- VHS | Conversion: 1 way

Best Upscaling: Magnavox ZV427MG9 DVD Recorder / VCR with Line-In Recording

What We Like
  • Converts VCR to DVD and vice-versa

  • 1080p upscale conversion

  • HDMI output included

What We Don't Like
  • Unattractive design

  • Needs separate tuner to record via TV

The Magnavox ZV427MG9 is packed with features that are genuinely useful for all your VHS and DVD needs. Perhaps its best feature is the ability to upscale so you can automatically convert your videos to a higher resolution, thanks to its 1080p up-conversion functionality.

There's also two-way conversion so you can convert both DVDs and VCR tapes into both formats—something that not all DVD recorder/VHS VCR combos offer. Alongside all that is HDMI output, although it's not quite perfect. If you want to record shows directly off your TV as they air, you'll need to purchase a separate tuner to do so.

Despite that drawback and the fact its design is pretty dated, the ZV427MG9 is an easy-to-use and practical device. Even though it has an older appearance, the device is relatively progressive with what it offers, and upscaling is sure to be particularly helpful.

Up-Conversion: 1080p | Compatibility: DVD-video, DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD-R, CD-DA, video CD, CD-RW, CD-R, VHS | Conversion: 2 ways

Best With Built-in Tuner: LG RC897T DVD Recorder/VCR Combination

LG RC897T DVD Recorder/VCR Combination
What We Like
  • Built-in Tuner

  • HD component output

  • Upscales content

What We Don't Like
  • Small remote

  • Expensive

Like many other DVD Recorder/VHS VCR combos, the LG RC897T DVD Recorder/VCR Combination is an older device and its price has rocketed in recent times. If you're willing to spend a lot on a quality DVD Recorder/VHS VCR combo though, it does offer everything you could need. 

That includes a built-in tuner so you can easily record from your TV without needing to buy an additional tuner. You can also convert between DVD and VHS in either direction, and the device is compatible with most DVD formats and can play back CDs

To further sweeten the deal, the RC897T also has 1080p upscaling, both analog and DV video inputs, along with a USB input so you can plug in memory sticks to play back family photos or music files. The unit also complies with the DTV transmission requirement with its built-in ATSC tuner, allowing for reception of digital TV signals. It might be aging technology, but the RC897T keeps up to date with what you need.

Up-Conversion: 1080p | Compatibility: VHS, DVD-R Dual Layer, CD, DVD, HD DVD, DVD-Audio, Blu-ray, DVD-RW Dual Layer, CD-R, DVD+RW, CD-RW, DVD+R | Conversion: 1 way

“If TV recording is important to you, this is one of the best devices, thanks to the built-in tuner. This saves you from needing to purchase one separately.” Katie Dundas, Tech Writer 

Best Multi-Format: Samsung DVD-VR375 DVD Recorder - VCR Combination

Samsung DVD-VR375 DVD Recorder - VCR Combination
What We Like
  • Records to all DVD formats

  • HDMI included

  • Upscaling support

What We Don't Like
  • External tuner needed for TV recording

The Samsung DVD-VR375 DVD Recorder - VCR Combination is one of the few DVD Recorder/VHS VCR combos that can still be purchased brand new if you shop around, but it's fairly expensive to do so. That's thanks to the reliability of the Samsung name and the fact it offers some useful features.

It's one of the best multi-format devices thanks to its ability to record to all five types of DVDs: DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD-RAM. That means plenty of flexibility for you and you won't have to worry about purchasing incompatible blanks. 

Besides that, there's an HDMI output included along with upscaling so you can choose to play and record at either 720p, 1080i, or up to 1080p. Just bear in mind you'll need an external tuner if you want to record straight from your TV. As with most Samsung devices, this combo is pretty easy to use and should last you a long time, which is what you'd expect for this price.

Up-Conversion: 1080p | Compatibility: Plays VHS, DVD, DVD+R, DVD+RW, CD, CD-R/RW, MP3, WMA, JPEG, DivX | Conversion: 2 ways

Final Verdict

The best overall device is the Funai ZV427FX4 DVD Recorder/VCR Combo (view at Amazon), as long as you don't mind its relatively limited DVD compatibility options. It's worth such a concession, though, given its more affordable price than the alternatives. You still get a simple-to-use interface, upscaling, and the ability to convert your old tapes into DVDs.

If you'd prefer a device that records DVDs to VHS, there's always the Philips DVP3345V Combo DVD Player/VCR (view at Walmart), with its convenient progressive scan feature.

How We Tested

Our expert reviewers and testers use several factors to evaluate the quality of the DVD Recorder/VHS VCR combinations here. We check numerous customer and user reviews, as well as look at expert analysis of each product listed and many others that didn't make the cut. We also check the devices' specifications and confirm that they record or convert in some way. We also compare each device with others on the list to check that each DVD Recorder/VHS VCR combination is as high quality as the last one featured here.

About Our Trusted Experts

Jennifer Allen has been writing about technology and gaming since 2010. She specializes in iOS and Apple technology, as well as wearable technology and smart home devices. She's been a regular tech columnist for Paste Magazine, written for Wareable, TechRadar, Mashable, and PC World, as well as more diverse outlets including Playboy and ​Eurogamer.

Katie Dundas is a freelance journalist and tech writer with several years experience of covering home tech, photography, and drones.

FAQs

Does a DVD VCR recorder play VHS?
Most DVD//VCR combos can record in DVD-R and DVD-RW disc format, as well as play VHS. The Funai ZV427FX4 is capable of pulling this off giving it a great deal of general flexibility. It can also dub from VHS-to-DVD or DVD-to-VHS, as long as the dubbed content doesn't have copyright protection. The physical media the recorder is compatible with includes DVDs/CDs/Kodak CD Picture Discs, and VHS tapes.

Does Sony make a DVD VCR?
Sony has made DVD VCRs in the past like the Sony SLVD360P, and it's still possible to find them used on Amazon and eBay. However, Sony doesn't manufacture new DVD VCRs, so you may be out of luck if that's what you're looking for.

How to transfer VHS to DVD without a VCR?
If you want to transfer VHS to DVD without a VCR you should follow these instructions. There are several options you have, including using a DVD recorder, using a DVD Recorder/VHS VCR combo unit, or connecting a VCR to a PC via a video capture device. If none of those options work, you may want to get professional help from a video duplicator to transfer the DVD professionally. This might be a good option for prized media like a wedding video.

What to Look For in a DVD Recorder/VHS VCR Combination

It's becoming increasingly trickier to get hold of a new DVD Recorder/VHS combo which means oftentimes, you'll need to buy a refurbished or second-hand unit. That doesn't mean that you should expect to make too many concessions in exchange for the privilege. Here's a brief rundown of what you should keep in mind before buying any of these DVD Recorder/VHS Combos. 

Built-in Tuner

A built-in tuner allows you to record TV programs, which many people find to be a handy feature in DVD recorder/VHS VCR combo devices. Without a built-in tuner, you’ll have to connect a Cable/Satellite or DTV converter box. Not all of the units listed here have a built-in tuner, so if you end up buying one of those, you'll need to budget (and find the room) for a separate unit to reap the full benefits. 

Price

If you’re on a budget, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a low-cost DVD Recorder/VHS VCR combo device. Since supply is shrinking, prices of remaining units (some of which can be nearly a decade old), are getting expensive. Some of them are selling for as much as two to three times higher than their original selling prices. Look out for used units, which can be cheaper but still functional.

Upscaling Support

If you're converting and transferring video footage between VHS and DVD or vice-versa, it's useful to be able to upscale what you've already got. The majority of DVD Recorder/VHS Combos on our list support upscaling, and it's certainly worth the extra expense if you want your home videos to look better than before. 

Compatibility

Different DVD Recorder/VHS Combos offer various levels of support for the kind of discs they'll accept. This may not be a dealbreaker for you, but if you already have an existing supply of recordable DVDs, it makes sense to be certain you can use them on your new device.

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