Basic VCR: Buy by price
*Est. $30 and up
No major manufacturers are currently making VCRs anymore, so your choice in stores will amount mainly to inexpensive off-brand players. These are no longer reviewed. Be aware that most VCRs nowadays do not have tuners -- that's important if you get your TV from an antenna or basic cable (with no cable box), since you will not be able to record TV shows. In that case, try to find a VCR with an analog tuner. But, keep in mind that analog tuners will be useless after Feb. 2009 when all TV signals will be digital. If you get your TV from a cable box or satellite receiver, you don't have to worry about this issue. A more future-proof solution is to go with a DVD recorder/VHS combo unit, covered in our separate report on DVD recorders.