VHS at CES 2009: Still alive (and photos to prove it)
Perhaps the rumors of the <a href="/8301-17938_105-10128274-1.html">death of VHS</a> were (somewhat) exaggerated. At least three top manufacturers still have combo VCRs in their product lines--one of which also includes a Blu-ray player.
JVC will be offering two combo VHS/DVD recorders in 2009: the $200 JVC DR-MV80B (no TV tuner) and the $250 JVC DR-MV150B (includes ATSC tuner for receiving digital broadcasts via antenna). JVC didn't release images of the new models, but we don't expect them to vary much from the 2008 models (shown).
Still smarting from HD DVD's loss, Toshiba announced no Blu-ray players for 2009. The company did, however, indicate that two new VHS/DVD recorders will arrive in the spring: the $180 DVR620 and the $250 DVR670. Specs weren't provided, but we're guessing that the 620 is tunerless and the 670 has a built-in ATSC tuner.
Panasonic didn't announce any new DVD recorders, but the company did indicate that its 2008 models will remain in the line-up. The $230 DMR-EA38V VHS/DVD recorder lacks a TV tuner, but includes USB and SD readers.
One of the biggest surprises of CES 2009 was the Panasonic DMP-BD70V, which combines a state-of-the-art Blu-ray player with (wait for it) a VCR. No, you won't be able to dub your Blu-ray movies to VHS, but die-hard VHS-philes will be able to play back those old tapes and watch brand-new Blu-rays on the same box.