THUS ENDS AN ERA: THE DEATH OF VHS (1976 - 2016)
MJB Photographic Solutions® recognizes this unique moment in time as we observe the future history of technology unfolding before us.
The Funai Electric Corporation, the last manufacturer of video cassette recorders in the world, will be ceasing production of the VCR later this month, citing a lack of sufficient parts, demand, and ultimately, sustained profitability.
This antiquated video recording device was first introduced at the consumer level by the Victor Company of Japan (JVC) in 1976, giving birth to the home video industry, forever changing the economics of the television and movie business. The television industry viewed the VCR as having the power to disrupt business, while the consumer viewed it as a means to finally take control of their hobby.
Beginning in the early 1980s, two videotape formats, VHS and Betamax, would duke it out for the title of dominant format throughout this tape media period. VHS would eventually win the war and became the industry standard.
By 1997, the optical disc format offered better quality than analog videotape ever could. The earliest of these formats, LaserDisc, was not widely adopted however, due in large part to its rather cumbersome size, not to mention the often necessary task of having to physically flip the disc over halfway through any sort of lengthy playback. Luckily, significant advancements in technology would allow for a tremendous reduction in size of the medium while proportionally increasing data capacity. Consequently, with the introduction of the DVD (digital versatile disc, or digital video disc) format, the VHS market share began to decline exponentially. By 2008, the DVD had achieved mass acceptance and replaced VHS as the preferred low end method of video playback distribution.
The VHS format, for all its flaws, had a seemingly great run, managing to survive for nearly 40 years, but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
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