In Japan, Last VCR Manufacturer to Stop Production
The last Japanese manufacturer of VCRs stop production, marking the end of a technological era.
If you were upset at the demise of Blockbuster, you probably suspected this day would come. In July, the last Japanese VCR manufacturer will stop making Video Cassette Recorders (the beloved VCRs). Funai Electric was the holdout maker of the recording device, first introduced in 1970.
According to the Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei, the company cited declining sales, which hit 750,000 units last year, as well as problems in finding parts as the reasons for shutting down VCR production.
If you have some some VHS tapes around, you might want to hold onto them as they are already becoming collector’s items. Classic tapes are going for thousands of dollars and the trend is sure to continue as we get further removed from their historical demise.
Here’s a timeline of some of the major technological transitions in home recording:
1948 - LP vinyl records introduced by Columbia Records
1963 - Phillips makes first cassette tape
1963 - first home video recorder introduced by Telcan
1964 - 8-track tape introduced
1965 - super 8 film released
1966 - first album on cassette tape
1970 - Philips creates first VCR (video cassette recorder)
1970s (early) - first in-car cassette decks
1975 - Betamax introduced
1980 - VHS wins over Betamax and controls most of the market
1970s (late) - 8-track tapes lose popularity
1975 - VCRs gain popularity
1979 - Sony’s Walkman comes out
1982 - compact discs (CDs) commercially released
1988 - last major 8-track release (Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits)
1990s (early) - CDs start outselling vinyl records
1995 - first DVDs come out
1998 - first MP3 player comes out from Eiger Labs
2001 - major U.S. music companies discontinue production of cassette tapes
2002 - Sony stops production of Betamax tape recorders
2006 - Blu-ray discs released
2008 - last production of pre-recorded VHS tapes in North America
2010 - Sony stops manufacturing the Walkman
2015 - only 24% of music bought in US is on physical media (like CDs)
2016 - Funai stops manufacturing the last VCR recorder
And here are a few nostalgic images of the obsolete tech of your life:
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.