Funai Electric, the last VCR manufacturer will halt production by the end of the month. Funai is a Japanese company that started by making sewing machines. They made their first VCR in 1983. Funai Electric manufactures players under many brand names, including Philips, Magnavox and Sanyo.
In 1983, Funai Electric was the first company to come up with a VCR for compact video cassettes (CVC). These were portable recorders that could be attached to cameras, and were popular in the broadcasting industry, especially in Japan. One of these VCRs were taken up on an expedition to Mt Everest. The technology developed for the CVC lead to the creation of the Video Home System (VHS) format, which became the dominant format for consumption of video at home across the world. This is also the end of the line for VHS.
Apart from VCRs, Funai Electric manufactured Laser Disc players, DVD players and Blu-ray Disc players. Funai Electric had some innovative products in its VCR line up, including a combination of a CRT monitor and a VCR as well as a single device that could play back both VHS and DVD. The inline recording allowed video feeds to be recorded in the VCR. At it’s peak Funai was selling 15 million VCR units in a year, a number which has now fallen to 750,000 according to a report in abc13.