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Hitachi Unveils 400GB Drive For Nearline Storage, DVRs

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies on Wednesday announced a massive 400GB 3.5-inch ATA hard drive that it's pitching primarily to makers of digital video recorders (DVRs), but also to corporations as a "nearline" storage platform.

The Deskstar 7K400, a 7,200 rpm (revolutions per minute) hard drive, will ship with either the standard parallel ATA or the newer, faster Serial ATA (SATA) interface, said Hitachi.

The company is aiming the Deskstar at both consumers and corporations. For the former, the Deskstar hopes to find a home within high-end DVRs, the entertainment devices which digitally record cable, over-the-air, or satellite broadcasts, then let user temporarily pause the live feed. TiVo is the best know DVR brand.

The huge capacity of the new Deskstar will allow DVRs to store as many as 400 hours of standard TV programming, 45 hours of HDTV programming, or more than 6,500 hours of CD-quality audio. Hitachi already makes a 250GB drive for DVRs.

Hitachi also billed the 400GB monster as suited for the "nearline" storage environment -- dubbed that because such hardware that can't compete in speed and reliability with drives using the SCSI or Fibre Channel interfaces. Nearline storage, however, sports faster data access speeds and transfer rates than, say, tape, which competes in the same price range.

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