VCRs to ride into the sunset with Funai Electric ending production this month
22 July 2016
Japan-based Funai Electric announced earlier in July that it would end production of its VHS player, which was sold under various brands worldwide. According to the company, it decided to cease production due to difficulties in acquiring components, according to Nikkei. Another factor in the decision was the near non-existent demand for the ancient home entertainment technology.
The VHS player used a late 20th century technology known as a video cassette recorder, or VCR. The VCR used an electro-mechanical process to display or record audio and video via a thin strip of plastic film known as tape. The production of VHS tapes officially came to an end in 2008.
The VCR, which was considered a technological marvel of its day allowed home users to record broadcast television shows, similar to how people use DVRs today.
The format was embraced by Hollywood in the mid-1980s and major movies were released on video cassettes that were then bought or rented from physical retail stores. According to records from that time, one popular VHS tape chain was known as ''the Blockbuster.''
The VCR was not user-friendly technology, however. The tape, if it was not properly formed, would often get into parts and some parts also needed to be cleaned regularly.
Funai Electric, which made VCRs for other companies like Sanyo, sold 750,000 VCRs last year.
According to commentators, VCRs probably would not be missed by most people except A/V purists who insist remastered DVD, Blu-ray and UHD (4K) versions of old videos and movies were too crisp and others who pine for the analog days.
It is 44 years since Philips introduced the first VCR. VCRs were the rage in the '80s and '90s, but their era has come to an end as they join the stuff of yesteryears, like VCD players and floppy disk drives.