Panasonic AG1980P Professional VCR

There are still a lot of movies on VCR around: in people’s closets, yard sales, public library sales and many other places. You might be old enough to still have some that you bought or had given to you. Hammacher Schlemmer would be happy to sell you a dedicated VHS to DVD converter for a mere $350. What I did instead was pick up a Panasonic AG 1980 professional Editing Deck off Craigslist. They go for around $100 to $150 on eBay and they are probably the finest VCRs ever made, selling when new for around $1600. They are practically bulletproof, industrial strength and serious video editors usually bought them in pairs for high quality dubbing. They will play anything you pop into them, and output the best picture you can ever expect. If you have room, add one to your home theater and play live tapes through the S-video out (rare in a VCR) and stereo audio. Or hook it up to a capture device or through a digital camcorder and digitize the tapes once and for all. It’s a great old machine.

Affordability: 5                    Luxury: 9

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