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Old January 17th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #1
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External hard drive question for small video production

I have a quick question..

I am shopping for an external hard drive but am not entirely sure I understand some concepts. From my understanding, hard drives set up in a RAID0 configuration is simply where files are spread over two or more hard drives thus allowing information to be processed faster, correct?

To be on the safe side, it is best to have two hard drives of which one will back up the other in the event that one crashes? or does it work like that with RAID..?

For my video editing needs, I will be capturing footage from an HV30 in FCE and then store on an external hard drive that I can then plug up to any other MAC on my campus and edit from. I will be filming a 5 minute video for my class that will be reduced from perhaps an hour of video footage. However, a 2TB external hard drive sounds a bit much and is a bit much in terms of price for purpose. What would you suggest at this level of video capture to be a decent work flow?
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Old January 17th, 2009, 01:56 PM   #2
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Unless there's some factor I'm overlooking, you can buy just about any firewire drive for this. I have a LOT of different firewire disks going back more than 7 years, mostly firewire 400. I've never had any significant problems using them on a variety of Macs. Most of these were just whatever I could find on sale at the local "big box" stores. Firewire 800 is better if you're copying big files, but 400 should be fine for DV and HDV from my experience.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #3
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Thanks Boyd,

will something like this do?

LaCie | 1TB d2 SAFE Triple Interface External Hard | 301234U

It says its both firewire-800 and 400 as well as USB 2.0
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Old January 18th, 2009, 09:19 AM   #4
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I suggest you start with something like this:

OWC Mercury On-The-Go Bus Powered FireWire, Bus Powered USB 2.0, and eSATA Portable Hard Drive Solutions at OtherWorldComputing.com

These are tiny and bus powered. If you have firewire 800, go with that. Firewire 400 is probably fine too.

Interface speed, from fast to slow, is esata (via expresscard on Macbook pro), FW800, FW 400, and then USB. The last two are pretty close on the newest macs. The newest 500gb, 5000rpm laptop drive from Western Digital is faster than the smaller 7200 rpm laptop drives: Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000BEVT 500GB 5400 RPM. About $110 for the bare drive.

The LaCie products are fine too. Whatever you buy I suggest a bus powered notebook drive, as it fits in the pocket of a bag.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 10:55 AM   #5
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Seagate is to release a 500GB 7200RPM 2.5" hard drive next month - pricing I've seen for pre-orders is @$150.00

Seagate info here

This looks to be sweet as a second drive for laptop video editing
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Old January 19th, 2009, 11:41 PM   #6
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Hey Don,

Those Bus powered drives look awesome. Any experience with them? Something portable would be great but most importantly I would like to get something that will work well with a larger scale work flow. Currently I am working with the HV30, but I may be working with raw footage from a JVC HD GY-200 in the near future. My concern is; can this potentially be the last external hard drive I buy? (unless I break it...)

Thanks for your help.
Terry
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Old January 20th, 2009, 09:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Terry Lee View Post
but I may be working with raw footage from a JVC HD GY-200 in the near future.
I shoot with 2 HD200u's and capture to FCP6 in ProRes to a Lacie Triple Interface external using FW400 and I have no issues whatsoever. To clarify an earlier response: FW800 WILL help with file transfers but won't make an ounce of difference with captures, at least from tape based solutions.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 09:35 AM   #8
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If you want to be on the safe side, buy this one and configure it as RAID1. Should one of the two drives fail, you pop the top open and slide in a new drive. No more lost footage/projects.

I have one of them for about a month now and love it! It's large, inexpensive, runs cool, and has all four possible interfaces.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 03:15 PM   #9
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Hey Shaun,

Something about like this?: LaCie | 1.5TB Big Disk Extreme+ with Triple Interface | 301200U

I've noticed that some of them are configured to RAID1 or RAID0, What is the difference?

Hey Ervin, your external drive I actually had book marked from a previous thread you posted awhile back. But i'm looking for something alittle less expensive. Thanks for your help!
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Old January 21st, 2009, 02:49 AM   #10
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external hard drives for HD editing

There is also a thread going on in the EX1/EX3 section which may have some relevant info in about external hard drives. See here

What type/speed of hard drive do you EDIT with? - The Digital Video Information Network
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Old January 21st, 2009, 05:38 AM   #11
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Terry: That's the one I have working on a project right now except in 2TB.

RAID 0 is two disks striped together for throughput.
RAID 1 is a mirror. Two drives that "mirror" each other for data redundancy, reducing the drive capacity to half: ie. a 1.5TB drive offers 750GB of data storage (give or take).
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Old January 21st, 2009, 07:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff View Post
Unless there's some factor I'm overlooking, you can buy just about any firewire drive for this. I have a LOT of different firewire disks going back more than 7 years, mostly firewire 400. I've never had any significant problems using them on a variety of Macs. Most of these were just whatever I could find on sale at the local "big box" stores. Firewire 800 is better if you're copying big files, but 400 should be fine for DV and HDV from my experience.
I have a 250 GB bus-powered USB-2 drive that I bought on ebay for $100 CAN. I used it to capture for my last HD shoot and edited off it (while backing it up every night to another drive). It never gave me any performance problems, and it literally fit in my shirt pocket. I love it.


J.
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Old January 21st, 2009, 08:17 PM   #13
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Terry, i am a big fan of the Lacie external drives. I have 2 Triple int BDE connected via Firewire 800 and 1 D2 connected via eSata and have been impressed with all of them. B&H has great prices on them but often goes out of stock, if they do you can sometimes order from Lacie Direct quicker. The "Safe" version of the D2 you noted in a thread a few back, has a fingerprint scanner that in my opinion is not worth the additional expense, they do make D2's without them. I have had one Lacie BDE fail after a couple years so like any drive make sure you backup your backup. For portability, i have a WD 250GB bus powered drive and have used it for capturing on my laptop when my editing station is busy editing or rendering and it works quite well for a USB drive, nice to have portability and bus powered options. And I understand Lacie has a few Bus powered drives in their line as well. Whatever you choose, just make sure you back it up because failures happen at the least convenient time always. Best Wishes!
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Old January 24th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #14
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Thank you everyone for your replies.

With eSata do you need an eSata card? how exactly does that work? I am curious because I hear alot of people saying that it is the fastest route (I suppose it is a faster connection?) However alot of people are just using fire wire, and some USB but fire wire seams to be the performance choice. The computers I will be working with I know have fire wire connections so I suppose fire wire will be my perfered choice.

In terms of disc size, on average I see alot of 500GB drives being used by themselves. I've even seen people just using half that and claiming its plenty and they are storing 1080 (i don't remember if its P or i footage) without a problem. So I might go smaller disc space. 1TB is good but I think I think i'll be fine with 500GB or 320GB and perhaps in the future get a second hard drive to configure on RAID1.

Thoughts on my decision?
Thanks for your help!
Terry.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 11:40 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Terry Lee View Post
In terms of disc size, on average I see alot of 500GB drives being used by themselves. I've even seen people just using half that and claiming its plenty and they are storing 1080 (i don't remember if its P or i footage) without a problem. So I might go smaller disc space. 1TB is good but I think I think i'll be fine with 500GB or 320GB and perhaps in the future get a second hard drive to configure on RAID1.

Thoughts on my decision?
I filled my 2TB drive on one long form project and I'm rendering to an additional 320GB Lacie FW drive but I should mention I capture using FCP's ProRes422 so I use nearly 1GB per minute AND I capture entire tapes, both for convenience in edit as well as archive BESIDES archiving tape.

My position is: I'd rather have ALL my material on one external drive instead of spanning multiple drives as rebuilding the project in the future if necessary for changes (a reality with a LOT of my work) is easier if I only need to mount one drive instead of trying to remember which drives the project lives on. So I bought BIG.
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