The sun has officially set on VCR production. The magazine Popular Mechanics reported that the last known company still making VHS machines has stopped production on the devices.
Funai Electric began selling VCRs under the Sanyo brand name in 1983 and sold 15 million machines a year during the height of its popularity, according to the Telegraph.
Although demand has slowed quite a bit since then with better-quality DVD and Blu-ray playback options becoming the norm, the company sold as many as 750,000 machines last year.
There is still a small market for VHS recordings since some rare movies are only available on tape, some fetching thousands of dollars.
Funai says declining sales and lack of parts availability influenced its decision to officially end production this year.
Read more: TV and movies: Your free and cheap guide
How to convert VHS to DVD or digital
If you have precious memories or beloved classic movies on VHS and this news makes you uneasy, not to worry! There are simple ways to convert your videos to DVD or digital, especially if you fear your VCR may stop working due to its age. Here are several options!
- Choose a conversion service. Companies like Costco, Walmart and Walgreens offer services starting at $20 per tape conversion.
- Buy a VHS to DVD converter. These run about $30 – $60, depending on which kind you choose.
- Use a DVD recorder. If you have a DVD recorder, you can use RCA cables to connect the VCR to your DVD recorder and convert. (For instructions on how to do this, click here.)
- Use a computer via an analog-to-digital adapter. For this, you’ll need a computer with a DVD burner and an analog-to-digital adapter. (For step-by-step instructions, click here.)
Of course, if you have a VCR that works currently, you may not need to rush out and convert your old videos. But, it’s good to know there are options available in case that trusty old VCR ever does bite the dust.