3 New Reasons to Scrap Your VCR

All-new combo devices could finally put the VCR out to pasture.

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Reports of the VCR's death were greatly exaggerated in the past, but all-new combo devices could finally put it out to pasture. This new class of video machines combines hard disk recording with DVD playback, covering all the VCR's bases. They have built-in TV tuners and timers, and you can start playback before they're done recording.

In addition, the Panasonic and Toshiba machines not only play DVDs but record them as well-a handy way to archive from the hard disk. Here's a look at how these next-gen video machines stack up.

TOSHIBA RD-X2 (top)
Price: $1,499
DVD Recording Format: DVD-R/DVD-RAM
Hard Disk Size: 80GB, 36 hours
Electronic Program Guide: No
TV Tuner/Timer: Yes
Cable Box Control: No
Digital Camcorder Input: No

PANASONIC DMR-HS2 (middle)
Price: $999
DVD Recording Format: DVD-R/DVD-RAM
Hard Disk Size: 40GB, 17 hours
Electronic Program Guide: No
TV Tuner/Timer: Yes
Cable Box Control: No
Digital Camcorder Input: Yes

RCA SCENIUM DRS7000N (bottom)
Price: $599
DVD Recording Format: None
Hard Disk Size: 40GB, 18.5 hours
Electronic Program Guide: Gemstar Guide Plus
TV Tuner/Timer: Yes
Cable Box Control: Yes
Digital Camcorder Input: No