R.I.P., VHS VCRs

Japan’s last manufacturer of VHS VCRs, Funai Electric Company, will end production of the recorders this month, as reported by Anime News Network. Funai sold 750,000 VHS machines last year, but it’s getting harder to get parts from suppliers and the market is declining, so it’s the end of the line for the format after 40 years of production, at least in the format’s homeland.

VHS Graveyard

The last pre-recorded tapes went out of production in 2008, and while you can still find blank stock new, I wouldn’t be surprised if supplies dry up in a hurry — so if you’re a fan of wobbly, low-res, color-under helical-scan video with a 629 kHz chroma carrier frequency, better stock up on gear and media now… although, with 40 years of production, it’s likely you’ll be able to find used VCRs and tapes for quite a few years to come.

(A tip o’ the hat to the AMIA Mailing List for the news.)

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