Originally Posted by TPeterson
Actually, if you check their specifications, the HDD manufacturers usually refer to "enterprise level" performance and talk about MTBF "at full duty cycle" whereas they speak of "consumer products" and "low duty-cycle servers" otherwise. Their vanilla PC HDD are not
intended for 24/7 constant R/W activity. You can
get lucky, but a significant fraction of ordinary PC HDD will die well short of a typical 3-5 years of service life in such use. I say why press your luck and
The enterprise level drives you're speaking of are mega expensive and would pretty much never be found in a consumer device (like a Tivo) or in a home PC. Those drives also tend to be pretty noisy and are usually SCSI. We use drives like that in our web servers, database servers, and other production systems at work.
BTW, I don't have a TiVo; if it's really true that they run their HDD 24/7 simply to have "instant on" for the timeshifting of whatever channel happens to be tuned, that's the first truly stupid design decision I've heard of them making.
Full time timeshifting is one of the key features that is advertised. It certainly isn't stupid if you happen to come home and find that it happens to be tuned to a show that started within the last half hour that you forgot to record. What might be smarter, however, would be to give the user the choice of always timeshifting or not. IIRC, UltimateTV also had full time timeshifting - not sure about Replay as I've never used one and haven't really paid much attention to them.
P.S.: Even so, the data rates involved in SD-TiVos are so much smaller than for buffering ATSC TS, that the comparison of wear-and-tear is actually specious.
While that statement is true, there's also something called the HD Tivo (which I'm sure you're aware of) that does the same thing the SD Tivo's do but adds HD capability (OTA and Satellite) to the mix. The HD Tivo uses the same basic drives the SD Tivo uses.
The original drive from my 1st HD Tivo is in my desk where I'm typing - it's a Western Digital WD2500BB-55GUA0:
WD = Western Digital
2500 = 250GB
BB = 7200RPM, ATA-100
55 = Vendor code, 55 is presumably Tivo
GU = From what I can find, no one outside of WD knows what this piece of the code is.
A0 = Speculation is that this is either an indicator of quality, or what model revision the drive is.
So the WD2500BB-55GUA0 drive might
be a higher quality version of the standard WD2500BB drive you can buy off the shelf at CompUSA, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. or it might
be the exact same thing.
What I can say is that I've upgraded the capacity in my Tivo's (we currently have 4 SD Tivo's and 2 HD Tivo's in the house) for the last several years using standard off the shelf 7200 RPM drives from Western Digital and Seagate and have had only 1 drive go bad in that time - and it was actually one of the original 40GB drives that came in one of the SD Tivo's, so none of the "consumer" level drives have failed me yet. The Tivo's came from the factory with 1 drive and all have 2 drives in them.