Originally Posted by felf
I have, so far, been happy with the use of a SanDisk 32 GB Ultra flash drive. It is advertised as having write speed of 4 mbs but only with a 3.0 usb connection. I believe the usb connector on the iView is a 2.0 one so the recos earlier in some posts of the need for higher write/read speeds in flash drives would seem to be irrelevant in the face of the 2.0 connector limit. The best feature of the drive is its low cost of around $20.
I would be intersted in any comments of the downside of such a drive. For example, am I losing some fidelity using it compared to a faster drive?
Also should I format the drive every so often (I think not) or is the delete function on the iView adequate, or perhaps I should delete files from a PC?
The limiting factor for sufficient write speeds for video recording on flash drives is not the difference between interface speeds between USB 2.0 and 3.0, since either is plenty fast enough. Rather, the difference is the type of flash media used, and possibly some other interface buffers might affect certain types of performance.
You would not lose "fidelity" per se with a flash drive with an insufficient write speed. The symptoms of insufficient write speed are stuttering of the playback video, because the video recording stops when it receives too much data, then resumes recording a few seconds later, so the playback is always jumping ahead every few seconds, making it largely unwatchable.
For SD video recording, you won't have a problem with ANY flash drive that I'm aware of. The problems start with HD video because of the much higher data rates. You have even more problems if you try to pause live TV and do "chase play" of the paused recording, which may have something to do with the read/write buffers in the drive, not just the write speed of the media.
For about a week, I thought I had a flash drive that could do HD recording without problems, because it appeared to have a write speed over the maximum data rate of broadcast TV channels. I was wrong (or the information on the write speed was wrong), because I wound up with stuttering playback on a couple of 1080 channels. So the search goes on for a completely reliable flash drive, which is difficult to find since basically all the drive manufacturers misrepresent the write speed of their drives. There are some web sites out there that conduct their own benchmark tests on flash drives, what you definitely want is the drive that benchmarks at the highest write speed, particularly for large files (like video files) rather than writing thousands of small files. There is a San Disk flash drive that I've seen benchmarked higher that all other flash drives, so that might be the one (it still might not work well for pause/chase play playback, but it should record OK. A couple of tricks that seem to apply: reformatting the drive on your PC for the maximum segment size and NTFS, and always buy the biggest drive you can afford, since bigger drives tend to record more quickly than smaller drives with the same media.
Other than the fact that flash drives do not generally work for iView video recording, they would be ideal for the task. They use much less power, so they don't overheat the iView like USB-powered hard drives, and are always available, unlike hard drives which typically require some spin-up to work (or they are always spinning, even worse), leading to recording delays, noticeable during live TV pause.