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Hitachi HDDs target digital video, STB apps

Posted: 12 Nov 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:hard disk drives? STBs? video data streams?

C5K250

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies took the wraps off its latest CinemaStar hard disk drives (HDDs), consisting of C5K250 and P7K500 devices both optimized for use in home entertainment applications.

Both devices use Hitachi's SmoothStream technology that enables a host device to control the drive's error recovery processes, allowing the hard disk drives to perform optimally in A/V applications. This feature tunes the drive to capture video data streams on a command by command basis, allowing integrators to mix different AV and IT applications on the same platform. Hitachi was the first hard drive vendor to integrate such a capability in its products and the CinemaStar C5K250 drive represents Hitachi's second generation SmoothStream implementation.

Low-power alternative
The 2.5-inch CinemaStar C5K250 is designed to enable video recording and playback features in a small form factor. The drive uses the same SmoothStream technology as its larger 3.5-inch CinemaStar sibling, but offers reduced size, low power and quiet acoustics, while providing capacity of up to 250Gbytes. The low power capability, combined with the large storage capacity, enables the design of portable and/or battery-powered personal media players (PMP) and ultraslim, reduced footprint STBs that still offer the same functionality as the much larger units seen in many households today.

As consumer electronics manufacturers push their designs to achieve environmentally friendly, lower power consumption levels, the Hitachi CinemaStar C5K250 ensures that customers can achieve lower power usage and enjoy smooth digital video experience. The drive is designed to switch to a 0.55W idle power mode if recording or playback pauses for longer periods.

The CinemaStar C5K250's low-power profile also means the drive requires smaller power supplies and less cooling, which may help extend the life of the hard drive, the host product, as well as surrounding devices in a typical entertainment cabinet.

High performance offering
The 3.5-inch CinemaStar P7K500 is a family of drives designed to provide high capacity and high performance for full-featured STBs or DVRs with multistreaming functionality.

The CinemaStar P7K500 family makes it possible for DVR manufacturers to broaden their product offerings to cover the entire spectrum of customer needsfrom very high capacity, high performance multifunction systems to more economical units.

The new drives are based on Hitachi's Deskstar P7K500, which are extremely frugal on power consumption. The 3.5-inch CinemaStar PATA model for example, uses 34 percent less power than its predecessor.

The CinemaStar P7K500 offers a special feature called AV-Zoning, which allows data recovery procedures to be defined differently for multiple partitions on the same drive. This way, critical system data can be differentiated from time critical video content, which may not require the same stringent data recovery measures. As a result, AV-Zoning helps ensure a smooth video experience for the user.

With a top capacity of 500Gbyte, the CinemaStar P7K500 can store up to 178 movies, 125,000 four-minute songs and 250 video games.

Other features
In addition to SmoothStream, the video-tuned hard drives bring together a number of consumer electronics-specific features and benefits including:

  • SMART Command Transport and adaptive error recovery for optimized video streaming and picture quality;

  • AV-Zoning allows manufacturers to configure unique data recovery procedures to help ensure uninterrupted video playback;

  • Silent-seek acoustics for bedroom-quiet operation;

  • Advanced power management features enable the drives to run cooler and use less power;

  • Fast spin up times provide efficient reading/writing of data during digital video recording and playback;

  • Choice of either Parallel ATA or Serial ATA interfaces for design flexibility.



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