The 7 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
"If you’re looking for an easy-to-use device for converting family VHS tapes to DVDs, this is an affordable and effective choice."
Best for Playback:
Philips DVP3345V at EBay
"There’s plenty to like about the Philips DVP3345V Combo DVD Player/VCR."
Best for Audio:
Magnavox DV220MW9 at Amazon
"The Magnavox DV22MW9 is a top choice for a basic DVD/VCR player that easily plays not only your favorite movies, but also CDs."
Best Upscaling:
Magnavox ZV427MG9 at Amazon
"For a DVD/VCR player packed with features, the Magnavox ZV427MG9 can do just about everything you might want."
Best With Built-in Tuner:
LG RC897T at EBay
"If you plan to do lots of recording from your TV, you’ll probably want a device with a built-in tuner."
Best Record Mode Quality:
Panasonic DMR-EZ48VK at Amazon
"Has the ability to record most DVD formats and play most DVD and CD formats."
Just The Basics:
Funai Dual Deck at Amazon
"Fortunately, being a basic player doesn’t mean skimping on every feature."

Our collection of the best DVD recorder and VCR combos are the perfect way to slim down your existing media library, literally. If you or anyone you know has been holding onto their VHS collection but is quickly running out of space, these devices can migrate any media on VHS to a writable blank DVD. This allows you to keep a collection of physical media, all while taking up a fraction of the space.

What's even better is that some of these models can upscale and convert the media from VHS tapes. So anything that was previously recorded in a lower resolution can be upscaled to fit modern TVs. Physical media is slowly going the way of the dodo, and these devices are becoming increasingly difficult to come by, but we've gathered some of the best models still available. For more walkthroughs on how to consolidate your old media, make sure to read our guide on three ways to copy VHS tapes to DVD.

Best Overall: Funai ZV427FX4 DVD Recorder/VCR Combo

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

  • Very easy to use

  • HD up-scaling

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

  • Only works with DVD-R discs

It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to find DVD recorder/VCR combos, but if you come across the Funai ZV427FX4, it’s one of the best overall options. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use device for converting family VHS tapes to DVDs, this is an affordable and effective choice. This unit is tuner-less, which means that you need to connect an external tuner (such as a cable or satellite box) to the unit's AV line inputs for recording TV programs to either DVD or VHS. However, most people are purchasing the Funai no for TV recording but for VHS to DVD conversion, so it’s not a huge issue.

The Funai ZV427FX4 DVD recorder/VCR combo can record to DVD-R (not DVD+R), which is compatible with playback on most DVD players. For playback flexibility, the ZV427FX4 is compatible with DVDs, CDs, Kodak CD Picture Discs, and VHS tapes, as well as providing both progressive scans out via the component video outputs and HDMI and 1080p video upscaling via HDMI.

If you’re in the market for a VHS/DVD combo that’s built to last, affordable, and can easily get the job done, then look for the Funai ZV427FX4.

“The Funai is easy to use, versatile, and perfect for preserving family home videos.” Katie Dundas, 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
  • Reliant on remote for inputs

  • Records DVDs to VHS, but not the other way around

There’s plenty to like about the Philips DVP3345V Combo DVD Player/VCR, especially if you’re looking for a device with playback ability. It can easily play both movies and music, along with your classic VHS tapes. You can also use it for MP3 media files, fantastic for listening to music, along with JPEGs so you can watch home videos or share family photos through your TV. We also like that it includes a Progressive Scan feature, meaning the DVP3345V can optimize the image quality of your recording to create clearer, sharper videos with fewer lines on your screen.

However, note that this device can convert DVDs into VHS, but not the other way around. Otherwise, it’s a versatile and easy to use media player that’s still readily available. Check it out if you want a convenient device that can handle all of your multimedia needs.

Best for Audio: Magnavox DV220MW9 DVD Player VCR Combo

Magnavox DV220MW9 DVD Player VCR Combo
What We Like
  • Multi-language options

  • Plenty of audio settings, plus Dolby Digital support

  • Parental lock

What We Don't Like
  • No TV Tuner

  • Can’t convert VHS to DVD

The Magnavox DV22MW9 is a top choice for a basic DVD/VCR player that easily plays not only your favorite movies, but also CDs. However, it also stands out when it comes to audio. This device supports multi-language options and Dolby Digital, which is going to give you clear, impressive audio for your home entertainment system. Since it supports surround sound, it’s easy to connect it to your home theater. 

You can easily use the Magnavox to record your favorite shows, straight from the TV. There’s little to no distortion, as Progressive Scan is included for a sharper picture image. 

The Magnavox is also compatible with video, S-video, and digital audio coaxial inputs/outputs along with the standard analog. While it only functions to play VCRs and DVDs, rather than convert them, but if that’s what you’re looking for, see if you can track down a Magnavox DV22MW9. If you’re searching for a second-hand device, note that they don’t always include the remote—make sure to double-check that it’s included, if that’s important to you. Otherwise, a universal remote should do the job.

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

What We Like
  • Converts VCR tapes to DVDs and vice-versa

  • 1080p upconversion

  • HDMI output included

What We Don't Like
  • You’ll need a separate tuner to record off the TV

  • Not the most stylish 

For a DVD/VCR player packed with features, the Magnavox ZV427MG9 can do just about everything you might want. It stands out especially for its ability to upscale, meaning it can automatically convert your videos to a higher resolution, thanks to its 1080p upconversion. This device also offers two-way dubbing, so you can convert both DVDs and VCR tapes into both formats. HDMI output is also included, but note that if you want to record shows directly off the TV as they air, then you’ll need to purchase a separate tuner.

It’s an easy to use device and anyone with a stack of old VHS tapes is sure to find it useful. While its basic black design isn’t the most modern, it’s rare to find a device offering upscaling and conversion, so look out for this one if you’re in need of those features. 

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

LG RC897T DVD Recorder VCR Combo - Front View With Accessories
What We Like
  • Built-in Tuner

  • HD Component output

  • Upscaling included

What We Don't Like
  • Remote is a bit small

  • Can be expensive

If you plan to do lots of recording from your TV, you’ll probably want a device with a built-in tuner—otherwise, you’ll need to purchase one separately for your device to work. In that case, look for the RC897T DVD recorder/VCR combo. However, like several of the devices reviewed here, it’s been discontinued, so you’ll need to look for it on the second-hand market, which means it might be expensive to purchase. If you can find it, you can easily record most DVD formats and also play VHS tapes and CDs. 

It’s also helpful that 1080p upscaling is included, so if you have an HDTV, this device is perfect for recording your shows in high-res. The RC897T has both analog and DV video inputs, as well as a USB input for playing digital images and music files. This unit also complies with the DTV transmission requirements, with its built-in ATSC tuner, which allows for reception of digital TV signals.

“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, Writer 

Best Record Mode Quality: Panasonic DMR-EZ48VK DVD recorder/VCR Combo

Panasonic DMR-EZ48VK DVD Recorder/VCR Combination
What We Like
  • Compact

  • Slick form factor

  • Full HD conversion

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

This product has been discontinued and is only available on a used basis now, but the Panasonic DMR-EZ48VK DVD recorder/VCR combo has the ability to record most DVD formats and play most DVD and CD formats, including MP3 and Divx files. In addition using the VCR section, the consumer can both record directly to VHS or dub non-copy protected video content from VHS to DVD or DVD to VHS.

With Panasonic's enhanced 4-hour recording mode, you can record sporting events and longer movies onto DVD with the same video quality as the 2-hour recording mode. The incorporation of HDMI and video upscaling makes the EZ48VK a good match for an HDTV. The DMR-EZ48VK has both an SD card slot and USB input for digital image and music file playback, as well as an ATSC tuner.

Just The Basics: Funai Dual Deck DVD and VHS Player

Practical and basic, the Funai Dual Deck DVD and VHS combination gives you exactly what you paid for and not much more. Bringing old movies and home videos to life, the Funai adds basic VHS functionality. Connecting via a cable, satellite box, or directly to a TV, the player hooks up and plays back almost instantly. The included AV cable helps with any connection for easy setup. Line-in recording allows users to capture television programming on VHS tapes. Auto eject ensures that tapes won’t get stuck inside the player.

Fortunately, being a basic player doesn’t mean skimping on every feature. For strong audio playback, the Funai includes Dolby Digital Sound. Additional options like still frame and slow motion are also included. Parents will note the parental lock for prohibiting unwanted access by children. A multilingual operating system also makes it useful for all languages. The included remote offers basic controls like fast forward, skip, pause, and stop. 

Final Verdict

One of the most overall devices has to be the Funai ZV427FX4 DVD Recorder/VCR Combo. With ease of use, upscaling, and the ability to convert your old tapes into DVDs, it has everything you could want. Or, if you don’t need the conversion feature, the Magnavox MDV560VR is a stylish device that can play all of your DVDs, VHS tapes, and CDs with ease.

About our Trusted Experts:

Robert Silva started reporting on consumer electronics in 1998. Since 2000, he's focused more closely on home entertainment and home theater technology. Since studying electronics in high school, he's been a fervent electronics and audiophile hobbyist. 

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

FAQ

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:

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.

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 very expensive, sometimes as much as two to three times higher than their original selling prices. Look out for used units, which can be cheaper and still functional.

Recording mode quality - Some of Panasonic’s devices, though largely discontinued, have an enhanced 4-hour recording mode that lets you record sporting events and longer movies onto DVD with the same video quality as the 2-hour recording mode. Depending on your intended use, this can be a very handy feature.

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