Video: Decisions, Decisions

Choosing a VCR can be a daunting venture. Currently, retail electronics shelves teem with some 40 different brand names affixed to about 150 models. Innovations seem to happen overnight, and a wide array of options is available, from remote-control devices to one-touch recording buttons. Prices start at a bargain-basement $240 for the older, simpler models and go as high as $1,500 for the newer, more elaborate ones.

The first decision for the bewildered consumer is whether to purchase a Beta (from Sony's Betamax) or VMS (from Video Home System) format machine. Both use...

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