Originally Posted by Everdog
RAID - Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Drives
You should try it.
I use RAID 5 in my PC, three 400GB SATA-II drives for a total formatted capacity of about 750GB (w/RAID 5, you lose the capacity of one drive for parity, even though parity is not put on a dedicated drive). If the video plus audio for an HD digitially distributed movie averages about 20GB, that would allow me to store about 37 movies on my RAID array if it's used for that media storage only. I have 100 HD movies right now, so it would take over 2 terabytes to store them.
Another problem for me with digital delivery is that Comcast monitors bandwidth usage for its broadband customers. They don't advertise what the limits are, but I've seen a number of Comcast customers complaining online about having their broadband suspended for using too much bandwidth. One user said he was notified that his usage was 200GB for a month, and was warned that he could be suspended if that level continued. I know Comcast is a large broadband ISP, but I don't know how many other broadband providers also have hidden limits.
Let's say that some HD digital delivery service has a sale on HD content similar to the B1G1 that Amazon did on HDM in December. I bought 16 HD DVDs and BDs. At an average of 20GB per movie, I would have used 320GB of bandwidth, not counting any other Internet activity that month, and could have been putting myself at risk for suspension. I also use VoIP phone service, so that would have really hurt me. My only other option for broadband is Windstream DSL from Alltel, for since I don't have a landline phone, that's not a good option. I don't know if they have any sort of bandwidth usage limits. And I'm not even taking into account how long it takes to download 20GB of data, even over a 6Mbit/second connection.
So, digital delivery can bring its own set of problems. I don't ever want to see it supplant physical discs, unless storage, compression technology and broadband bandwith get to the point where it's not so inconvenient and time-consuming to do them. Plus, there is something nice about having the physical case, insert, media, etc.