VCR finally dies after Japan confirms production to end next month


Production of the video cassette recorder will cease in Japan at the end of July, it has been confirmed.

According to Japanese news site Nikkei, electronics company Funai Electric, the last remaining producers of the VCR and VHS will stop production by the end of the month.

The company, which started producing VCRs in 1983 and more recently in China on behalf of Sanyo, has said it now struggles to find parts amid shrinking demand.

At its peak the company sold 15 million units per year, but sales have since dwindled to 750,000, which some may actually consider to still be quite a lot given that many of us haven’t used a VHS for the best part of a decade.

The news is perhaps the final nail in the coffin for video tapes, which were first developed in the 1950s and which were bought en masse by the late 1970s.

Later DVDs and more recently internet video streaming from services such as Netflix and YouTube became widely adopted by users, while home TV recording boxes and on demand services replaced VHS as a way of watching recorded TV shows and movies at home.

Recent years have seen other large manufacturers stop producing VHS.

In 2012, Panasonic announced it would stop selling VCRs, although Sony only stopped producing the Betamax last year.

While it is near impossible to buy a brand new VCR in most countries, second hand models have become somewhat of a collector’s item, especially for those who want to watch movies that were never converted to DVD.


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