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CES: Hitachi Makes Video Storage Breakthrough

Hitachi says it has developed a hard disk drive that can store a terabyte of data, a significant development for future digital set-tops with digital video recording capability. A terabyte could store about 125 hours of high-definition television using MPEG-2 compression at 18 megabits per second (Mbps) or almost 250 hours of HD programming using advanced MPEG-4 compression (at 9 Mbps).

Hitachi will preview its new drive technology at the CES show and start selling it in a retail product, the Deskstar 7K1000, aimed at gaming enthusiasts and high-performance PC applications. It will begin shipping to retail customers in the first quarter of 2007 at a suggested retail price of $399 (USD), or 40 cents per gigabyte (GB).

Hitachi will then release a professional version, the CinemaStar version 1TB hard drive, aimed at digital video recorder applications. That drive will be marketed to set-top manufacturers. Hitachi says it has also developed new software technology for DVR set-tops that manages the mix of high-definition video streaming and best-effort file operations, such as electronic program guides or background IPTV downloads, in order to most efficiently use disk space and extend the life of the hard drive.

“The industry’s first one-terabyte hard drive represents a milestone that is 50 years in the making, and it reasserts the hard drive’s leadership as the highest-capacity, lowest-cost storage technology,” said Shinjiro Iwata, chief marketing officer, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, in a statement.