U-matic is no longer used as a mainstream television production format, but it has found lasting appeal as a cheap, well specified, and hard-wearing format. The format permitted many broadcast and non-broadcast institutions to produce television programming on an accessible budget, spawning programming distribution, classroom playback, etc. At its peak popularity, U-matic recording and playback equipment was manufactured by Sony, Panasonic, JVC and Sharp, with many spin-off product manufacturers, such as video edit controllers, time base correctors, video production furniture, playback monitors and carts, etc.
Many television facilities the world over still have a U-matic recorder for archive playback of material recorded in the 1980s. For example, the Library of Congress facility in Culpeper, VA, holds thousands of its titles on U-matic video, as a means of providing access copies and proof for copyright deposit of old television broadcasts and films.
Four decades after it was developed, the format is still used for the menial tasks of the industry, being more highly specialised and suited to the needs of production staff than the domestic VHS, although as time passes it has been replaced at the bottom of the tree of tape-based production formats by Betacam and Betacam SP as these in turn are replaced by Digital Betacam and HDCAM