Updated on December 10, 2021
News has come that after 40+ years, the VCR has hit the end of the road. Electronics maker Funai has until now been the final maker of VCRs. Funai was making them for Sanyo, who in turn would sell the VCRs here stateside. But Funai is finally ending VCR production, citing changing technology and the difficulty of procuring parts.
Funai’s VCR sales last year were just 750,000 units, presumably for the few who still need to play VHS tapes. Sony stopped making blank Betamax tapes only last year; presumably blank VHS tapes will linger on a bit longer, but those should meet their end soon, as well.
As I wrote about Betamax tapes, it’s important to make sure every so often your media’s on currently accessible sources. This way, you’ll avoid being left in the lurch if you have a pile of inaccessible media formats. That said, digital formats and open standards should help lessen this in the future.
Regarding VCRs, I had plenty of videotapes in the 1990s, but switched to DVDs and DVRs in the 2000s. Still, the VCR provided me with plenty of entertainment over the years. It also got me through plenty of entertainment dry spells—summer reruns, lack of money for trips to the movies, etc.
What memories do you have of VCRs or videotapes?
Flickr photo by Phil Roeder (CC BY)