Any ideas where to buy a new VCR?

Seriously, I just want to buy a new VCR. One that will play tapes I own, and record shows off the TV.

And I mean a VCR, not a VCR/DVD combo unit. Seems like a few years ago you could buy one for $20, now they don’t exist. Yes, I have tried to buy used ones at garage sales but they never work and eat tapes.

This can function as a simple VCR, but will also convert.

Oh wait: will not tape off TV. never mind.

There are some on Amazon. They’re expensive.

I’m really curious: Why would you want a VCR?

Are you PSXer’s famous “friend?”

What you are looking for is no longer made. You will have to buy a combo or roll the dice on a used one. Try eBay or craigslist.

Google Shopping has a Magnavox DVD/VCR combo that records on the VCR side for $36 (plus shipping). Yeah, you’ll have a DVD player in it but it does everything a VCR should do including recording your TV shows.

I’ve had plenty of luck getting them at thrift stores.

New might be tough. I’d hit yard sales. I bet you can get five of 'em for 25 bucks, and have a good chance that at least one would work perfectly.


Why would you want to record new stuff to tape? Recordable discs are cheaper, and playback hardware for tapes is just going to get scarcer in years to come.

On eBay are some stores that sell refurbished VCRs with limited warranties.

My guess is to record a LOT of hi-fi audio.

Back in the day (and I suspect now), you could rather easily record 6 hours of CD or near-CD quality sound on a videotape set on EP.

Strangely, the sound recording format and the quality of the cheapest tapes far exceeded what was necessary for very high quality sound, and you could tape for the length of the tape.

Granted nowadays, 6 hours of cd quality audio ought to fit on a DVD-R, so maybe I’m wrong…

I’ve stocked up a few for transfer purposes. People have given me truly excellent VCRs for free, like Mitsubishi S-VHS decks. Even if you never record on S-VHS tape, the Time Base Correctors built into them will play back tapes better than anything else.

…and do it on a timer.

We used to record my wife’s radio show on a VHS deck. It would very happily record from the timer input, and we could get three of her two hour shows on one tape.

I have a Sony Betamax packed away somewhere …

None of them are gonna tape off TV anymore, thanks to “so much better” switch to digital. Best you can hope for is connecting a digital tuner to it via RCA (composite) cables.

That actually works wonderfully well. Analog output of a digital converter box is dramatically better than the pure analog tuners in any VCR.

Also, any VCR made will tape the analog channels on cable just fine. They just won’t handle digital over-the-air.

My “new” VCR tapes off of cable just fine. I also have Blu-ray and streaming Netflix.

“new” to me. Got it refurbished from an eBay store.

Yeah, I used to use my hi-fi VCR for music, too. JVC HRD-470. Awesome little machine. Amazing reproduction of the live music from our improvised studio in the spare bedroom.

I still see brand-new VCR’s at Wal-Mart. The manufacturers have responded to the change to digital by yanking out the tuners entirely, so the only way you can record TV is either off a digital converter or cable/satellite box.

The downside to this is that the VCR can’t change channels, so if you’re leaving the house and you want to record Channel A at 8:00 and Channel B at 9:00, you’re out of luck.

Personally I liked the quality of the picture from a VCR tape better than the squares you get with DVD playback. You didn’t have compression artifacts. I prefer the storage space and seek of DVD format.

Old VCRs always have a inch and a half plastic wheel that goes bad which drives the reel mechanism. Whenever a VCR started to eat tapes it was this wheel in every model that wouldn’t rotate freely anymore. This is why I wouldn’t buy a used VCR if you find one.