One Company Still Makes VCRs. It's About to Stop

Goodbye, old friend
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2016 10:12 AM CDT
One Company Still Makes VCRs. It's About to Stop
RIP.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It's the end of an era—which you probably thought ended years ago. The last maker of the VCR (that's videocassette recorder for the lucky souls who never had to deal with rewinding a movie because the person who watched it before you didn't) will kill production of the devices at the end of the month due to declining sales and the chore of finding the necessary parts. Funai Electronics in Japan—which sold units in North America under the Sanyo brand, per Ars Technica—surprisingly sold 750,000 VCRs last year, but that's a fraction of the 15 million units it once moved annually and not enough to keep them coming, reports USA Today.

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The New York Times tells the story of how the first "practical" videotape recorder was met with "wild clapping and cheering for five full minutes" when presented to CBS executives in 1956. Sixty years later, there are still VHS collectors—a handful sell for thousands, reports the Independent—but VCRs are unlikely to come back in style. "A lot of people appreciated the warmness of how something sounds on vinyl," a technology analyst tells the BBC. "The quality on VHS is not something I think anyone would want to go back to." Feeling sentimental anyway? You're not alone. "Although I'd never purchase a VCR [ever] again, this makes me sad," reads a typical comment on Twitter. (Read more VCR stories.)

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