CES - Hitachi upgrades software to blunt wear on DVR storage

Upgraded Audio Visual Storage Manager also boosts quality of streaming video

Hitachi Wednesday unveiled an upgraded version of its Audio-Visual Storage Manager software at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The company said that the new version includes features for reducing power generation on 2.5-in. hard drives within digital video recorder (DVR) and other set-top boxes that are rapidly becoming fixtures in homes.

The move should enable systems manufacturers to improve streaming video quality and extend the lifespan of DVR and set-top digital boxes by slicing power consumption in the 2.5-in. drive by as much as 10%, said officials at Hitachi Storage Global Technologies, a business unit of Hitachi.

Hitachi said the software has been fully integrated and tested across Broadcom's DVR and set-top box offerings.

End-users are increasingly using home digital cable, satellite and IPTV (Internet Protocol television) set-top boxes to record and view high-definition video or to stream digital media through an Internet connection, Hitachi officials said. Officials said those demands are straining hard drives within those systems by causing greater heat output and ultimately shortening their lifespans.

Company officials note the upgraded software can cool hard drive top cover temperatures of the digital entertainment boxes by as much as three degrees -- minimizing cooling requirements for heat generated by spinning disks to read data.

The upgraded software features file fragmentation and can process up to four to six high-definition TV streams at speeds of 19.3Mbit/sec. from one 2.5-in. drive, Hitachi said. The technology has an I/O scheduler and a file system to enable DVR and set-top systems to recognize elements such as photo viewing, program guide and IPTV downloads from streaming applications including movies, music and other digital content, it said.

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