Hitachi unveils new media hard drives

Hitachi showcases at CES 2011 its two new hard drives designed specifically for the audio/video market.

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CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
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The new CinemaStar 5K2000 media-optimized hard drive from Hitachi.
The new CinemaStar 5K2000 media-optimized hard drive from Hitachi. Hitachi

LAS VEGAS--As there are more and more storage needs in the media world, hard-drive vendors are optimizing drives to store audio and video content. Western Digital has done it with the WD RE4-GP, Seagate with the Barracuda LP, and now, though it's pretty late to the game, Hitachi has decided to join the club.

The company announced today at CES its two new lines of hard drives designed for consumer electronic (CE) devices such as digital video recorders, IPTV set-top-boxes, video surveillance gadgets, and the emerging hard-drive-embedded TV markets.

The new drives include the 3.5-inch (desktop) CinemaStar 5K2000 family, available in 2TB and 1.5TB capacities, and the 2.5-inch (laptop) CinemaStar C5K750 family with 750GB, 640GB, and 500GB capacities.

Like CE-optimized hard drives from other vendors, these new drives feature low power consumption and quiet performance. They also have other features specifically optimized for audio and video streaming, including SmoothStream and Coolspin technologies, which enhance the streaming performance while keeping the drive quiet.

According to Hitachi, the 2.5-inch CinemaStar C5K750 drive comes in the 375GB-per-platter design and uses Advanced Format technology, first found in the company's MK7559GSXP laptop hard drive, which increases the physical sector size on hard drives from 512 bytes to 4,096 bytes. This helps utilize the storage surface area more efficiently, allowing for increased drive capacities and improved data integrity at higher storage densities.

The drive is said to use just 0.5 watt when idle, 1.5 watts during operation, and remains quiet at just 2.2 bels when idle. The company says this helps the drive last longer, even when used in a closed environment.

The 3.5-inch CinemaStar 5K2000 drive, on the other hand, uses the 667GB-per-platter design. Similar to the 2.5-incher, it also comes with the CoolSpin technology and is CE-optimized. Hitachi says it's nearly silent at 2.4 bels during operation, draws only 4.2 watts when idle, and generates less heat.

These new hard drives are available now, and you'll soon find them inside consumer electronic devices.