Best DVD-VCR Combos

Updated May 2022
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Bottom line
Best of the Best
Funai Combination VCR and DVD Recorder
Combination VCR and DVD Recorder
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Conversion Capabilities
Bottom Line

Upscales DVDs and VHS tapes to 1080p quality. Capable of converting VHS tapes into DVDs.


Designed to convert your VHS tapes into DVDs and view the recordings at an upscaled quality. Able to integrate with a cable satellite box and connect to your TV with an HDMI cable. Can record live television.


Doesn't come with a remote and is priced around the less common VHS to DVD conversion feature.

Best Bang for the Buck
Sony SLV-D300P DVD-VCR Combo
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Watch Everyting Your Way
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Compatible with nearly all DVD and VHS formats, this unit has bookmarking and other quality-of-life features to watch videos your way.


From trusted electronics brand Sony, this combo player is a convenient way to watch your tapes and DVDs. Comes with a remote for easy menu navigation and is backed by an Amazon quality guarantee and replacement opportunity.


Only available as a preowned Amazon refurbished model, meaning it may arrive with a slight amount of wear.

Toshiba SD-V296 DVD-VCR Combo
SD-V296 DVD-VCR Combo
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Relax and Record
Bottom Line

Plays VHS tapes and multiple formats of DVDs and CDs. Sleek black case will fit seamlessly in any entertainment console.


Presents audio and video crisply in both formats. Has a recording feature for burning broadcasts onto tapes. Live TV can even be recorded while watching a DVD through the player. Easy to install and use.


Buttons are on the small side and may be difficult to navigate for those with poor eyesight.

Magnavox MWD2206 DVD-VCR Player
MWD2206 DVD-VCR Player
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Sturdy Solution
Bottom Line

A basic all-in-one player for DVDs, VHS tapes, and CDs. Built for busy entertainment stands.


Made for the multimedia consumer, this combo player can quickly be hooked up to compatible gaming devices. Solid picture quality and supported with an Amazon return guarantee. Outputs audio in stereo.


This is a heavier unit, weighing in at 5 pounds. Cannot be used to record live television onto VHS tapes.

Sony SLV-D380P DVD-VHS Combo Player
SLV-D380P DVD-VHS Combo Player
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A Workhorse
Bottom Line

Convenient and practical, this combo player has several quality of life features. Ideal for older television setups.


This combo player has a high-speed rewind function for tapes and a remote to easily work through menus. Outputs in the highest possible audio and video for DVDs and VHS tapes. Subtitle look will match any entertainment console.


This is a heavier unit and has fewer audio and video output options than other combo players currently on the market.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best DVD-VCR combos

Not long ago, it seemed like DVD-VCR combos were hopelessly outdated. But this powerhouse of technology, which plays and records both DVDs and videotapes, is still going strong. 

Sales of DVD-only players alone are expected to grow, not shrink, over the next few years by as much as $31 million. And while VCRs don’t really catch the attention of market analysts, it’s clear that people still need and want the ability to watch and record VHS and DVD media.

If you’re looking for a way to digitize those old home movies, a DVD-VCR combo is just the device to handle those transfers. There are a few features to look for as you shop, and a good buying guide and recommendations can help inform your decision.

DVD-VCR combo repair
There are still repair specialists who can diagnose, repair, and maintain DVD-VCR combos.

How to buy the best DVD-VCR combo 

Buying a DVD-VCR combo can be tricky because no new models have been manufactured since 2016, when Funai, the last company to build these devices, ceased production. It’s still possible to buy a new, unused one from a seller who has warehoused a few units, but most likely you’ll be buying an aftermarket model.

Used vs. refurbished models

A refurbished DVD-VCR combo is cleaned, inspected, and tested before shipping to a new customer. This sounds like a big advantage over buying a used model, but as with any aftermarket technology, you want to play it safe. Check seller ratings and user reviews to determine whether they’re shipping units that really are in good shape and work as advertised. Sometimes a used unit from a reliable seller with good reviews is a better option.


Digitize older formats: A common use of a DVD-VCR combo is transferring old home videos from magnetic VHS tapes to a digital format. That alone makes these units very desirable to families who want to digitize their parents’ and grandparents’ memories and preserve video and audio media much more reliably. 

Watch older formats: DVD-VCR combos also allow you to watch older videos on VHS or older DVD formats (before Blu-ray, for example). In rural areas of the US, these older formats are still quite common in many households. 

Own older formats: Younger generations are also seeking older DVDs and VHS copies of movies, and not just because old formats are trendy. Online streaming services competing with each other for rights to stream movies and television series have fragmented the online video market and made it difficult to find content both old and new. So viewers are rebuilding older-format video collections to ensure they won’t lose access to their favorite movies.

Player vs. recorder

Player: If recording or transferring home videos isn’t your primary reason to own a DVD-VCR combo, consider a player-only model. This doesn’t have a recording function, but it allows you to enjoy your favorite VHS tapes, older DVDs, and MP3 CDs.

Recorder: However, if you’re looking for a recording function for both DVD and VCR, you need to check the model specs very carefully to make sure that the recording feature is available.

It’s probably worth mentioning that transferring old Hollywood movies from VHS to DVD, even for private use, is still a copyright violation and a big no-no. You should only use this function to transfer home movies that you or your family recorded.


A/V: All DVD-VCR combos have A/V ports with two or three connectors, allowing for a direct connection to a television with the same ports. 

HDMI: Not all DVD-VCR combos have an HDMI port, while all newer HD TVs have them. Some TVs have HDMI ports only 

USB: Later models are the most likely to include additional connection options, including USB. Check the TV’s available input ports. 

Converter: There are converters that enable you to attach a DVD-VCR combo to an HD TV. Expect some trial and error, especially if the model you’re connecting is more than a decade older than your television.

Screen resolution

Because the last DVD-VCR combos rolled off the line in 2016, the playback resolution for these models is noticeably lower than the 4K resolution we’re quickly accepting as the norm. Common HD formats are 480p and 720p, with a few models boasting 1080p, and just one model by Panasonic offering a Blu-ray player. Note that this video resolution is only on the DVD side. VHS resolution is measured in vertical lines rather than pixels, an artifact of the analog VHS world.

A VHS version of a Hollywood movie will still look good on your 55-inch HD TV as long as the tape is in good condition. Home videos tend to vary in resolution quality. Most were filmed at a slower speed (EP) to maximize the record time of pricey videotape. Unfortunately, these slower speeds contribute to wavering images and washed-out colors that a home VCR can’t correct.

Dual-deck combos, at first all VHS and later DVD-VCR combos, hit the US market in 1990 and remained high-priced sellers for 25 years.


Features to look for in a DVD-VCR combo 

Media decks

The two “decks,” or input slots, are a DVD slot and a VHS slot. Each is sized for the media that will be inserted, so it’s tough to mistake one for the other. 

VCR: On the VCR side, a VHS cassette, once inserted, slides into an aluminum cassette housing that holds the cassette in place as it’s lowered into position. A stationary magnetic head reads the tape as it spools past. 

DVD: On the DVD side, a similar process occurs, but the reader is an optical sensor that uses a laser to read binary encoded patterns on the surface of the disc.


On older models, the controls including Stop, Play, Reverse, and Fast Forward are prominently displayed on the front of the device. A few models have separate playback controls under each deck, while others have a single interface and a toggle to switch between players. Newer high-end models have a sleek, simple design, and most of the controls are located on the remote control.

Record: This feature is the one that requires close attention when comparing models. Each DVD-VCR combo model has a different configuration for recording. Some are player-only on both decks. Others, especially earlier models, have a Record button only on the VCR side, allowing users to record onto VHS tape. Later models are more likely to have a DVD-R capability, allowing recording onto blank DVDs, as well as two-way recording between VHS and DVD.

Improving the final media

Dolby sound: DVD-VCR combos made closer to the 2016 end-of-manufacture date feature higher-end sound quality on playback, including Dolby surround sound.

HD upscaling: This high-end feature bumps up the quality of video of older DVDs from 720p to 1080p.

Progressive scan: This technology helps produce a stable, flicker-free video image. It’s essential in HD upscaling.

Remote control

An infrared remote control is a standard component that comes packaged with DVD-VCR combos. An all-in-one programmable remote might also work with your combo device.

DVD-VCR combo plays music
Did You Know?
A DVD-VCR combo also plays music. The DVD side can decode music CDs and play them back in Dolby-quality stereo.

Accessories for a DVD/VCR combo

Programmable remote

The purpose of a multifunction infrared remote control is to reduce the number of remotes required to run your various devices. It can also take the place of a lost remote control.

VHS tapes

While VHS tapes haven’t been manufactured since 2008, blank VHS tapes are still available through resellers. 

DVD-R discs

Recordable DVDs are a core archival resource with an average lifespan of more than 30 years. It’s worth keeping a package of DVD-R discs near your DVD-VCR combo.

Adapter cable

If your DVD-VCR combo doesn’t have an HDMI port but your HD TV does, there’s an adapter for that. It provides a compatible connection on each end so the two devices can work together.

Progressive scanning, an important component of DVD video playback, was developed in the 1930s, long before DVDs.


How much do DVD-VCR combos cost?


DVD-VCR combos are a diminishing resource, so expect to pay between $347 and $409 for a used but working model with lower resolution and fewer features.


You’ll find more features in devices in the $420 to $599 range, including HD upscaling and progressive scan, plenty of A/V ports, and more.


Refurbished units and VCR-to-DVD recording capabilities command top prices of $610 to $979.


  • Position your DVD-VCR combo on a shelf. This saves valuable floor space and reduces the dust that can get into the compartments of the device.
  • Dust the device frequently. Extending the life of your DVD-VCR combo is paramount, and keeping dust out of its components will help it last longer.
  • Eject VHS tapes and reset. VHS tapes are notorious for not seating around the tape head correctly. Don’t get frustrated. Just eject the tape, reset it in the cassette carrier, and start again.
  • Protect videotapes and DVDs. Sunlight and extreme temperatures will warp and speed the deterioration of these media.
  • Store VHS tapes vertically. This keeps the magnetic tape aligned on the spools correctly.
Extend life of DVD-VCR combo
Extend the life of your DVD-VCR combo (and the media it plays) by keeping it out of direct sunlight, plugging it into a surge protector, and dusting it regularly.


Q. Are DVD and VCR players obsolete?

A. Online streaming and cloud storage are hastening the demise of DVD players, and VCRs have been obsolete for many years. However, these reliable recording media aren’t completely dead because they can handle so many video formats that were plentiful and easy to find for decades.

Q. What can I do with an old DVD-VCR player?

A. If the DVD-VCR player still works but you want an updated model, consider donating the combo player to a charity that accepts household items. You’ll get a nice tax deduction at the end of the year. If the device doesn’t work, contact the nearest drop-off recycling center to safely dispose of the components, many of which are bad for the environment. Plenty of hobbyists are interested in dissecting nonworking DVD-VCR combos, so ask around before sending an old model to the scrap heap.

Q. What are the benefits of a DVD-VCR combo recorder? 

A. The biggest benefit, especially of a two-way recorder (one that records from DVD to VHS, and vice versa) is that video can be stored in either format. This is helpful for people who might only have a VCR but want to watch digital home videos. For those who want to preserve family videos on a longer-lasting format like DVDs, being able to record from one to the other is very desirable.

Q. What is the difference between a DVD player and VCR player?

A. A VCR player is an older analog technology. Video is recorded on magnetic tape and played back using a magnetic reader, with no digitization used at all. DVD players use lasers to read the surface of the digital video disc and encoders to digitize the data that is read by the laser and prepare it for playback. That encoded data is decoded by components and software loaded into the DVD player and then transmitted to your television. A DVD-VCR player combo has completely different reader and playback technology on each side of the unit.

Q. How do I connect a DVD-VCR player to my HD TV?

A. Take a photo of the connector ports on the back, side, or bottom of your HD TV. Compare the ports to the connection ports on your DVD-VCR player. If none of the ports match, which might happen because some HD TV models only have HDMI ports, you’ll need to purchase an adapter cable. One side of the adapter must have the same connector as your television’s input port; the other side must have the same connector as your DVD-VCR player’s output port.

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