End of an Era: Last VCR to Roll Off Assembly Line

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Ladies and gentleman, the 1980s are now officially over. Find out why a Reagan-era entertainment staple is heading for the technology boneyard.

The 1980s are now officially over: The last VCR will be produced later this month, according to manufacturer Funai Electric.

The Japanese company contends that it is the last maker of VCRs but will cease producing the device that revolutionized home entertainment in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Funai began making VCRs more than 30 years ago. At its peak, the company sold 15 million VCRs a year, CNN Money reports. Last year, Funai sold just 750,000 units.

The company is bringing down the curtain on VCRs as sales slow and it becomes more difficult to find parts to manufacture the units.

The earliest VCRs began to appear in homes in the 1960s, but their popularity exploded in the 1980s. At one point, they were nearly as ubiquitous in American homes as television sets.

Even as recently as two years ago, it was reported that 58 percent of Americans had a VCR in their homes.

News of the VCR’s demise comes less than a year after Sony announced it was ceasing production of blank tapes for the VCR’s chief rival, the Betamax. Sony stopped making Betamax recorders in 2002.

At least one expert believes that this truly is the end of the VCR and that the technology will not make an unexpected comeback, as vinyl records and cassettes have in recent years.

Tania Loeffler, an analyst at IHS Technology, told the BBC:

“I don’t see (the) VCR becoming like vinyl, where a lot of people appreciated the warmness of how something sounds on vinyl. The quality on VHS is not something I think anyone would want to go back to.”

What is your take on the end of the VCR? Let us know why by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

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