Contemplating HDD displacing DVD and Bluray - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-02-2019, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Contemplating HDD displacing DVD and Bluray

DVD is certainly low density by todays standards of 5 GB per disc.

Blu-ray is better at 25 GB per disc.

And while there are double sided or multi-layered variants they aren't very popular.

DVD/HDD recorders may have somewhat prophetically built-in their own replacements unintentionally when they began including hard disk drives, or HDD.

But there is some concern that long term HDD storage may not be safe or reliable, since it could be replaced by Cloud or SSD shortly.

Multiple technologies are tackling the reliability problem, but that technology doesn't often filter down to the level where it is simplistic enough for the consumer to use, or cheap enough to own. For example, hardware or software RAID, or Beyond RAID (otherwise known as DROBO) NAS storage devices.

The simplicity of discs is much like that of old photographic film, its passive, seems to have simple to understand longevity, and the reader equipment is fairly common (human eyes) and unlikley to be upgraded anytime soon.

Many things to consider but there is a comparison and discussion regarding HDD versus SSD on Venturebeat that people might like to read WD reaches for the 30 TB HDD
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-02-2019, 11:27 PM
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I'm all for HDD storage. I have a media server with (until recently) a disk farm of 8x3TB HDD's for 24 TB of storage (double parity). The problem with HDD farms is not just that the drives will eventually fail, but that they will fail in groups. When people put together a disk array, they generally buy groups of disks at the same time. These disks all age together and can eventually fail together. I had a group of drives in that category -- in the past 2 weeks I've had 3 of my 6 yr old 3TB array drives fail -- that's >300 HD movies. I'm finding 6yr of service to be the point where the SMART data says I should start expecting a failure. Because the failures came so close together, I wasn't able to completely restore all 3 disks and have 30 unrecoverable titles. Fortunately I have all the unrecoverable titles burned to BD-R optical disk -- many going back to 2011. These disks are properly stored and will last for decades -- they will outlast me. It may be a pain to re-rip the titles, but at least I have the optical copies to effect recovery.

I love HDD storage for video media, but I'll never give up burning my BD-R's for the permanent/archival copies. HDD storage is temporary and relatively short-lived. After this experience I shudder when I read people talking about setting up a RAID 5 array. They are most likely going to buy all 4 disks at the same time which means they will all age at the same time and at some point you may very likely get 2 disks failing close together -- possibly while rebuilding the first failure. RAID 5 only protects against 1 HDD failing at a time. If you lose a second one while rebuilding the first, you lose the whole array.

Keep on burning.
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- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #3 of 8 Old 09-03-2019, 05:14 AM
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Kelson, do you think the HDDs would last longer/be more reliable, if they were used like a DVD/BD and only spun up when actually playing a title? the way we use our optical media. I know I've read storing HDDs could be problematic but I wonder if is more problematic than having them spin all the time, assuming maybe playing the HDDs 1/month to maybe 1/year......
Several years back I purchased several larger USB HDDs with that intent but years later they are still sitting NIB and I keep purchasing and burning new DVDs
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-03-2019, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post
Kelson, do you think the HDDs would last longer/be more reliable, if they were used like a DVD/BD and only spun up when actually playing a title? the way we use our optical media.
I would say, Yes, as I've done exactly this. I had a Western Digital from 2006 quit on me earlier this year and it was used judiciously as in only on when I was using my computer, which I turned off everyday. The other HDDs wherein I have my movies stored are rarely plugged into my HTPC or my main PC rig as they are merely storing them and when I want to watch something, I transfer it from there onto an SSD to use in my home theater. I expect them to last longer than normal this way. I also have many backed up BD-R movies as well as retail.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-03-2019, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post
Kelson, do you think the HDDs would last longer/be more reliable, if they were used like a DVD/BD and only spun up when actually playing a title? the way we use our optical media. I know I've read storing HDDs could be problematic but I wonder if is more problematic than having them spin all the time, assuming maybe playing the HDDs 1/month to maybe 1/year......
Several years back I purchased several larger USB HDDs with that intent but years later they are still sitting NIB and I keep purchasing and burning new DVDs
My server is set to spin down the drives after 30 min of idle time and playing a title from the array only spins up the drive that needs to be accessed. The drives are powered but in an idle spun down state most of the time. They still died after 6 yr. Then there is the issue of silent errors in data that is stored statically. RAID arrays typically run a periodic scrub operation to check the data and fix bad bits. Not so critical with video data since a couple bad bits may just cause a blip in the picture that goes unnoticed. But still, the notion of loading up a bare drive and then storing it on the shelf gives me pause. You can't scrub a drive sitting on a shelf.

So having said that, I have USB powered external HDD's as big as 5TB that I have loaded and use for portable video when we travel. They work fine and I'm happy with them for this application but I would not be comfortable with them being the only copy of the data and sitting on a shelf waiting to be used. Even if it lasted 10 yr, it will fail someday during my lifetime. I'll be dead before my BD-R's fail.

Again, I love HDD storage for video as it gives me whole house access to my entire library. My server storage is expanding by default since I've replaced the failed 3TB drives with 4TB drives. But I recognize that HDD's will fail. I'm happy to get 6yr out of a server drive but in the grand scheme of things, that is pretty short-lived -- especially compared to BD-R.

- kelson h

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post #6 of 8 Old 09-03-2019, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
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HDD can be used in many ways.

Data recovery Companies often take an HDD apart to salvage data from HDD whose electromechanical parts have failed, but recover the data from the discs by putting in new heads, accuator arms or transferring the discs to another case. That is beyond the typical consumers ability, but points out the failure is primarily in the moving parts, not the media.

If its a choice between HDD or SSD.. I'd bet on HDD right now.. and do as Kelson implies "stage" the loadup or "ripping" across months or years and keep track of when you add (or mass duplicate) drives.

I'm not saying "all" optical media is going away.. but video is sort of going 4K, 8K and beyond.. leaving current Blu-ray totally inadequate for storing even News programs for posterity.. there is a good chance "tiny" 25 GB BD-R will be history in the next five years and the drives that can read them. I mean the microSD chip in my phone is 256 GB, and 2 TB chips are available.

Remember when 180 KB and 200 KB floppies got hard to read in "modern" drives.. about 20 years ago?

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post #7 of 8 Old 09-04-2019, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post

Remember when 180 KB and 200 KB floppies got hard to read in "modern" drives.. about 20 years ago?
Gosh, I don't remember floppies that small(in capacity) the smallest I remember was in the early 80s with 360kb 5"1/2" "floppies" which turned into 1.2MB?? HD 5 1/4" floppies which turned into 740KB?? 3 1/2" rigid floppies which turned into 1.44GB?? 3 1/2" rigid floppies. I wasn't into computers when 8" "floppies" were around pre '80 and kind of lost interest after the 1.44GB?? 3 1/2's came around but did have quite a few 1.44MB 3 1/2"ers, again if I'm remembering things correctly.
If they did have 180KB or 200KB floppies they must have been 8" or larger and before my time with computers
As much as I was going to move over to HDDs several years back and briefly thought of BD storage, I'm quite sure my collecting will end with the lowly SL DVD and occasional DL DVDs, that and my somewhat large collection of audio cassettes(never got into real to real) and records, purchased quite a few CDs but never really got into recording them other than the occasional "mix CD" of CD converted MP3 tracks and CDs. Still have several hundred VHS and Beta tapes of precious moments but everything has been converted to DVD, same with my LPs which were long ago converted to quality cassettes mostly on a near studio-quality Nakamichi 700 ZXL. I never really record audio anymore and video is finally slowly winding down.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-04-2019, 11:19 AM
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Data recovery Companies often take an HDD apart to salvage data from HDD whose electromechanical parts have failed, but recover the data from the discs by putting in new heads, accuator arms or transferring the discs to another case.
A huge expense best avoided and certainly not an expense incurred for recovery of video files. That's why people who are serious about video disk arrays have parity disks and, at the very least, snapshot RAID.

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If its a choice between HDD or SSD.. I'd bet on HDD right now.. and do as Kelson implies "stage" the loadup or "ripping" across months or years and keep track of when you add (or mass duplicate) drives.
There is also very inexpensive SMART monitoring software that will warn you when a disk is getting near the end with enough time to duplicate it before a sudden failure requires you to rebuild it from parity. I greatly recommend it. It told me my 3 disks had a 99% chance of failure within a year. I kind of dragged my feet because I didn't expect all 3 to fail within a 2 week time period -- never again.

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I'm not saying "all" optical media is going away..
Good because it isn't. The market may not be growing but it is stilll there. I still buy CD's for burning music and burn them on my BD writers. How old are they?

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. . . video is sort of going 4K, 8K and beyond..
I'll believe that when I see it.

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The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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