Boring Hard Disks go multimedia mad

5 October 2008 No Comment Mike Evans

I-O-Data TV recorder
The rise of digital media has led to a range of interesting gadgets from companies you would never expect to compete side by side with the likes of Sony. I’m thinking here of the storage manfacturers – companies such as I-O Data,who were always content with the less flashy world of hard disks and backup units before the heady ways of multimedia seduced them into entering a brave new market.

That market is still based ultimately on storage – thousands of tunes, videos and pictures require enormous amounts of space – but the storage companies have added innovative new twists to the humble hard disk and started producing new products that genuinely help people to manage their ever-growing library of media.
Take I-O Data, for example. At this year’s CEATEC 2008 exhibition in Japan, they’ve been showing off several hard disks that are entirely autonomous. An autonomous hard disk means you can do things such as plug any camcorder directly into it via USB and it’ll record directly to the hard disk without the need for a PC.

Like I say, it’s still all about storage underneath, but who’d have predicted hard disks would need to become autonomous just a few years ago?

Sticking with the storage theme, I-O Data have also released a new NAS, the I-O Data HVL4G. NAS stands for Network Attached Storage, meaning the unit acts as a central repository for all your data, which can then be accessed by any machine across your network. In I-O Data’s case, “all your data” quite literally means up 2TB’s worth!
I-O Data Spider Zero TV recorder
Most impressive of all though, is the I-O Data Spider Zero. This intriguingly-named device is a hard disk TV recorder with built-in TV tuner that can record up to 8 different channels simultaneously.

Obviously, this requires a lot of space, and storage space is something that I-O Data specialize in. The spider Zero therefore comes in 1.3TB or 2.5TB versions.

This year seems to have been the year of the trillion, with “a trillion dollars” being bandied about quite readily on the news, and a trillion bytes (i.e. 1 TB) becoming increasingly popular as hard disk storage capacity. With all that space has come opportunities for gadgets that can create the content to fill it, and it’s refreshing to see the storage companies as much as the more traditional home entertainment companies rushing to fill it.

[Source: Akihabara News]


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