I'm making a documentary and some of our historical footage is on VHS. I'll be capturing the footage into our Non-Linear editor (We already have the analog to digital converter worked out).

What should I look for when choosing a high-quality VCR that can preserve as much quality as possible when playing these tapes. (They're not SVHS, in fact they're VHS-C which we'll use a tape adapter with.)

Also, do they make $5000 VCR's that the FBI might use to analyze tapes?

  • 1
    I have modified the question slightly to make it less of a request for a specific purchase suggestion, which is off topic.
    – Flimzy
    Sep 10, 2011 at 21:11
  • The real best answer for pulling hi quality footage from a VCR is with a timecode pro broadcast VCR.
    – user2844
    Sep 1, 2012 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


I worked on a documentary project two years ago. The solution that worked best for me was a VHS Recorder, that had 6 heads and was able to play NTSC and PAL. I could not find a VHS Recorder with HDD or DVD recording unit, that played both formats.

VHS (and VHS-C) tape quality is limited. No matter how big your budget is, you will not get a full color-range HD video-material.

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