Although it hasn’t been in the press much lately, the VCR is likely to be one of the first casualties of the move to digital television. Consumers who have been used to recording TV shows and movies with their VCRs will no long be able to do that once TV moves from an analog to a digital signal. That means that anyone who wants to continue recording shows at home will not only need to purchase a digital conversion box or a new digital TV, they will also need to buy a DVD digital recorder to replace the VCR. “What we’re witnessing is that the VCR is becoming a little bit more obsolete,” said Amina Fazlullah, a legislative counsel at the U.S. Public Interest Resource Group who has focused on the transition to digital television.
Video cassette players, which can be purchased easily for under $30, will likely retain a place in Home Theater, since many people do keep extensive collections of videocassette copies of old movies and will need something to play them on. But the traditional full function VCR will be less necessary once the move to digital is complete.