Pros / This unit plays DVDs and VHS tapes as well as any other player on the market.
Cons / There is almost zero support from the manufacturer for this product; you must rely on the retailer.
Verdict / If plain vanilla is the flavor you prefer, there is nothing wrong with this player.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from viewing as part of this site because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but TopTenREVIEWS is no longer updating this product’s information.
The primary products created by Sylvania are quality lighting fixtures for automobiles. The company does have a line of basic consumer electronics too. One of the items it manufacturers is the Sylvania DVD/CD Player/VCR Combo - DV220SL8. This model is a low-end DVD/VCR combo unit sold in retail outlets such as Target as well as some online retailers such as Overstock and Amazon.
The Sylvania DVD/CD Player/VCR Combo is most basic DVD/VCR combo unit on our lineup. This is fine if all you want to do is watch old VHS tapes from days gone by. However, if you are looking for a unit that will digitize your old VHS library, pick up digital, over-the-air broadcast signals and upscale pictures to 1080p HD, take a look at the products ranked higher on our side-by-side comparison chart. This unit simply doesn't perform those tasks.
As far as DVD players go, the Sylvania DVD/CD Player/VCR Combo is about as vanilla as they come. It plays DVD competently. However, there are no bells and whistles on this machine. It's purely utilitarian; put your disc in the tray, press play and watch your movie. This is charming in its own right, but consumers these days expect many more features from the electronics they purchase, even if they're bottom-line models.
VCRs are a bit past their prime in the tech world. To put it more accurately, this technology is dead, buried and almost forgotten. However, there is still a significant amount of content in the world that exists exclusively on antiquated VHS tapes. The Sylvania DVD/CD Player/VCR Combo enables you to view these tapes in their original format. There is no 1080 HD upscaling on this device, so if you connect this unit to an HDTV, most of pixels you paid so much for will go to waste.
The connectivity array featured on the Sylvania DVD/CD Player/VCR Combo contains all the basic components you've seen on machines like this for the last 10 years. Coaxial, component, S-video and audio jacks all appear on the unit's rear. It has no advanced connectivity options such as HDMI or a digital tuner.
Another one of our gripes with this product is that you cannot buy it directly from the manufacturer. Sylvania doesn't list the product on any of its websites. Nor does the company offer any type of support for this product. This is most likely because discount retailer Target primarily sells the unit.
If you have problems with your Sylvania DVD/CD Player/VCR Combo, the onus is on you to take it in to the retailer where you bought it. This is fine, but there's no guarantee that the friendly employees at Target will be able solve your specific problem. They're simply not trained to be intimately familiar with all the things Target sells. We would like to see more support from the manufacturer for this product. At very least, Sylvania should acknowledge on its website that it makes the product that bears its banner.
At the end of the day, the Sylvania DVD/CD Player/VCR Combo is a fine unit for its price tag. It performs its advertized functions competently and is quite easy to use. We would like to see a few more features, especially for technology that is as old and established as DVD and VHS.