I was going to say let’s pour one out for the VCR and VHS, but you probably did so a long time ago.
Funai Electric, the last remaining producer of VCRs, will throw in the towel by the end of July. Despite selling over 750,000 VCRs last year, the company’s decision to cease production was based on declining sales (you don’t say!) and difficulties sourcing the necessary parts to manufacture the ’80s-defining machine, according to the Nikkei (via Anime News Network).
In addition to producing VCRs it sold under its own brand, Funai Electric also produced them for other companies like Sanyo.
It’s always a little sad to see a beloved technology go, but VCRs probably won’t be missed by most people except A/V purists who insist remastered DVD, Blu-ray and UHD (4K) versions of old videos and movies are too crisp and by hipsters who pine for the analog days and are too cool for Netflix.
For the vast majority of the world, the era of VCRs and VHS tapes ended ages ago.
For the vast majority of the world, though, the era of VCRs and VHS tapes ended long ago. The switch to DVD players, Blu-rays and then to digital downloads and now, thanks to the internet, video streaming introduced better and better video quality and increased convenience.
I remember having to often literally smack my old VCRs around and untangle VHS tapes to get them to work. And what a pain in the ass it was to record a show.
Also, who can forget the days of going to a physical video rental store like Blockbuster and getting slapped with a fee because you forgot to rewind a tape?
Yeah…I don’t miss those days at all. I’ll take Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, which by the way don’t hog up any physical space in your home, over a bulky VCR box and cluttered shelves of VHS tapes any day.
It’s been a good 44 years since the first VCR was introduced by Philips. In the intervening years, VHS fought off Sony’s Betamax and brought video into everyone’s home. VCRs ruled the ’80s and ’90s, but will rule no more.
It’s been real, VCR. And now you can go frolic in the land of dead tech with the likes of VCD players and floppy disk drives.
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