Please understand- there are so many permutations that we need a little more info from you. Are you a cable or satellite tv subscriber? Or, are you planning on receiving your (HD)TV broadcasts over the air like the good old days? If so, do you already have an antenna on top of your home? Inquiring minds Also, do you have a budget for these components?
Here's a link to the Panasonic DMR-EZ48VK DVD Recorder w/ built in ATSC tuner. $250 ballpark. It would let you dub your home movies on VHS to DVD.
FWIW, there will be a better selection of HDTVs overall if you can bump up the screen size to 32". Also, your eyes will be able to resolve more of the extra pixels/added resolution of HD content at that size vs the 26 from typical viewing distance.
One example- $397 Samsung 32" LCD HDTV @ BB-
Please, I need your help. I am a 78 year old widow and I just cannot keep up with this fast moving electronic world. I want to buy a new 26" or so HD TV. I also want a video recorder. I do not download movies or music. I do not use Netflix. I want to watch my old home videos and transfer them to a dvd and ocassionally record a TV show. Can you please tell me what I can buy? Thanks for your help.