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Can You Still Buy a VCR?

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By Christian Roemer

For this blog I’m going to tell you the ending in the beginning, then the beginning will be the ending, and the middle will just be the middle, I guess.

Here’s what we’re talking about: we’re answering the age-old question of whether you can buy a VCR or not.
You shouldn’t buy a VCR. It’s not a good way to spend your money. You CAN buy a VCR if you want to, but you absolutely should NOT buy a VCR.

 

As a media company, we specialize in converting old pictures, videos, and audio recordings into 21st century-friendly files. Sure, we have some skin in the game, but we also know the truth: stuff went out of fashion for a reason. VCRs went out of fashion for a reason.


But for now, let’s answer the question: Can you buy a VCR? 


Of course you can! But there are some caveats.


First, you can only find used VCRs these days. Nobody makes VCRs anymore, because why would they? DVDs and Blu Rays offer a way better viewing experience that’s much more compatible with modern technology than VCRs. Additionally, the original use of VCRs--to record videos from your TV--doesn’t really make sense with on-demand viewing and digital live TV recording. Basically, better technology replaced the only things that kept VCRs around.


So you’re gambling your money on an old device made of old technology. I’m squirming already.


These days, the only reason to whip out a VCR is if you’re trying to watch old home movies. That brings me to my second point: Spend your money on a better way to watch that stuff! 


The truth is that VHS tapes are fragile and nearing the end of their magnetic lifespans. Sooner rather than later, the tape that makes your VHS tapes work will fall prey to forces of physics, and you’ll have a bunch of blank celluloid on your hands. When that happens, what do you do?


That’s if your VCR doesn’t eat your tapes first.


Here’s what you do instead: get your VHS tapes digitized. Not only does it make logical sense because you can watch your videos anytime, on any device, and you’ll never have to rewind them, but it also makes financial sense.


If you’re in the market for a used VCR, prices range anywhere from $100 to $400. For the money you would spend on a used device made of obsolete technology, you could instead make your memories digital. You could share them far and wide. You could post them on social media. You can do all sorts of things that VCRs and VHS tapes just don’t do.


So, can you buy a VCR? Yes. Should you? No.


They’re expensive, won’t work much longer anyway, and they’re bad for your tapes. Just go digital!

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