80 Hours of Uncompressed DV

Someone needs to talk me out of buying this right now.  Please!  At $1200, this one terabyte external drive is very tempting.  I could easily keep 10-20 projects open at the same time, and not have to worry about clearing disk space for the next project.

You see, uncompressed DV takes up about 13GB per hour of video.  So a simple one hour, two camera shoot eats up 26GB—and that’s just for the raw DV.  As I edit, composite, and add effects, the temporary render files have to be added into that, probably around another 10GB.  Needless to say, with a 160GB hard drive, and about 30-40GB of that being used up by applications and support files (primarily LiveType and Soundtrack), storage is something I have an immediate concern with.

So, readers.  Tell this monkey what to do.  Sad as it may seem, I have never shopped for a hard drive before.  I’ve never exceeded the capacity of what came with the various systems that I’ve owned over the years.  How much storage can I get and at what cost per Gig?  Can I get reliable and convenient storage for under a dollar per Gig?  (The LaCie is about $1.17.)  Quality is key here, as I can’t tolerate any dropped frames from slow seek/transfer nor any data loss.

This is an older entry and as such, it may be by a guest author or contain formatting problems / extraneous code. If you notice something wrong with the entry, please use the Contact page to let me know the entry title and issue.


You can definitely get storage for under $1/GB.  It’s getting close to $0.50/GB now during sales, in fact.  I’d recommend taking a look at AnandTech’s Hot Deals forum.  There are always posts about good hard drive deals.  120-200GB drives seem to be the ones to focus on right now.

If you’re looking for massive, reliable storage, what you want to look into is a :RAID: array.  The first few pages of this article explain some of the different types of RAID (0, 1, 0+1, 5, etc.).  Here’s another good “quick explanation” of the different types and levels.

Basically, most RAID setups are geared toward either faster access or higher reliability/redundancy.  If you have more drives then you can set up some of the more advanced types that provide benefits from both areas.

I imagine you could set up a nice RAID array for a fair bit less than the $1200 LaCie.

I go to AnandTech’s frequently, but they almost always have Maxtor drives, which I hear nothing but horror stories about.  I’m cautious about chosing a HD just because I get a coupon code combined with clearance, etc.

And I’ve been meaning to look more closely at RAID.  I’ve only looked at XServe RAID, which is very expensive, heh.  I’ma check those links out.

Nothing wrong with Maxtor these days.  Perhaps a few years ago, but not anymore.  I have one of their DiamondMax 160GB drives as the main storage drive on my PC.  No problems with it.  You do want to make sure you get a HD (regardless of brand) with an 8MB cache, not 2MB, though.

Maxtor and Western Digital are definitely the two main brands in the “good performance for reasonable cost” area.  Of course, with your G5 you may need to be looking for SATA drives instead of regular IDE; luckily, the price difference is negligible these days.

g5 is sata only, and Western digital is even better than the former allmighty IBM. Go with Western digital 8mg cache and you cant go wrong

oh yeah, i want one of those 1tb drives pretty frakin bad

What software are you using for DV editing?

I’ve been helping a friend get his editing system up and running on a Windows box and he’s using Pinnacle Studio, I told him to go with Adobe Premiere, let’s see if he takes the plunge.

As far as disk space goes. I’d build me a box with on board raid and throw in 4 120 gb drives. Run something like Debian on it and use it strictly for storage. Did you know that my debian box running samba is faster at serving files than Windows XP.

Then the machine you are using now can be used strictly for editing and rendering.

Here’s my complete setup.

If he’s running a Windows sytem, he might also want to look into Vegas.  Supposed to be pretty easy and somewhat powerful.  I’m not a fan of Premiere by any stretch of the imagination, but to each his own.

As for having to use a separate system for serving files—that’s totally unnecessary with my rig. wink

Derek, damn, that’s what I want smile

Chris, I like the popup hover box on the link.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you ever open a lacie hard drive you will find that it is a maxtor drive that is under the hood.

LaCie uses a variety of vendors for their drives.  Maxtor is one of them, that’s just how things work in the manufacturing industry.  I guarantee you that Maxtor and the other vendors retain zero rights to sell the LaCie spec’d drives on their own or to other manufacturers.

Leave Your Comment

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.