RIP VHS: Last VCR manufacturer to axe production this month

So long old friend, it's been emotional.

RIP VHS VCR player
RIP VHS VCR players will be no more from August 2016

It’s finally time to write the obituary for VHS and VCR.

The video cassette format was eclipsed by DVDs and Blu-rays a long time ago, but production on VCR machines have continued in Japan through company Funai Electric.

That is until now.

Funai has confirmed that it will cease production on VCRs this month, signalling the end of an era for a format that revolutionised home video after its launch in 1976.

VHS was at its peak in the 80s and 90s, but the arrival of digital formats such as DVD and Blu-ray meant the writing has been on the wall for nearly a decade. Now streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Video are moving technology on further.

Funai have cited dipping sales and trouble acquiring parts as the major reason why they’re pulling the plug. Their VCR units are produced in China and sold worldwide under brand names like Sanyo. In 2015, however, they sold just 750,000 players.

The death of VCR is sad, but it might mean any old video tapes you have knocking around will shoot up in value. Recent valuations from tech antiques experts revealed that some VHS films are worth as much as £1,500.

The very last VHS tape produced? Fantasy film shit-fest Eragon in 2007.

RIP VHS – it’s been emotional.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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