Don't wait for Blueray or HD-DVD storage

Mikey 6 comments
Don't wait for Blueray or HD-DVD storage

I just got an IM from a friend who says he is itching for Blueray to become affordable so he can backup all his media and files which are currently spread out over about 40 DVD's. This has prompted me to put the whole large capacity optical media juggernaut into perspective.

Both offer high capacity on a single disc, but as it stands right now, only people with more dollars than sense can actually afford either. Higher quality movies are no doubt be uber-sweet, (when I say quality I am of course referring to the high definition image), so there is no denying the advantage there. But what about data storage? It's stops sounding so good now.

HD-DVD stores 15gb and Blueray has a capacity of around 50gb. That might sound like a lot, but why spend $1000+ on a burner for your PC (and that's without blank media which is about $40 per disc) when you can get a 500gb drive (10 times the capacity of a dual layer Blueray disc) for less than $150? You wouldn't.

Why an external hard drive is better.

  • Hard drives have super fast access and write speeds (hundreds of times faster than any optical media).
  • You can manage the files (delete, move etc...)
  • They are significantly cheaper per megabyte than Blueray or HD-DVD.
  • You can plug them into anyone's computer with a USB port and start using it, whereas any Blueray or HD-DVD media will require a compatible optical drive.
  • You won't damage it by simply handling it roughly - optical media is prone to scratching.

So if you are holding out so you can backup more data that your typical 4.75gb DVD does, don't wait. It will be several years before Blueray and HD-DVD optical media is a cheap as black CD's and DVD's are now, and by that time hard drives will be about $50 for a terabyte or two.

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Monday 4th February 2008 | 07:17 PM

Who needs 500 gigbyte of space?

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Monday 4th February 2008 | 09:00 PM

Plenty of people. I am comfortable with about 3 or 4 times that sort of storage but then my needs are probably more excessive that most. I capture all home videos and photos in uncompressed and raw formats.

But even for other people, with storage so damned cheap now there is nothing stopping you from taking a few hundred digital photos at your kids birthday party and every other event. Same goes for video. I am one of those people who are constantly taking photos and video of my kids and family events. In the 4 years we have had children now I have around 120 high quality long digital recordings and about 15,000 photos of various events in their lives captured at the highest quality. And when I get my paws on a high-def video camera my storage requirements will be 10 times what they are now. But as mentioned hard drive storage is trivial these days. I honestly believe optical media days are numbered.

I want to look back on those videos at the best quality I can, not some crappy badly compressed WMV.

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Tuesday 5th February 2008 | 02:35 PM

The biggest problem with dvds, regardless of the format and storage capacity is that you'll never fit everything you want on there and will always end up with trillions of disks that make it impossible to find exactly what you want.

I have a couple of external HDs and that totally solved all of my storage problems.

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Tuesday 5th February 2008 | 04:26 PM

Something I should have added was that the current HD download wars will also eventually see the end of optical media.

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Tuesday 5th February 2008 | 07:24 PM

so external hard drives the way to go hey?

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Tuesday 5th February 2008 | 07:37 PM

@ Andrew: Yes.

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