Japan's Funai Electric, which claims to be the world's last video-cassette recorders, (VCR), manufacturer, says it will cease production of the video-cassette recorders this month.
Funai started manufacturing VCRs in 1983, and at one point was selling 15 million units a year. With the rise of DVDs, Blu-ray and streaming services like Netflix, they’ve become completely obsolete.
At its peak, Funai sold 15 million units of the home video system, Last year, it reported 750,000 in sales. Excluding hardcore fans, demand for VCRs is virtually nonexistent. The company cites difficulty in obtaining the necessary parts as one of the reasons for halting production.
VCRs for home use were introduced in the 1960s, gaining traction after Sony brought lower-priced models to market. Other Japanese manufacturers, including Panasonic, RCA, JVC and Toshiba, were also instrumental in developing the VCR.
The electromechanical device records, stores, and plays back television programs using a magnetic tape cassette.
With the rise of DVDs, Blu-ray and streaming services like Netflix, VCR have become completely obsolete.
In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that home use of VCRs to record television didn't constitute a violation of copyright law, paving the way for an explosion of the technology in American homes.
For a time, a battle ensued between Sony's Betamax and JVC's VHS, both VCR tape formats, but VHS eventually won out.
The last major theatrical release in the format, David Cronenberg’s “A History of Violence”, was over a decade ago. Circuit City and Best Buy in the US stopped carrying VHS in 2005 and Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, discontinued its sales in early 2006.
Sony stopped production of its recorders in 2002 but only stopped selling the tapes last year.