We can't rewind, we've gone too far: Last remaining VCR manufacturer to cease production

A company in Japan had continued making VCRs up until July of this year

VHS, VCR, video,

Image: Wikimedia/Commons/composite

Some readers may be able to look far enough back in to the sands of time to remember the days before BluRay and DVD, to a very different form of technology. 

Before the arrival of on-demand programming and digital recorders, the Video Cassette Recorder or VCR was the piece of technology that "disrupted" the industry, as they might say in the parlance of our times. 

As technology moved on, the device allowed you to set times to record when you were out of the house (the only way you could hope to catch a show or movie that you really wanted to watch when it was on TV) before eventually introducing the VideoPlus+ numbers.

Hours were spent highlighting the relevant numbers from the TV listings, generated by an algorithm, that would tell the device what time and channel to record, even though they almost inevitably cut off the closing moments which often contained the dramatic denouement of the the thing you were trying to watch. 

Video may have killed the radio star, but with the advent of new technology, the time has finally come for the VCR to meet the same fate. You could have been forgiven for thinking that this day may well have already been and gone, but earlier this week, the Funai Electric Corporation in Japan announced that they would be making their last VCR at the end of July.

According to The New York Times, they were last company left in the world known to be manufacturing the devices, but have decided to call a halt in production due to the increasing cost and difficulty of acquiring parts. 

Despite being replaced by other forms of technology, there were still 750,000 VCR units sold in 2015, according to Time, but the sales of the devices, and video cassettes, have been on a sharp decline since the introduction of the DVD in the mid-1990s.

Although Funai Electric continued up until this month, the JVC company who invented the technology and dubbed the device the 'VCR' stopped producing them in 2008. 

While it may only be a small note of consolation to the early adopters out there who never gave up on VHS, the technology did prove to last longer than its major competitor in the early days, Betamax. Back in November of last year, Sony announced that they would be ceasing the production of the technology in March. 

Via Time