JVC Puts VHS Tape Out of Misery

Dennis Faas's picture

Not yet sure about investing in a Blu-ray player for your home theater and high definition television? That's understandable. However, for those of you who haven't yet upgraded from VHS to standard DVD, there's bad news on the way this holiday season.

According to reports, JVC -- the last tech company making VHS tapes -- has revealed that it will no longer be producing the aging technology. This follows on the heels of news in October that the company would cease production of VHS players. (Source: crn.com)

As you might expect, demand has all but dried up. Although consumers are still hesitant to jump on the Blu-ray train (Sony's HD movie format only emerged victorious over Toshiba's HD-DVD earlier this year), standard DVDs are hot sellers. In fact, consumers in the U.S. spent about $23 billion on DVDs last year alone.

Ryan Kuglar, a Burbank, California distributor who specializes in providing customers with older technologies, has had to admit that the demand for VHS is just about zero. As the last major supplier of VHS tapes in the United States, Kuglar remarked that "the demand is nil, it's nothing." "There no demand for VHS anymore," he added. "It's stale to us." (Source: cbsnews.com)

VHS tapes have been kicking around for about thirty years. Like the high definition format war resolved earlier this year, VHS and the VCR faced early, stiff competition from Betamax. Both were extremely expensive in the early 1980s, but as VHS emerged victorious and production ramped up, prices steadily declined.

Of course, the primary benefit to the VHS player was its ability to record. However, in the age of satellite TV, multiple time zones, and syndication, it's much harder to actually miss a favorite show. Add to that slow but burgeoning PVR and DVD Recorder markets, and there's really only one reason to keep a VCR: familiarity.

Not even that seems to be enough to save the VHS tape now.

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