Seagate has announced what it claims is the “industry’s first” 4TB video hard disk drive, that is, a 3.5in HDD that is engineered specifically for use in video applications such as digital video recorders (DVRs), set-top boxes (STBs) and surveillance systems.
“Purpose-built for video solutions, the Video 3.5 HDD can store up to 480 hours of HD content making it the industry’s highest-capacity drive designed specifically for video,” the firm said.
When we asked how the hard drive is engineered for video applications and is not just a bog standard hard disk drive, Seagate explained that the hard drive supports up to 16 HD video streams or 20 standard definition video streams simultaneously, as well as having 24×7 operation capabilities.
To clarify what exactly this means, we asked Seagate to explain how the video hard drive differs from a desktop hard drive. A Seagate spokesperson said that the video hard drive is built for DVR like applications that run 24 hours a day seven days a week in warmer environments, such as a DVR inside an entertainment center, with support for profiles to ensure continuous smooth delivery of video content.
“They’re built to support an ATA-8AV command set which means they’re optimised for streaming, meaning we can support 30 percent more HD streams on this drive than on a laptop drive,” Seagate explained.
“ATA commands are also paired with command completion times that are optimised for video so if your drive has corrupt data, which likely is a single pixel on one frame of your screen, the drive knows to skip over it rather than go back to correct or rebuild that data which would cause your video to pause while this happens.”
The video drive has also been built for low power consumption and heat emission so device designers and manufacturers can build the drive into designs more flexibly. It also offers “superior acoustic management” to limit audible distractions during operation of DVRs and STBs, so designers can build nearly silent home entertainment systems.
“Boasting near silent acoustics, the drive operates below the range of audible sound for the human ear at just 2.3 decibels providing optimised acoustics for home entertainment components, crucial for consumer electronics and video applications,” the firm added.
4TB of data is capable of storing around 100 full length DVD quality movies. Compressed movies take up much less space, with the drive being able to store around 4,000 lower quality films. For movies that have been condensed into the popular HD compression format Matroska video (MKV) at HD 720p, the drive can store around 1,000 two-hour movies, or 120,000 minutes of video, making it idea for storing all your favourite episodes of cheesy American TV shows such as Gossip Girl or 90210.
Seagate hasn’t yet announced a release date or pricing for its 4TB video hard disk drive.
Seagate, which recently completed the acquisition of Samsung’s hard disk unit and swiftly cut warranties on most of its drives to just one year, has now announced that it will buy hard drive packager Lacie. Seagate has signed an agreement with Philippe Spruch, Lacie’s chairman and CEO, to purchase his 63.5 percent stake in the company at $7.05 per share in cash, which values the firm at $186m.
According to Seagate the purchase should help the firm grow in Europe and Japan. The firm also announced that Spruch will be employed by Seagate and run its consumer products division.
Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, CEO and president said, “Lacie has built an exceptional consumer brand by delivering exciting and innovative high end products for many years. This transaction would bring a highly complementary set of capabilities to Seagate, significantly expand our consumer product offerings, add a premium branded direct attached storage line, strengthen our network-attached storage business line and enhance our capabilities in software development.”
Lacie’s fancy portable hard drives are popular among those who like fancy cases wrapped around bog-standard consumer hard disks. Seagate’s purchase of Lacie should see the firm not only become the sole supplier of hard drives in Lacie products but make a renewed push in the consumer portable hard drive market following last year’s floods in Thailand that affected the three big hard drive manufacturers.
Seagate said the deal should be completed by the third quarter of 2012 pending regulatory approval in the US, France and Germany.
Need a thin and speedy external drive to go along with your shiny new ultrabook? Seagate’s got you covered with a new 500GB FreeAgent GoFlex Slim drive.
Yes, the name is too long, but the spec sheet is pretty impressive, too. The new drive features USB 3.0 and unlike most external 2.5-inch drives it is a 7200rpm unit. The new 500GB unit has yet to hit retail, with a $135 price tag, but if you can’t wait last year’s 320GB drive is on sale for about $90.
The drive measures 124x78x9mm and weighs 160g, but we’re not sure about the design. It won’t match most ultrabooks on the market, and since ultrabooks are aimed at fashion conscious consumers, this could be an issue.
First of all the 4TB GoFlex is an external 3.5-inch drive, naked desktop variants will follow soon. Secondly, the drive is only available through www.seagate.com, but a few lucky retailers will have it in stock shortly. The price stands at $249, which sounds fair.
On the tech side of things, the drive is pretty much your regular run of the mill 3.5-inch external drive. It supports USB 3.0, which seems like a good idea given the immense capacity, but there is no eSATA on board.