updated 12:00 pm EDT, Mon April 9, 2007
Western Digital AV drives
Western Digital has begun shipping SATA hard drives which may soon find their way into a number of DVR systems. The company's AV drives are specifically built for long-term use, and exploit technologies such as IntelliSeek, which dynamically adjusts seek speed to save power and reduce noise -- the latter being especially important when watching television. Western claims that the drives are in fact so quiet as to be barely within the threshold of human hearing.
The AV line should also be able to record multiple broadcasts simultaneously: Western estimates a total of 12 HD streams, or 16 standard-definition streams. Ramp loading, meanwhile, should not only reduce power use but increase reliability, keeping the head off the surface of the disc except when absolutely necessary. Capacities range from 80 to 500GB.