Mass Storage in the Digital Media Age

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When your Digital Media Home Network needs hundreds of gigabytes…

(DRAFT)

Creating a networked library of your digital media as tremendous benefits in terms of easy access to your entertainment throughout your home. But if you are going to start a serious collection of high quality music (MP3@320k+), high res photos, and most especially digital video (MPEG2/4@3000k+), then you are going to see storage requirements in the hundreds of gigabytes to terabytes – especially if you start accumulating HD video. If you want to properly backup your library with RAID devices, your storage needs increase by 33-100%.

In the TiVo environment, your have to live without folders, and worse, your storage must be attached to the PC (ie. drive letters.) Or does it?

The Netgear SC101 is a network attached storage device with a twist. The software on your PC which communicates with the SC101s tricks the PC into thinking they are SCSI devices, thus the drives are assigned drive letters. QED  🙂 .

An SC101 houses two drives which can be mirrored for automatic backup. Multiple SC101s can be on the network. The ethernet connection is only 100Mb, so transfering large video files takes forever (3-6 min/GB.) However, streaming even HD should be fine because the SC101’s read throughput is around 30Mb/sec in my tests. Multiple HD streams may be out though. TiVo’s Streamloading technique can get around such problems if you let a couple minutes of buffer build up…that is if TiVo ever gets TiVoToCome going on the S3.

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