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JVC stops making standalone video recorders

JVC drops VCR as customers opt for PVRs


JVC, a pioneer of video recorder production, has announced it is to stop making standalone VCRs.

The introduction of DVD recorders and the rise in popularity of personal video recorders (PVRs) has resulted in a slump in the sales of videocassette recorders (VCRs).

Globally, 900 million VCR units have been produced since the technology was first sold to consumers in 1976. In Japan 6.41 million VCRs were sold during the year 2000, but this figure dropped to 280,000 VCRs for 2007, according to figures from an industry body.

PVRs more popular

While DVD recorders haven’t been the success in the UK that the industry hoped, the versatility that PVRs offer has made this method of recording from TV popular.

Which? has reported that PVRs are easy to use and you can use them to pause and rewind live TV. They can be programmed to record an entire series of programmes and automatically adjust the recording times when a TV’s broadcasting schedule is unexpectedly changed.

Dave Holes, Which? researcher, said: ‘PVRs put the consumer in control of their TV viewing. It’s no surprise that PVRs have caught on in the way that they have, and VCRs with their fiddly recording settings just can’t compete.’

Blu-ray recorders

JVC will sell its remaining stock of VCRs. Combination models – from JVC and other manufacturers – will still be available. 

Which? saw a Blu-ray Disc and VCR combination machine manufactured by Sharp at this year’s Ceatec exhibition in Tokyo, and Panasonic has launched a similar combination device with a VCR and Blu-ray Disc recorder, which can be set to record from a mobile phone. However, this model is less likely to be launched in the UK.

The VCR was first showcased to consumers at Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 1970. It was considered a showstopper at the time, and Which? will be reporting on the latest technology from the 2009 CES.

Which? has around 20 PVRs on test and reports on 50 DVD recorders, including a preview of the Panasonic DMR-BW500, a Blu-ray Disc recorder that will be available in the UK next year.

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