The 10 Best DVD Recorder/VHS VCR Combinations to Buy in 2017

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

Sanyo FWZV475F DVD Recorder/VCR Combo
Sanyo FWZV475F DVD Recorder/VCR Combo. Images provided by Amazon

 

 

For those that are replacing a VCR and want a DVD recorder, a DVD recorder/VHS VCR combo is a flexible option(as long as they are available). You can use these units to play DVDs and VHS tapes, as well as record or copy homemade recordings (such as camcorder tapes, TV recordings, etc). However, keep in mind that DVD recorder/VCR combos cannot be used to copy commercially made DVD movies to VHS or commercially made VHS movies to DVD, due to copy-protection.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In 2016, Funai, the last maker of VCRs and supplier to other VCR and DVD/VCR combo manufacturers announced they were ending production of recording devices that include VHS VCR recording capability. As a result, other manufacturers are only offering new DVD Recorder/VCR Combos as long as supplies last as their production slows down. So, as of 2017, whatever new units are left in the pipeline is what will be available going forward.

This also means that, at some point, the units listed below may only be available on clearance at local retailers or Amazon, or used from third-party sources, such as eBay.

However, there is another cautionary note. Since supply is shrinking, prices of remaining units (some of which are models that could be almost a decade old), whether new and used, are getting very expensive, sometimes as much as two to three times higher than their original selling prices.

The following list spotlights the best options to consider, if available (some may only be available on an intermittent basis).

On the other hand, although DVD recorder/VCR combos are all but gone, there are still a limited number of newer standalone DVD recorders (some of which include Hard drive recording options as well) that are available.

The Sanyo FWZV475F is a "surviving" DVD recorder/VHS VCR that is still available (and in big demand), but probably not for long. It will be listed here as long as it is available.

For DVD recording, the FWZV475F is compatible the DVD-R and DVD-RW disc formats, which can be played back on most DVD players, and it also has the ability to both record and play VHS tapes.

You can also dub from VHS-to-DVD or DVD-to-VHS, provided the content being dubbed is not copy-protected.

For additional playback flexibility, the FWZV475F is compatible with DVDs/CDs/Kodak CD Picture Discs.

Inputs include both composite and S-video (along with analog stereo audio).

In terms of video output capability, progressive scan is accommodated via the component video outputs and HDMI, and 1080p video upscaling via HDMI is possible when connected to a 1080p TV (720p upscaling is also possible for 720p TVs).

However, one thing that is important to point is that the FWZV475F does to have a built-in tuner. In order to record TV programs, you must connect a Cable/Satellite or DTV Converter Box.

As supplies run out, it is possible that this unit may only be available refurbished or used.

DVD Recorders and DVD Recorder/VCR Combos are getting very hard to find, but the Funai ZV427FX4 is one that may still be available. This unit is tuner-less, which means that you need to connect an external tuner (such as a cable or satellite box) the unit's AV line inputs for recording TV programs to either DVD or VHS. On the other hand, if you have a digital camcorder, the unit also has a conveniently located front panel DV (firewire) input.

The Funai ZV427FX4 DVD recorder/VCR combo can record in the DVD-R and DVD-RW disc format, which is compatible for playback on most DVD players. Of course, you can still record and play VHS tapes. You can also dub from VHS-to-DVD or DVD-to-VHS, provided the content being dubbed is not copy-protected.

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.

It must be noted that, as with most DVD recorder/VCR combos, in order to record TV programs, you must connect a Cable/Satellite or DTV Converter Box to the ZV427FX4 as it does not have a built-in tuner.

The Emerson ZV427EM5 is actually a clone of the Funai ZV427FX4 listed above (Emerson is a Funai Brand). This means that the features and capabilities of the Emerson are the same as the Funai.

However, we have included it on this list as an alternative choice if you like what the Funai ZV427FX4 offers, but if that unit is not in stock or no longer available. By the same token, if you desire the Emerson, and it is not available, and the Funai is, then go with the Funai.

The Toshiba DVR620 is a DVD recorder/VCR combo with practical features, including the ability to record in most DVD formats and play most DVD and CD formats, including Divx, MP3, and WMA 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.

Another convenience is the auto-finalize function. As an added bonus, HDMI output and video upscaling to 1080p make the DVR620 easy to use with an HDTV. However, keep in mind that this DVD recorder/VCR combo does not have built-in tuners. In order to record television programming, you need to connect a satellite box, or DTV converter into the audio/video line inputs of the DVR620.

This product was discontinued several years ago and is only available on a used basis now. However, the RC897T DVD recorder/VCR combo has the ability to record most DVD formats and play most DVD and CD formats. 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.

The incorporation of an HDMI output and video upscaling function is a nice touch that makes the RC897T a good match for an HDTV. The RC897T has both analog and DV video inputs, as well as a USB input for digital image and music file playback. This unit also complies with the DTV transmission requirements, with its built-in ATSC tuner, which allows reception of digital TV signals.

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.

This product has been discontinued and is only available used, but the Panasonic DMR-EA38VK has the ability to record most DVD formats and play most DVD and CD formats. In addition, you can record directly to VHS or dub non-copy protected video content from VHS to DVD or DVD to VHS.

Also, 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 EA38VK a good partner for use with an HDTV.

NOTE: The EA38VK requires an external DTV Converter, Cable, or Satellite Box to receive and record television programming.

Just as with most of DVD Recorder/VCR combos spotlighted on this list, the JVC DR-MV150B has been discontinued for some time.

However, it is a DVD Recorder/VCR combo that offers both good performance and a versatile feature package. This combo can record in the DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW, and DVD-RAM formats and plays back most DVD and CD formats, including MP3 and Divx files.

In addition, using the VCR section, the consumer can both record directly to VHS (HiFi) or dub non-copy protected video content from VHS to DVD or DVD to VHS. The MV150B also has a front mounted DV input (iLink) that allows direct video and audio transfer from digital camcorders.

If you can find it, the Samsung VR375 DVD Recorder/VCR combo is a great choice if you are considering replacing that aging VCR with a DVD recorder. The VR375 records to all five recordable formats DVD-R/DVD-RW/DVD+R/+RW and DVD-RAM, and has composite, and iLink video inputs. In addition, on the DVD playback side, the VR375 can play back Divx files and has both component and HDMI video outputs and features 720p/1080i/1080p upscaling via the HDMI output.

Of course, the VR375 can still record and play VHS tapes. However, keep in mind that to record television programs, you need to use an external tuner such as cable or satellite box.

If you are looking for a DVD recorder that is a cut above the typical consumer-based unit, you might want to check out a professional unit, such as the JVC SR-DVM700US.

This recorder features DVD-R/-RW and DVD-RAM recording capability, combined with a large 250GB hard drive.

However, instead of VHS recording, it features miniDV recording and playback capability. This is great if you have a mini-DV camcorder and want to transfer your tapes to DVD.

In addition, the DVM700US also has cross-dubbing and editing capability. Although the capabilities of this unit are extensive, it does not have a built-in tuner or 720p/1080i/1080p upscaling output capability and is expensive. This is definitely a DVD Recorder Combo unit that best suited for the more serious user or video editor. Of course, it may only be available used.
 

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