Audio and video streaming wouldn’t be possible without hard drives and, due to the demands of the applications, those hard drives typically need to be big, fast, and quiet. Western Digital Corp.’s new family of hard drives is intended for audio and video recording products. The new 3.5" WD AV hard drives offer the cooler and quieter operation and low power consumption required for these demanding environments.
WD says that the high capacities, high reliability and cost effectiveness of hard drive technology have enabled a range of audio and video recording applications, including digital set-top boxes, personal video recorders, IP gateways and mainstream surveillance systems. These applications, which often demand 24x7 operation from hard drives, have different requirements than personal computers, such as higher reliability, universal compatibility, low power consumption and the ability to simultaneously record multiple audio and/or video streams. Consumer applications such as set-top boxes and DVD recorders place additional demands on hard drives to consume less power, generate less heat and operate quietly.
The new WD AV hard drives are built specifically to operate in 24x7 environments, where the drive is always on, streaming audio and video content. They are rated for reliability at one million hours MTBF.
WD AV drives incorporate the company’s ramp load feature, which parks the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down and when the drive is not operating. The feature is intended to improve non-operational shock tolerance and ensures that the recording head never touches the disk surface, reducing head and surface wear and enhancing long-term reliability.
WD’s preemptive wear leveling (PWL) frequently sweeps the drive arm across the disk to reduce uneven wear on the drive surface, which is common in audio-video-streaming applications.
IntelliSeek technology calculates an optimum seek speed to eliminate hasty movement of the actuator, which produces noise and requires power. With IntelliSeek, the actuator’s movement is controlled so the head reaches the next target sector just in time to read the next piece of information, rather than rapidly accelerating and waiting for the drive rotation to catch up. This motion reduces power usage of WD AV hard drives by more than 60 percent, while quieting seek operation and lowering vibration. Additionally, the ramp load feature reduces power consumption during spin up and the drive’s electronics have been optimized to save power for audio and video applications.
WD AV drives are currently available with EIDE and SATA interfaces in capacities ranging from 80 GB to 500 GB through WD’s worldwide distribution network.