End of an Era: Last VCR Maker Ends Production

Funai was the last of VCR makers that will make its final batch by July 30.


For people who grew up in the 80s and 90s, the VCR always was a nostalgic thing. However, by the late ‘90s arrival, CDs and DVDs came to replace the VCRs, and the turn of the millennia put the discs on every shelf, to replace the VHS tapes. One of the last members to keep faith in this four-decade old technology was Funai Electric that recently announced that the last batch shall be produced by July 30.

Funai is based out of Japan, and having an obsessive relationship with obsolete technology, is something natural to them, as they made VCRs for over 30 years. During its best days, Funai ended up selling more than 15 million VCRs a year, but the figure went down to 750,000 in the whole of year. According to the Japanese publication Nikkei, the company is indeed closing production end July.

If one goes back during the 1980s media format wars, it was the cheaper VHS against the Betamax format. When VCRs were there, they mainly stuck to the VHS format, which ultimately made it a winner, though some higher-end equipment did play the Betamax, having its own set of followers, over the years. Now, one of their old times supporters just bowed out of their traditional business.

Like everything else in life, VHS tapes too had their appeal to a limited audience, and it’s no wonder that Funai continued making VCRs till date. There will always be some people who hold on to older technology, as it confirms to the nostalgic value and familiarity factors, which obviously applies to VCRs too.

As reported in the Silicon Angle, VHS tape lovers say that the tracking lines and grainy images are very much a part of the package that they appreciate, and some even pay hundreds of dollars to get hold of such rare tape. But the only question remains, like most formats, as it gets discovered in time, suffers from design limitations. When one watches the VHS tapes too many times, the tape has a tendency to get scratched and destroyed as result. Old fans have this area as their major concern, as the last of the VCR makers bows out.

TAGS: Storage, Funai, VCR, VHS