How to Buy DVD/VCR Combo Players

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How to Buy DVD/VCR Combo Players

If there is one thing to be said about technology, it is that it is continually moving forward. VHS tapes were once the common format for all movies and home videos, but it is difficult to find new movies being sold as tapes anymore. Instead, this format has largely been replaced by the DVD, which uses digital technology that allows it to store more information on a single disc. However, many homeowners are reluctant to simply give up on their old VHS collection by purchasing a new DVD player.

This is where the DVD and VCR combo makes a great bargain. This device includes a VCR player for VHS tapes and a DVD player for DVDs. It is commonly sold in electronic stores, and can also be found online on websites like eBay. When purchasing a VCR and DVD combo player, buyers need to ensure that both player heads have the features they want.

Benefits of a VCR and DVD Combo Player

Anyone who owns a large collection of VHS tapes needs to look into buying a combo player. Eventually most people will end up buying a DVD player, and end up installing it beside their old VCR player. Buying a combo player cuts down on the spaghetti mess of cables associated with home cinema systems. It also cuts down on the overall cost, since a good combo player is cheaper than buying both a new DVD and VCR player. Finally, for anyone who wants to transfer VHS tapes to DVDs, or vice versa, a combo player is essential. It makes setup a snap, and allows owners to record from VHS to DVD with a single press of a button.

VCR Player Features

A good VCR player on a combo deck uses the exact same features as a high-end standalone model. It is incredibly important to purchase a combo player that uses a good quality VCR player since VHS tapes tend to degrade over time. Many have had the unpleasant experience of their VCR eating their old tapes, but a high-quality player is less likely to destroy tapes. It also produces a superior picture quality which is essential for watching VHS tapes on new formats like HDTV..

VCR Head

The heads of a VCR allow it to play and record tapes. A two-head VCR is all that is needed to play VHS tapes, but customers who want to get the picture from their movies need a four head VCR. The extra set of heads increases the overall picture quality and preserves tape better than the two-head version. Special functions include slow-motion, and also playing cleaner than a four-head VCR. In fact, the problems many people experienced regarding VCR players eating their VHS tapes, came from trying to perform fast forward or slow-motion functions on a two-head VCR. Four-head models eliminate this problem, making them a superior choice.

VHS Format

There are several different VHS formats that VCR players can use. Simple VHS format is of course standard on all players, but its picture quality looks subpar on today's modern televisions. S-VHS, which stands for Super VHS, is an improved format that uses 400 lines of resolution, vastly superior to the 240 lines found in VHS. Most modern combo players use at least the S-VHS format. Best of all is the D-VHS format which is capable of recording HD material. This is necessary if the owner has a HDTV and wants to record programmes off of the television. However, D-VHS format is expensive and requires special tapes that can be difficult to find.

DVD Player Features

Like the VCR player, the features of the DVD player are also important. Not all DVD players are created equal and some are known to produce a better picture than others. In the combo market, some DVD player features are designed specifically to work with VCR players, such as the ability to record off of VHS tapes. Learn about the different types of DVD player features to select the best model.

Scan Type

All DVDs produce an image on the screen by scanning. There are currently two ways to do this, and the first is interlaced scan. An interlaced scan makes two separate passes to completely generate the picture on the TV. The second option is a progressive scan,, which only makes one pass. Between the two, the progressive scan is preferred since it works more quickly, and provides a better overall picture.

DVD Formats

Most players can play CDs along with regular DVDs, and this is fine for anyone who simply wants to use their player to watch movies or listen to music. However, some models are also able to play MP3 files on a CD, which is great for anyone who saves their digital music onto discs. If the homeowner is planning to use their DVD player for watching or recording home movies, make sure to choose one that can play DVD-R or DVD-RW format.

DVD Recorder

The DVD recorder feature is a must for homeowners who are purchasing the combo in order to transfer old tapes onto DVD discs. It allows the DVD player to record DVDs from either the tape deck or the television. Operators simply insert a DVD-R, or a DVD-RW disc, into the player and press a button to record off of the tape track. This is extremely simple when compared to the complicated process of trying to hook up a separate VCR player to a DVD player in order to record movies.

Combo Connexion Ports

The connexion ports that the combo player uses also determines its overall picture quality. Even the most basic players have composite connexions, which work on almost any TV. S-Video connexions provide a slightly better picture and this feature is usually included on combo players that work with higher formats like S-VHS. The best is the component connexion that gives a superior picture. It is worth the extra cost to purchase a combo player with component connexions if the homeowner has a HDTV.


Always buy a player that comes with a remote. A remote is a incredibly handy device that allows owners to switch between the different decks without having to get up from the couch. Even recording programmes off of the television, or between the different decks, can be done by using the remote. If the combo player is going to be installed as part of a home cinema system, customers might want to consider getting a universal remote that can control the combo player as well as all the other parts of the home theatre system.

Buying VCR DVD Combo Players on eBay

When it comes to purchasing a good, high-quality combo player, eBay is the place to begin. The selection of players can be overwhelming at times. Buyers can choose from the most basic combo player available, or splurge by purchasing a professional model. No matter what the final decision is, eBay's selling platform allows customers to set their own price so that no one has to pay more for an item than they can afford. Learn how to effortlessly find the right combo player that fits all of your needs.

Searching for VCR DVD Combo Players on eBay

eBay's intuitive search engine allows you to enter search terms into its box from the home page. Once the terms are entered, the engine crawls through all available auctions to find ones that meet all of the terms you have listed. Therefore, to see the widest selection of combo players available, it is best to start large and then slowly whittle down the results. Begin by searching for 'VCR DVD combo players&' to get a feel for the items currently for sale. Browse through these listings and see if any of them catch your eye. You can further narrow the results by adding more terms. For example, a search for 'recorder DVD VCR combo&' only returns results for combo players that have the ability to record DVDs and VHS tapes.

Examining Used VCR DVD Combo Players on eBay

There is a large selection of used combo players available on eBay. Some of these can make for great bargains, while others may not be worth your time. Always be sure to carefully examine the auction and the item itself. A seller should always include the actual picture of the item, not a stock photo. The condition also needs to be explicitly stated in the listing, and if it is not in 'Like New' condition, then the seller needs to explain why prior to purchase. Be wary of purchasing any combo player that shows outward signs of damage. If the damage was strong enough to hurt the hard exterior shell, you can expect the sensitive interior components may also have some wear and tear.


The VCR DVD combo player is a lifesaver for owners who want to watch DVDs without having to render their old VHS tape collection obsolete. These combo players cost less than purchasing each one individually, and they are also easier to use. When purchasing a combo player, always go for one that is high quality. This is doubly true of the VHS deck, since a poor quality player can easily damage the tapes, while it is also reproducing a lacklustre picture. Evaluate the features of both decks thoroughly before deciding if it is the right player for the current needs of the home cinema system. eBay is the perfect place to purchase both new and used players for a reasonable price without the hassle of visiting a brick and mortar store. By purchasing the right player, owners can enjoy watching old VHS tapes and new DVDs for years to come.

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