VCR for analog TV as well as HDTV

Since this is a specialized issue, I thought I may have a better chance of getting responses in a separate thread.

We need to buy a new VCR to replace a dead unit. It will be used to watch old tapes as well as record/playback missed TV shows.

However, presently we have one of the older analog TV's. Within 1-2 years we will probably buy an LCD HDTV. (Given the quality of broadcasts and our cable company, we are likely to continue watching off-air with antenna.)

Will a VCR work on both the analog TV and the future HDTV? Will they all or do I have to watch out when choosing a specific model?
They will all work. I have never seen a flat panel TV that did not include either a coax connection or an composite video connection that would support a VCR. However, you will likely not be thrilled with the video quality of VHS when watched on an HDTV. I do play a lot of kids videos for my 2 year old. He doesn't seem to mind the low resolution!


I remember reading a while back about a particular model from Samsung that was hi-def VCR (Model DVDVR325) and here's an excerpt that might interest you -

"While the CE industry and the consuming public have been putting all the attention on DVD, JVC (with its HM-DH30000) and Mitsubishi (with its HS-HD2000U) have been quietly elevating VHS technology with the development of D-VHS. Basically, D-VHS VCRs are totally compatible with standard VHS, they can record and play all standard VHS and S-VHS formats, but with an added wrinkle: D-VHS is capable of recording in all 18 DTV approved formats, from 480p to full 1080i, with the addition of an external DTV tuner"

Nshashidhar is correct. There are hi-Def VCRs too. However, they are expensive. The ones I usually see are about $400-$500. I did just recently see one on closeout at Circuit City for $100 open box. It might be worth a look.

You do NOT want to mix VHS with a larger, sharper screen. The horizontal luma resolution is about 320 pixels so the image will be very soft. Buy yourself an S-VHS recorder for about 530 pixels horizontally if you must retain backwards compatability with VHS tapes. It'll still be a bit softer than DVD, but not far from laser disc.

It's still only good for about 32 colors across a line, and you will have color bleed into adjacent objects.

Disk based recorders will avoid these problems.
Not too long ago I bought a JVC VCR for a few bucks over $100, mainly to fill the slot in a TV/HT setup, and, on very rare occasions, play a tape. Viewed on a 42" EDTV plasma the picture is much better than I expected. It does depend on the particular tape.

Slightly off topic, but whatever happened to the idea of recording high quality audio (no video) on VCR tapes?

I haven't heard of anyone recording Audio on a stereo VHS tape since about 1987. It was a popular concept back then....