Do you remember the VCR? You know, that large, archaic thing that used to play VHS tapes? You used to watch Disney movies on them late at night when you were supposed to be sleeping. They used to provide you with all the entertainment you would ever need. As a child, almost every millennial had one of these things, at least their family did.
At the height of their popularity VCR’s went for hundreds of dollars. Today you can’t even give them away. Although they haven’t been popular since DVD’s have taken over, they’re still being made.
In fact, many different kinds of t technologies are still being manufactured like new. Just look at the last remaining Typewriter factory…it shut down in 2011. That’s only 5 years ago! Today, the last remaining VCR and VHS factory will close its doors.
Funai Electric is the last company known to make VCRs. It’s stopping production this year. Its long and sorted history with the VHS and VCR technology stretches all the way back to 1980. It launched the CVC player as well. This was known as the first compact cassette recorder which immediately competed with VHS, Betamax and other tech.
The CVC ended up attracting a bit of interest in Japan but never really crossed over into the mainstream as far as video technology went. The more popular formats ended up stomping out the CVC entirely. These guys went back to work and decided to just make the technology that was popular. At the time, that was the VCR.
And ironically they haven’t stopped making them since. The VCR was one of the most revolutionary media tools to be invented.
It made it possible for people to bring the popular activity of film screening from the theater to their home. It’s impossible to think about life today without Netflix and DVD’s…more so streaming than anything else. But if we think back to the before time, when VCR’s were just being invented it, it’s impressive to note that we wouldn’t have streaming tech without something like the VCR existing before.
Seriously, then next time you sit down to binge watch House of Cards, thank God that the VCR came first.