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Not Enough Storage? One-Terabyte Drives Coming Soon

As consumers record more video and TV programming, bigger hard drives will be needed to hold all of the content.

The latest milestone in consumer hard drive capacity -- 1 terabytes of storage " has been achieved by both Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and Seagate Technology, which unveiled their latest products in advance of next week's Consumer Electronics Show.

Both firms said the drives should be on the market this spring.

While 1 Tbyte of storage seems more than anybody could possible fill, it should appeal to millions of TV viewers, according to a report released Thursday by CBS Research, which studied consumer attitudes towards digital media. The report revealed that new breakthroughs and developments in digital media are spurring increased viewing of TV and video. In turn, the increased viewing will result in more storage of video and that will boost the need for more hard disk storage, or so the argument goes.

Hitachi is meeting the storage challenge head-on with its external device, the Deskstar 7K1000, and with its CinemaStar 1TB. The Deskstar will hit the market first at a suggested retail price of $399 to be followed shortly by the CinemaStar. Pricing for the CinemaStar, which will operate with digital video recorders, won't be available until the second quarter.

Hitachi said the Deskstar will be targeted at gaming and high-performance PCs while the CinemaStar will address consumers needing advanced video streaming and picture quality. Hitachi said a third drive targeted at enterprise markets is being evaluated by hardware makers and is expected to be available in the second quarter.

Hitachi said the 1-Tbyte products will be offered initially in 3.5-inch form factors and utilize perpendicular magnetic recording technology.

Seagate's 1-Tbyte drive will top off a family of portable drives the company will deliver in the spring. Smaller capacity portable external drives will begin with 12 Gbytes of storage and cover a wide range of capacities up to the 1-Tbyte device.

Taking note of the surge in demand for video storage, Hitachi said 1 Tbyte of storage will become "a necessity" for consumers recording video from the Internet and cable TV. The firm added that 1 Tbyte of storage enables viewers to store nearly 250 hours of high definition TV programming.

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