Last Major VCR Maker Ends Production After 40 Years

September 28, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. acquire əˈkwaɪər / (v.) – to get something for the purpose of owning it
Example: The car factory stopped production because they faced difficulties in acquiring certain parts.

2. prompt /prɒmpt/ (v.) – to cause someone to decide to do or say something
Example: The company’s new policy prompted many employees to resign.

3. prime /praɪm/ (n.) – the stage when something or someone is most successful
Example: She was idolized by many people in her prime.

4. foresee /fɔrˈsi/ (v.) – to know that something will happen in the future
Example: The members of the team foresaw this trouble.

5. be a thing of the past / ə θɪŋ ʌv ðə pæst / (idiom) – to be something that does not exist or is no longer used
Example: They predicted that diskettes would be a thing of the past when CDs were invented.


Read the text below.
The last major maker of videocassette recorders (VCRs) ended their production after 40 years, a report says.

Japanese electronics company Funai Electric, also known as Sanyo, marked the end of their forty-year production of VCRs. According to a report, the company decided to stop production of the device due to a continuous decline in sales, as the demand continued to fall   over the past years. Aside from this, difficulty in acquiring available parts was another factor that prompted the company’s decision.

VCRs became popular in the home electronics market in the 80s and 90s. The device is used to record and play videos. Videos are recorded in either a VHS (Video Home System) videotape or its rival, Betamax.

VCRs gained fame in the United Kingdom and the United States during its prime. At that time, Funai Electric sold 15 million units a year. However, in recent years, its popularity was overtaken by DVD and Blu-Ray, which have superior image and sound quality. Moreover, DVD players are cheaper than VCR players, and DVDs have a longer life span than videotapes.

While newer technologies have overtaken VHS and Betamax, other experts foresee that much like the once-mighty VCR, DVD and Blu-Ray will soon be a thing of the past. Last year, DVD and Blu-ray sales fell by more than 10% due to the rise of digital media, wherein videos come in the form of files, online streaming and Video on Demand services, such as Netflix.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that the company made the right decision to stop making VCRs? Why or why not?
·         Do you think that DVD and Blu-Ray makers should also stop production? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What do you think is the best way of watching videos based on the products that were (VCR) and are still available (DVD, Blu-Ray, digital media, streaming) on the market?
·         How do you foresee the future of watching videos?

September 28, 2016