The videocassette recorder that revolutionised home entertainment by allowing television audiences to capture their favourite shows on tape and watch them at their leisure will die at the end of the month after a decade-long battle with obsolescence. It is roughly 60 years old.
Known to every child of the ’80s and ’90s as the VCR, the machine became a fixture under the television sets in households as a means for watching movies with terrible resolution, forcing the viewing of grainy family milestones, and recording your grandmother’s daytime melodramas.
The VCR’s demise may come as a shock, mostly because many thought it was already dead.
But Japan-based Funai Electronic Company has continued to manufacture the machines even as several generations of superior entertainment technology have come to market. Now, executives say that a lack of demand and difficulty acquiring parts has convinced them to cease production at the end of July.
I’m trying to think when I got rid of my VCR. It was in fact only a few years ago as I had some old family videos I wanted to keep it for. But then I realised I could digitise them and save storage space.