The VCR has been a video recording mainstay since the early 80's. Despite DVR's best efforts to replace the VCR, they still have a place in home theater.
VHS has been the longtime standard but it also has two sub-formats: (Super) S-VHS and (Digital) D-VHS. Both formats offer an improvement over regular VHS but won't offer universal compatibility with any VCR. Both sub-formats must be played in special VCRs capable of playing S or D-VHS.
D-VHS is rare and quite expensive but they can record HDTV resolutions. S-VHS is the perfect choice if you're not using HDTV and not planning on upgrading anytime soon, they're relatively inexpensive and deliver images remarkably close to DVD quality.
Dolby Pro-Logic. Just about any movie made in the last 20 years will playback either Dolby Surround or Pro-Logic so you won't miss out on the home theater experience.
- Mitsubishi HS-HD1100U, D-VHS. $459. HDTV or standard VHS recording and playback.
- Panasonic PV-VS4821, S-VHS. $200. Super-VHS only.
- Sony SLV-N500, VHS. $79. Hi-Fi audio quality.