Feeds

WD touts quieter, smoother drives for video

Bidding for the DVR and set-top box business

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

Audio-video drives are back on the menu, with Western Digital bringing out a range of IDE and SATA hard disks that goes to a chunky 500GB – enough for up to 30 hours of HD video, reckons WD.

The drives include a number of tweaks and new technologies to optimise them for AV applications. WD claimed that they can deliver smooth playback of as many as 12 high-definition video streams at once, or for CCTV use they can record up to 16 standard-definition streams simultaneously.

AV-optimised drives first appeared a decade ago, but many of those tweaks – such as automatic self-recalibration – went mainstream, allowing standard drives to take over in most AV applications. The arrival of digital and personal video recorders (DVR/PVR) and HDTV has stretched standard hard disk technology though, as well as forcing the development of quieter, more reliable drives.

"These are not for desktop PCs," said WD technician Alexander Patterson. "They are for DVR, PVR, set-top boxes and low-end security systems."

They include a a new technology called IntelliSeek which synchs head movement to disk spin, so the head arrives at the right moment to read the data it wants as it passes underneath. This does make them slightly slower on average seek time – 12 or 13ms versus 8 or 9ms for a PC drive – but Patterson said that by taking out "hasty movement", it can cut both power consumption and noise.

"It's not a case of less performance, it is other features for different applications – it's less performance for some apps, but more performance in others," he added, noting that the AV-specific features conform to ATA standards and are not proprietary.

These are also the first 3.5 inch WD drives to include features that are now common in drives for mobile PCs, such as ramp-load, which reduces wear and increases shock tolerance by parking the read/write heads off the disk surface during spin-up, spin-down and when the drive is not operating.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?