Firms Plan Digital VCR Standard: Ten leading makers of video cassette recorders, trying to avoid a format war such as the one that occurred with VHS vs. Beta a decade ago, said the next generation of VCRs will all play a single format. Digital VCRs record without the drop in picture quality that is common with current analog models. Already used by some TV stations, digital VCRs are expected to be on the consumer market in three years. The eight Japanese and two European manufacturers said their agreement covers machines that work with current television sets. They will meet in September to develop a standard for high-definition television that is compatible with all systems being considered worldwide.