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Japan Will Stop Building VCRs This Month

Japan Will Stop Building VCRs This Month

The end of an era

Japan’s Funai Electronics announced they will stop building VCRs this month. They have trouble finding the parts to build the machines:

“We are the last manufacturer… in all of the world,” the company said in a statement, which cited sales of just 750,000 in 2015. That’s down by millions from the video cassette player’s heyday.

Funai began production in 1983 and sold 15 million machines during their heyday:

They represented the beginnings of the home entertainment revolution. For the first time consumers could watch movies at home, whenever they wanted to. They also could tape and watch television shows, freeing them from the schedule of the networks and allowing them to fast-forward through commercials.

Known as VHS tapes, for “video home system,” the tapes allowed viewers to break with the constraints of media gate keepers, laying the groundwork for today’s streaming media.

But since the late 1990s, DVDs and Blu-Ray have made tapes obsolete.


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buckeyeminuteman | July 22, 2016 at 1:27 pm

I am shocked they were still being made until now. Who is buying them?

I pull the old VCR out of the closet every now and then so I can watch Star Wars on tape before George Lucas screwed it all up with his numerous re-edits and cover ups on the THX update, the DVD and then the Blu Ray edits. Seriously, everybody knows that Han shot first. And who is that creepy teenager staring me up and down with ghost Yoda and ghost Ben at the end?

I wonder how long DVDs and Blu Ray will last? I stream most everything I watch these days.

I can’t remember the last time I bought a music CD. I download mp3s now.

I bought one of the converter boxes a few years back – converted a bunch of old VCR tape to writable DVD. Important to have for all the old family video and so forth.

Ah, never fear…!!!

Der Donald will bring all these VCR jobs back to “Make America Great Again, Inc.”

He’ll start T-rump VCR, Inc., and mandate you and I buy them and his “new and shiny” tapes!

Because that’s how command economies work, and Der Donald is all about command economy.

@tkc882 Physical media has some life left in it yet. The numbers are far from terrible (4K UHD Blu-ray movies are actually selling more in its first year than HD Blu-ray titles in its first year). At any rate, while streaming is okay for most people, the bandwidth limitations we’re currently saddled with across most of the country means that the best picture and sound quality of the disc formats get downgraded (sometimes significantly) by the time that HD or 4K UHD movie shows up on your TV screen. If you’re happy with what you’re getting and don’t consider yourself missing out, fine and dandy. But if you want your nice HD or 4K UHD TV and surround sound system to work to their best potential (hey, you paid good money for it right? might as well ensure it has the best material to work with!), then physical media is definitely the way to go.

I’ve got a whole box of VHS tapes of the Rush Limbaugh TV show.

Paul In Sweden | July 22, 2016 at 8:21 pm

Purchased my first VCR in 1983 and was so pleased it had a 15 foot long remote control. We have lots of tapes and the gizmos to transfer them to disk but lack the motivation to do so.