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Bye-Bye VCR: Last VCR Manufacturer Ends Production

Bye-Bye VCR: Last VCR Manufacturer Ends Production

At last video cassette recorder (VCR) as has finally come to an end with the last manufacture – Japan’s Funai Electric announcing it will stop production at the end of this month. The company cited a sharp decline in sales and trouble sourcing parts for its decision to stop making VCRs.

VCRs which has once went triumph, reaching millions of households in the 1990s had only one manufacture which could only sold less than 1 million last year – prompting the decision to quit. Most of the consumer electronics firm’s VCRs were sold in North America in recent years, including under the Sanyo, Panasonic and JVC brands with only Funai Electric remaining open.

Futai Video cassette recorder and DVD player - Photo Credit: Funtai Electric

The clunky videocassette recorder which the millennials most have forgotten (if they ever know) is going the way of floppy disks, eight-track tapes and camera film as the world’s last manufacturer ends production of the once booming home-video technology.

Demand appears largely driven by consumers who have large videotape collections that must still be played on VCRs. A Gallup poll several years ago found that 58 percent of Americans still had one in their home.

The boxy machines – originally about the size of a briefcase with a top-loading slot for videotapes entered into mainstream popularity in the seventies and eighties, and spawned a new industry: tape rental stores. But the outdated technology has long been eclipsed by DVDs and other more advanced options, while once ubiquitous rental shops have all but disappeared.

Panasonic pulled out of the business several years ago, making Funai the last VCR maker in the world, a company spokesman said Friday. “A company that was making parts for us said it was too tough to keep making them with sales at this level so they stopped, which led to our decision – we can’t make them without that part,” he told AFP. Funai has been overwhelmed with calls from desperate Japanese VCR tape owners who had not transferred treasured recordings of weddings and other special occasions on to other formats, he added.

Even though many will have assumed production of the machines had since been stopped due to its obvious absence in our homes to day – though many still have a handful collection of video cassettes. I suggest it time for all of us who have some valuable memories captured in VCR to quickly transfer them to alternate technology before the remaining functional once we have before they all pack-up. For film aficionados they may want to head over to Amazon.com quickly, where some of the last VCRs are still on sale, available for a paltry $50.

One comment

  1. Forgotten it even exits.

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