20 Features To Look For When Buying A VCR

20 Features To Look For When Buying A VCR

VCRs are quickly becoming a thing of the past and becoming increasingly difficult to find. If you are fortunate enough to find one, you’ll be lucky if it works. If you’re on the search for one and need to understand your options, you’re in the right place. I put the features in order by importance.

1. New or Used?

The first thing to consider is if you want new/unused or preowned. Bear in mind that if you find a new one, it most likely won’t include the manufacturer's warranty. New ones are rare and will cost much more.

Emerson EWV404 VHS VCR Video Cassette Recorder (Unused)-VCR-For The Low-For The Low

2. Do you want a warranty?

All VCRs from our store include a lifetime warranty. Most others don’t offer any sort of warranty. Checkout what you get with the Lifetime Warranty HERE.


3. Are you recording cable TV?

You should look for a VCR with the VCR Plus feature. This allows for very user friendly recording options.

VCR Plus + Feature Logo Emblem

VCR Plus + Logo

4. Do you need Hi-Fi audio?

When picking out a VCR, you have two options. Either mono or Hi-Fi stereo audio. Hi-Fi allows for surround sound and mono comes from one direction.  

Hi-Fi Stereo Audio Surround Sound Left and Right


Mono Audio One Wire audio


6. Do you care about the brand?

There are many different brands to choose from, but what is the best? I would recommend a Magnavox, Sony or Toshiba. In my experience, these are the most reliable options. Though, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend others if you wanted it to match your system.

7. 8. 9. What should it look like?

Do you want it to be Black, Silver, Purple? Do you need it to look techy and spectacular or simple and unnoticeable?

Toshiba DVR620 DVD VCR Combo Recorder-DVD VCR Combo Player-For The Low-For The Low


GE VG4052 VCR Video Cassette Recorder-VCR-For The Low-For The Low


10. DVD VCR Combo- 

Save space by getting a DVD VCR in one. You can copy VHS to DVD with certain models too. 

Funai DV220FX4 DVD VCR Combo Player-DVD VCR Combo Player-For The Low-For The Low

11. SVHS Playback?

If you have SVHS tapes, you want to get a compatible player. Most VCRs won’t play SVHS tapes, some VCRS will play SVHS tapes at VHS quality, and very few will play SVHS at SVHS quality. Look for a VCR with an S-Video port if you want the best quality.

JVC HR-S3902U VHS VCR Video Cassette Recorder-VCR-For The Low-For The Low



12. Or possibly DVHS playback?

If you want an unheard of VCR experience, get a DVHS player. It plays DVHS tapes in HD at 1080i resolution.

JVC HM-DH5U HD VHS Video Cassette Recorder-VCR-For The Low-For The Low

13. Rapid rewind-

Rapid rewind will rewind your VHS tape in seconds. Without it, you'll be waiting a whole year for it to rewind.

14. Five Head or Flying Erase Head VCR-

This allows for more editing options and better quality when recording.

15. Six Head VCR-

Six head VCRs will produce high quality EP recordings.The Extended Play Recordings created by 6 head VCRs are very, very comparable to Standard Play (SP) recordings created by 4 head VCRs. 

16. Front AV Ports-

Get this if you want to connect an external device. You can simply just do playback, or you can record onto VHS.

17. Child Lock-

Lock the buttons on the front panel of the device so your young ones can't mess with it and lose your spot in the movie.

18. Jog

The jog feature allows you to adjust the speed of the video more precisely. Anywhere from .1x speed to 5x speed if the VCR is capable.

19. Dual Deck VCR-

Playback two movies at once and easily dub your non copy protected movies.

GoVideo DDV9500 Dual Deck VCR Player-VCR-For The Low-For The Low

20. Commercial Skip-

This will seamlessly fast forward a whole 30 seconds so that you don't have to watch commercials.


Still aren't sure how to decide?- Check out our recommendations here.




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