We selected the best VCR DVD combo player by focusing on a range of key features. However, it’s important to note that this electronic is no longer a priority item for manufacturers and is often no longer supported through their in-house customer service programs. Throughout the process, we prioritized ease of use, installation and functionality. We specifically focused on the ability to convertor dub content, from VHS to DVD format, as well as wide media format support, high quality visual display, and television output compatibility.
Because of these factors, we rated the Funai Combination VCR and DVD Recorder as our #1 top pick because you can perform two way dubbing between DVD and VHS, enjoy 1080p resolution, and support HDMI and s-video outputs.
- 1 Top 7 Best VCR DVD Combo Compared
- 1.1 #1 Funai Combination VCR and DVD Recorder – Top Pick/Best for VHS to DVD
- 1.2 #2 Toshiba SD-V296 DVD Player/VCR Combo – Honorable Mention/Best Sound
- 1.3 #3 Sony SLVD360P DVD / VCR Combo – Best for Antenna TVs
- 1.4 #4 Magnavox ZV450MW8 DVD Recorder and VCR Combo – Easiest to Use
- 1.5 #5 Philips DVP3150 DVD Player/VCR Combo – Best Value
- 1.6 #6 Emerson EWD2204 DVD/VCR Combo – Best Budget
- 1.7 #7 Zenith XBV442 Progressive-Scan DVD/VCR Combo – Best for Movie Night
- 1.8 How We Decided
- 2 VCR DVD Combo Buying Guide
Top 7 Best VCR DVD Combo Compared
#1 Funai Combination VCR and DVD Recorder – Top Pick/Best for VHS to DVDWHY WE LIKE IT: Enhanced functionality is the best way to describe this multifunctional device that features 1080p output, and can record media for up to six hours at a time. You’ll love the two way dubbing that allows you to record from DVD to VHS or VHS to DVD.
The Funai Combination VCR and DVD Recorder is our top pick because it offers plenty of features to help bridge the gap between aging and newer media technology formats without forcing you to compromise on video output. Not only can you convert VHS tapes to DVDs, but you can also dub DVDs to VHS. You can also record from live cable or satellite playback. The Funai combo player supports, RCA, HDMI output and s-card input and output.
One of the best features is that you can record for up to six hours, and the 1080p upconversion ensures that even old family VHS footage will look clearer than the day it was recorded. For best results with VHS conversions, use DVD-Rs with this combo player.
#2 Toshiba SD-V296 DVD Player/VCR Combo – Honorable Mention/Best SoundWHY WE LIKE IT: Multi DVD format support, CD audio playback, Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound output support come together with one-touch VHS to DVD dubbing in this solid combo player from a trusted name brand. Perfect for classic electronic enthusiasts who prefer a slimline design in their media center.
The Toshiba SD-V296 DVD Player/VCR Combo is a great option for someone who’s biggest focus is choice. This particular model can support a wide range of media formats including DVD R/RW, CD R/RW, and VCD. You’ll also enjoy a digital to analog video converter output of 108MHz/14-Bit and audio digital to analog converter output of 192KHz / 24-Bit. The four-head hi-fi helps minimize visual noise on VHS, while the ColorStream Pro Progressive Scan component ensures you’ll see all your DVD and VHS footage in vivid color.
Convert VHS footage to DVD with a simple one-touch button. And you can even turn your TV into a digital picture frame with the JPEG Viewer feature that lets you display your still photos on your screen straight from your DVDs or CDs. The Toshiba model also supports RCA, S-video out, and coaxial digital audio output.
#3 Sony SLVD360P DVD / VCR Combo – Best for Antenna TVsWHY WE LIKE IT: This dependable DVD/VCR Combo is ideal for a wide range of users including analog TV owners thanks to the supported RF connection. Program up to a month’s worth of live recordings in advance, connect your gaming console, and enjoy crystal clear VHS playback with the 19-micron heads, all without confusing dubbing features.
People with older antenna television models know how difficult it can be to buy compatible media electronics. But the Sony SLVD360P DVD/VCR Combo Player is designed with these people in mind and supports RF connections. Connect this player with gaming consoles or camcorders through a front-facing connection. This combo supports multiple media formats through the DVD player including DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, and CDs including those encoded for MP3 and JPEG playback.
While visual output is limited to 480p and doesn’t feature VHS to DVD dubbing, this combo player is commendable because you can pre-program the VCR to record up to eight programs as far as one month in advance. WIth the DVD player, you’ll enjoy enhanced controls that allow you to zoom in, instant replay, and parental controls.
WHY WE LIKE IT: Magnavox’s solution for a VCR DVD Combo is ideal for the person who simply wants an electronic device that’s easy to install and use. The built-in SD tuner makes it easy to pre-program recordings for live TV, plus one-touch two-way dubbing from VHS to DVD and DVD to VHS formats makes this a user friendly option.
No one wants to spend all day fighting with electronics to get them to work. If this sounds like you, the Magnavox ZV450MW8 DVD Recorder and VCR combo is a smart choice.
You’ll like that the DVD player supports the most common media formats of DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW. This player features a one-touch recording feature and also supports two way dubbing between VHS and DVD formats. Simultaneous recording and playback functionality makes this a seamless product that works for your lifestyle.
#5 Philips DVP3150 DVD Player/VCR Combo – Best ValueWHY WE LIKE IT: Easily dub aging VHS content to DVDs while opting to play content from a wide range of supported media formats that include DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD+R DL, SVD, CD, and VHS. A modest price point combines with dubbing, and music and picture playback to qualify for our best value selection.
If you’re looking for a VCR DVD combo player, your biggest concern is the ability to play VHS tapes and to potentially dub old VHS content to more durable DVD formats. The Philips DVP3150 DVD Player/VCR Combo gives you this functionality all without breaking the bank. But this model takes it a step further by supporting a wide range of media formats that allows for music playback via supported CDs and turning your television into a digital picture frame when you insert photo CDs.
Another smart feature you’ll love is that the Philips model comes with a universal remote that will control your VCR DVD player as well as your TV. This combo player also supports a wide range of television models, allowing users with older analog televisions to seamlessly install and use it.
#6 Emerson EWD2204 DVD/VCR Combo – Best BudgetWHY WE LIKE IT: Multiple supported media formats, visual converters for content playback, plus a wide range of television support — including RF for antenna models. The low price is ideal for people still holding on to their VHS tape collection, but also want to record direct to DVD from live television without breaking the bank.
If you’re holding onto a large collection of VHS tapes, you know that one of the biggest factors holding you back from buying a VCR DVD combo can be that the massive cost doesn’t make sense for a technology that is, quite honestly, obsolete. So, your focus is going to be on functionality that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. This Emerson combo player is our best budget pick because it offers enhanced functionality that lets you get the most out of your media library for a reasonable price.
The player supports a wide range of media formats that include CD, CD-R/RW, DVD, DVD-R/RW, and VHS. Input and output jacks support connections with a wide range of television models including older antenna models. DVD visual output can be converted to letterbox and pan and scan. Parental controls also help you protect little ones from questionable content.
#7 Zenith XBV442 Progressive-Scan DVD/VCR Combo – Best for Movie NightWHY WE LIKE IT: A DVD/VCR combo that focuses on offering quality surround sound through connected speakers, while still offering common features like multiple media format support, and enhanced media playback features. This unit is perfect for media enthusiasts who aren’t ready to abandon their VHS collection full of family memories.
You normally don’t associate a combo VCR DVD player with having a high-end stereo system. But the Zenith XBV442 Progressive-Scan DVD/VCR Combo Player promises to give you that movie theatre quality sound system right in your home — whether you have a surround sound system in your home or not. When paired with up to two external speakers this unit can emit Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 channel surround system to a supporting A/V receiver.
Sound aside, other major features you’ll enjoy include support for multiple media formats such as DVD-Video, CD-R/RW, CD, JPEG CD, and VHS. Use your television to navigate through MP3s or images for playback through the player or your screen for photos. A wide range of television formats can be connected, including antenna models thanks to RF connection support.
How We Decided
Selecting a VCR DVD combo player can be a challenging process because of a variety of factors. Through our research, one of the biggest issues we noted is that this is an aging technology that is often no longer serviced through traditional customer support models from the original manufacturers. This means you may need to contact third party resellers or general electronics stores for repairs or support if you have issues. Because of this, we focused on user-friendly models that don’t require a high degree of technical skill to install or use.
One of the biggest reasons people buy a combo player is to convert or dub an existing VHS collection to DVDs. While not as popular, there are also models that will dub DVD content to VHS. Within our list, the majority of the players focus on VHS to DVD dubbing (with the exception of #3 and #6, and oddly #7 which only allows for DVD to VHS dubbing). And to support that need, we also prioritized brands that support a wider range of media formats. Anyone who remembers the days of burning music to CDs knows that not all CD formats are equal — and the same is true for DVDs. We focused on models that supported both DVD-R and DVD-RW formats for enhanced versatility.
Additional factors that will be important for you include television output compatibility. Not all combo players support all television models, especially older antenna versions. Because of this, we included a range of options across price points that specifically support a wide range of connections from RF to s-video and HDMI.
And finally, the price is going to be an important factor as you shop for a VCR/DVD combo player. For many people, it doesn’t make sense to spend significant amounts of money on a technology that is frankly obsolete. So, we worked hard to focus our research on modestly priced models that offer a wide range of functionality without a hefty price tag.
VCR DVD Combo Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Playback Options
Obviously a major feature for someone that’s purchasing a VCR DVD combo player is media playback. So, look for core functions like track selection with the DVD portion of the player as well as standard options like fast forward, reverse, stop and play with both the VCR and DVD controls.
- TV Connections
Even though most television networks upgraded to newer digital outputs, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people using analog-style antenna televisions to watch pre-recorded media like a VHS tapes. There’s a good chance that if you’re in the market for VCR DVD combo, you might be also own an older television set too. While this isn’t always the case, it’s important to make sure that the combo you’re considering buying will work with an older model and feature the right connections for a seamless installation process. HDTV owners should be able to use RCA cables to connect to a VCR DVD combo player, but you may be able to use HDMI cables for an improved high-definition experience. Other common options include s-video connections and digital tuners.
- VHS to DVD Recorder
Maybe you’re ready to say goodbye to the VHS tape and are ready to embrace a media device that is less prone to warping or wear and tear. In this case, you should check to see if the VCR DVD combo you’re thinking of buying also allows you to convert VHS content to DVDs or to record live shows or movies directly to a DVD player. It’s important to note that the DVD recorder feature won’t allow you to record in high definition as the signal is always converted to standard definition before writing to the disc.
- Noise Filtration
Depending on the quality and age of your existing VHS tapes, the output might be “noisy” — a nice way to say that your footage has static. So, you’re going to need a VCR DVD combo that features a four-head hi-fi that is designed to minimize the chance of static on even the lowest quality VHS tape.
If you’re looking at a combination player, a major concern will be that if you’re playing a DVD, will the output show in high or standard definition format? A quality combo player will feature an upconverter that accurately displays high definition footage without impacting overall visual quality.
- What’s the benefit to buying a VCR DVD combo player?
In this digital age it can seem like there’s no need for a VCR DVD combo when everyone is streaming content. But if you’ve accumulated a collection of VHS tapes, either as theatrical releases or from at-home movies you’ve filmed from over the years, you might not be ready to give them up. A VCR DVD combo player gives you the freedom to natively play VHS tapes, while also giving you the choice to migrate to newer technology by converting content from aging VHS tapes to DVD formats.
- I have an antenna-style TV, what kind of VCR DVD combo player do I need?
If you own a TV that still relies on an antenna to receive broadcast signals, this type of television set relies on an RF connection to pair with external media players. So, when shopping for a combo player, you need to verify that it features an RF jack to successfully connect with an older television model. It’s not as common to find a combo player with an RF jack. So, to successfully connect an antenna-based TV to a VCR DVD combo player, you may need to invest in an RF modulator.
- Which connection input will provide the best image output?
It shouldn’t be surprising that the more modern the input option, the better the visual output will be. Your visual playback quality is going to be limited by the quality of your existing television and the connections you can use. But keep in mind that even with an HDMI connection on an HDTV, your maximum output will be 1080p resolution (or 4k if you have a newer TV).
- Is there an advantage to buying a combo player versus a stand alone VHS or DVD player?
The main advantage here is that a combo player can work as a space saver. Even if you have a spacious media room, there’s nothing more distracting than countless pieces of equipment cluttering your media table. A combo player streamlines that experience and also cuts down on the total number of remotes you need to use and keep track of as well. Plus you can more easily convert your VHS tapes to DVD.
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