Japan’s Funai Electric says it will be making its last VCRs this week.
Funai, which makes the units in China for Sanyo, says that demand for its output has dropped from around 15 million units a year at its peak to around 750,000 annually in 2015. The company says that because of the low production runs that component parts are costly and sometimes difficult to source.
Funai is the last remaining manufacturer, and according to the Nikkai Japanese newspaper, video equipment buyers have, somewhat predcitably, shifted their allegiances to DVD, Blu-ray and set-top boxes with digital recording.
The Japanese newspaper suggests that most people still buying VHS players are replacing equipment that has failed, and yet still have VHS tapes that they want to view.
JVC introduced the VCR in 1976-7 and by the early 1980s they were competing head-to-head with Sony’s Betamax, introduced in 1975. Betamax players – other than for high-end professional use – were discontinued in 2002.