Loading a vhs tape
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The machines, which played VHS tapes where viewers could record programmes and also watch films, became popular in the 1980s.
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The world’s last maker of VCRs has announced it is going to stop producing the videocassette recorders in the coming days.
The machines, which played VHS tapes where viewers could record programmes and also watch rented films, became popular in the 1980s.
But there has been a sharp decline in sales over a number of years.
VCR technology was superseded by DVDs and Blu-Ray and later streaming services such as Netflix as well as on demand services like Sky.
Sales of VCRs have plummeted from 15 million units a year at their height to 750,000 in 2015 – although some people may be surprised they were still being made at all.
The remaining demand is thought to have been largely down to consumers who have large videotape collections.
A few years ago a poll found 58% of Americans still had one in their home.
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The machines have been produced by Japan’s Funai Electric and most were sold in North America in recent years, including under the Sanyo brand.
But now production will cease by the end of the month as the company has also found it difficult to source parts.
Panasonic pulled out of the business several years ago, making Funai the last VCR maker in the world, a company spokesman said.
He said: “A company that was making parts for us said it was too tough to keep making them with sales at this level so they stopped, which led to our decision – we can’t make them without that part.”
Funai has been overwhelmed with calls from desperate Japanese VCR tape owners who have not transferred precious recordings of weddings and other special occasions on to other formats, the spokesman added.
Last year, Sony announced it would stop selling Betamax video tapes, which were superseded in the 1980s by the more popular VHS format.