If you are going to use a VCR even if only to view pre recorded tapes you will still need a TV licence. This is because the VCR has a tuner so could still be used to receive TV transmissions. When you buy a VCR or TV the retailer has to inform the licensing authority of your purchase, so its not an option to try to get away with it. The TV licensing people check up on addresses that do not have a license and will send the 'boys' round to check if you don't. They don't need to use the Detector Van these days it all computerised and they know if you don't have a license, and I believe they have the right of entry to check. And of course you will still need a license for Cable or Satellite. The way you receive your TV is immaterial, the license is to operate the equipment not to receive the transmissions. Its not worth the risk after all its less than £3 a week.