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Old June 4th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #1
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Hard Drive solutions, external vs enclosures

I am looking for external hard drive solutions for NLE. The solutions I have researched range from eSATA WD My Book drives to enclosure to removable hard drives in my computer's 5-1/2 inch bay.

The WD My Book uses an eSATA cable which I would have to connect to my motherboard's SATA port somehow (using an adapter card I am assuming).

The rack system my friend has allows him to store whole projects on SATA II hard drives that are installed in enclosures, then slid into racks that would be installed in my computer's 5-1/2 inch drive slots. He can move a project in and out as needed.

What are you guys using for this type of solution?

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Old June 4th, 2008, 12:06 PM   #2
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A pair of WD USB 2.0 MyBook 500GB external hard drives. Since I am using flash media acquisition and no longer having to capture from tape, hard drive speeds, and external vs. internal issues don't seem to apply.

The current project stays on my internal drive with backup copies of all original flash media files on both externals.

Last edited by Bruce Foreman; June 5th, 2008 at 12:28 AM.
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Old June 4th, 2008, 01:25 PM   #3
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All my drives are external and either USB2.0 or dual USB2.0/FireWire. I also use the USB2.0 interface and leave the FireWire for dedicated DV device use.

It meets my needs...
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Old June 4th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #4
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external hard drives etc.

Actually, there's a good thread on this right now in the vegas section of this forum. Good info in here!

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=123016
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Old June 6th, 2008, 12:06 PM   #5
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Hard Drive solutions, external vs enclosures

Thanks for the posts guys, I read through that thread in the Vegas forum, very informative. Thanks again.

BTW, I had ordered a WD My Book Home 500GB from NewEgg, thinking it had FireWire800, for $159 (the fastest port on my MacBook Pro is FW800). Unfortunately I learned when I received it that it had FW400 port, and the only My Book with the 800 port is the Studio version, so I RMA'd the Home, and got the 750GB Studio for $199. Seems like a better deal all the way around... except the shipping for the RMA...
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Old June 10th, 2008, 12:34 PM   #6
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I used to buy internal HDs and put them in enclosures. Now this is a more elegant solution, much cheaper.

http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Products.aspx?C=1346
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Old June 11th, 2008, 11:07 AM   #7
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I have a BlacX and it's great. I'm going to get a few more.
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Old June 15th, 2008, 02:45 PM   #8
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Kip - unless things have changed recently, it is my understanding that FW 800 is, in real life, no faster than FW 400 for data transfer. Anyone higher up in the computer world care to comment ?
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Old June 15th, 2008, 04:24 PM   #9
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Kip - unless things have changed recently, it is my understanding that FW 800 is, in real life, no faster than FW 400 for data transfer. Anyone higher up in the computer world care to comment ?
After acknowledging that I'm SO not "higher up in the computer world" - but the way I understand data transfer in video processing environments - I'm not sure your referenced understanding is correct.

Of course, Firewire 800 is faster than Firewire 400. That's the point of the new specification. Increased data rates.

The problem for us "video types" comes, I suspect, in trying to figure out when and IF any increased data transfer speed will do us any good.

For example, when you digitize standard def DV and create a 25Mbps stream - the data transfer rate you need to digitize, process and generally move the video signal around is fixed. So whether you're working with Firewire 400 or Firewire 800 you'll get EXACTLY the same result. BOTH pipes are just fine to allow the signal to move as fast as is required. Yes, you'd get speed benefits in pure data transfer stuff like backing up your work to hard disc - but you'd get NO benefit in the process of actually editing and manipulating your streaming video.

Same with HDV, since HDV is NO bigger a data stream than DV. It's just a larger raster COMPRESSED more heavily into virtually the SAME DATA RATE.

Now, if you're working with ACTUAL HD video frames - where the data rate increases to 50Mbps or more - then the size of your transport pipes certainly may well become an issue.

Think of it this way. Garden hose feeding a fire hose - no problem. The water gets there just fine cuz it's a small stream running through a big pipe.

But a Fire hose feeding a garden hose? Big problem. Obviously the water gets backed up and the rate of flow gets lowered because you're trying to cram a bigger flow down a smaller pipe.

So the answer is that YES, FW800 is faster than FW400. The problem is whether that particular kind of speed matters AT ALL to the kind of work you're doing.

FWIW
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Old June 15th, 2008, 07:12 PM   #10
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For example, when you digitize standard def DV and create a 25Mbps stream - the data transfer rate you need to digitize, process and generally move the video signal around is fixed. So whether you're working with Firewire 400 or Firewire 800 you'll get EXACTLY the same result. BOTH pipes are just fine to allow the signal to move as fast as is required. Yes, you'd get speed benefits in pure data transfer stuff like backing up your work to hard disc - but you'd get NO benefit in the process of actually editing and manipulating your streaming video.
This is true, Bill, assuming you are only worried about one video stream. As soon as you get into any effects requiring more than one stream (PIP, Superimpose, Dissolves, etc), the transfer rate difference suddenly becomes important. You will typically see reviews of storage systems, and computers, being rated by the number of streams they will support.

For us, this is very important. A title over a clip over a motion background is suddently three streams. A firewire 400 drive might choke where a FW800 could have no problem.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 04:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
This is true, Bill, assuming you are only worried about one video stream. As soon as you get into any effects requiring more than one stream (PIP, Superimpose, Dissolves, etc), the transfer rate difference suddenly becomes important. You will typically see reviews of storage systems, and computers, being rated by the number of streams they will support.

For us, this is very important. A title over a clip over a motion background is suddently three streams. A firewire 400 drive might choke where a FW800 could have no problem.
You are, of course, quite correct in this analysis.

Clearly it's better to push (read "spend") for MAXIMUM system throughput whenever you can.

However, if you're just working with plain vanilla SD video at 25Mbps, most modern computers and even basic Firewire 400 drives can keep up just fine.

At the transitions and titles, and other places where you're pushing the data throughput boundry, most modern NLE software can quickly render this to a single stream so that a Firewire 400 drive can handle it just fine - but you may well lose real-time previewing capabilities due to the inability to handle multiple streams in real time.

But that's a convenience thing - not a "it can't do it" thing.

While bigger and faster systems do lead to productivity gains and more "ease of use" I just don't want anyone tempted to believe that because they have to work with a less than a stellar, "state of the art" system, it's an excuse for not going great work.

Many of us who've been working with NLE systems for more than a decade were doing perfectly professional work back when the computers were a FAR CRY from what they are today.

SO no excuses, gang. If you can't buy perfection, buy what you can - and get to work learning the SKILLS of making better video - which have little to do with the box upon which you edit.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 05:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
This is true, Bill, assuming you are only worried about one video stream. As soon as you get into any effects requiring more than one stream (PIP, Superimpose, Dissolves, etc), the transfer rate difference suddenly becomes important. You will typically see reviews of storage systems, and computers, being rated by the number of streams they will support.

For us, this is very important. A title over a clip over a motion background is suddently three streams. A firewire 400 drive might choke where a FW800 could have no problem.
Which of course only matters for Real Time playback. Once the effect is rendered, it becomes one stream.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 08:51 PM   #13
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Which of course only matters for Real Time playback. Once the effect is rendered, it becomes one stream.
We're all agreeing with each other here, but there are other things to consider. Real Time playback of what? Colour correction? That's not really two streams. That's one stream from the hard drive, with the NLE applying the correction hopefully in real time. Other effects could be similar. These depend on the speed of the computer, not the hard drive, assuming the drive can handle one stream.

But effects such as PIP, superimpose, etc, need the hard drive to deliver more than one stream, AND the computer to display it realtime. This is where I see my computer choke sometimes (I'm on a dinosaur).

Sure you can render, but for someone like myself, who colour corrects entire timelines, that takes a while. Real Time playback is important to me.
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