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save hd movies to blu ray or series of hard drives?

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by markmarz, May 25, 2012.

  1. markmarz

    markmarz Member

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    Seems like cost of blu ray media & increased speed of blu ray recorders vs cost per gb of a set of 2tb+ hard drives is making blu ray more attractive. At least, to me, so far. Rough calculations: say $120 x 2 = $240 for 1TB backed up = 100 hd movies. 100 hd movies on blu ray = $100 or possibly $50 if want to put 2 movies on 1 disc (which I probably wouldn't do). Still $240 vs $100.

    Personally I'm wary of running a large array of hard drives on some sort of server. Expensive, not green and subject to failures. I understand raid, etc, but it's about the cost and maintenance of all that vs $1 for a blank blu ray to carry 1 or maybe 2 tivo hd movies.

    Of course there is the hassle of burning blu rays. I suppose if cost were no object and I didn't feel guilty about all that electricity I'd go with some enormous and costly raid solution.

    Any opinions?
     
  2. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    You can get two HD movies on a BluRay disk? My numbers show about 5-6GB per hour for HD recorded on my Tivo and transferred to my computer. So if you say each movie is 2 hours that's less than 2TB for 100 movies. I'd go with the hard drive.
     
  3. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    John's...
    Where are you getting $240 for 1TB backed up? $240 will get you 2 2TB disk drives.
     
  4. markmarz

    markmarz Member

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    A 2TB without backup will cost about $120 (my original example was for a 1TB drive which also cost $120! I assumed .. wrongly .. that 2TB would cost more!).

    But you gotta have backup, so make it 2TB/$240. Averaging 10gb per movie = 200 movies for $240. That's $1.40 for each movie, which is still more than $1 per blu ray. But a $1 blu ray is 25gb, so if you wanted to maximize you could fit 2 movies yielding $0.50/movie vs $1.40/movie. Though I probably wouldn't.

    The thing is, I think the cost of blu ray media is one-time per movie. But the cost of a hard drive array is ongoing. You don't mind the expense and hassle of setting up a multi-hard drive array of some kind and keeping it running (ie, daily cost + drive replacements over time)? I guess I do, but I can be swayed .. that's why I'm asking for opinions. A good trade off for you, though, huh?
     
  5. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Why not compromise? Hard drive backed up to BR.
     
  6. markmarz

    markmarz Member

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    Chicago, IL
    Interesting idea! Thanks, I'll mull over that one.

    ..

    First mull: even though it cuts the hard drive array in half, a large array would still be required. And the rub is it costs a lot to keep adding drives .. because you need an expensive way to house all those drives .. or alternatively keep replacing drives with larger drives. Either way it's a pain.

    Second mull: what's the advantage beyond saving hard drives? Once a movie is on blu ray, I can't see much need to also have it on a hard drive. Be great if I had a 100TB (10,000 movies!) hard drive to act as a quick access jukebox, but not there yet.
     
  7. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    RAID array, definitely.

    1. BR media does not last indefinitely. Neither do hard drives, but with a properly maintained array, a failed drive does not result in lost data.

    2. BR is a pain. One has to find the disk - oner of perhaps 1000 or more - load it, and play.

    3. The contents of the array can be available in every room, instantly.

    4. It's cheaper in the long run. Disk media can be as low as $50 per T. The RAID array chassis can cost less than $70 per spindle.

    5. Space. 1000 BR disks take up a lot of space. I store nearly 2000 videos (plus a ton of other data) in a 4U server chassis that can ultimately host more than 5 times its current capacity.
     
  8. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    It costs a lot to keep adding BR disks.

    Not so much. A 20 spindle array chassis can be had for under $1300.

    Not nearly the pain that dealing with thousands of BlueRay disks is. Plus, you can't play your BR on your TiVo.

    I think you have that backwards. Once the movie is on the hard drive, there aren't a lot of reasons to put it on BRD.

    A lot more than that. The average HD movie, recorded from CATV and recoded as h.264, runs about 6G. That works out to about 170 movies per Terabyte, or 17,000 movies in a 100T array.
    hard drive to act as a quick access jukebox, but not there yet.[/QUOTE]
     
  9. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    John's...
    I was simply proposing a way of keeping the convenience of having them on hard drive while backing them up in a less expensive manner. If you weren't seriously considering creating a large enough array to maintain your entire video library, I don't understand the purpose of the original question.

    Myself, I move stuff off to DVD periodically, including the metadata. Not terribly inconvenient. When I want to watch something that is on one of those DVDs, I simply put it in my PC's DVD drive and I can access it for download directly from my TiVo. No need to copy it back to the computer hard drive. I would never even consider creating a large disk array. The power consumption alone would be prohibitive (In my current financial state, that doesn't take much:)). Not to mention the additional heat.:eek:
     
  10. markmarz

    markmarz Member

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    I am seriously considering the large array, don't get me wrong. It's just that I'm leaning more toward a blu ray solution and looking for other points of view. I appreciate your input & everyone's input very much!

    Maybe it would help clarify my point of view by saying that currently I have a DataStor that makes 4 2tb drives look like a single 4tb drive in raid. It's nice and all, but it's just one step on a never ending procession of larger arrays as my capacity needs increase. Which they always do! And that can get mighty expensive. So I'm weighing continuing down that road or taking another approach. So far it still looks to me that blu rays are cheaper and convenient (I haven't found it difficult to store and access my dvds).

    I currently have over 2500 dvds, most of them dvd-r recorded off tcm. They're great, considering they're standard def. Since most of the movies I watch are 1930's - 1960's, they're fine for their purpose, even on my 100" projector screen. But knowing my predilection for collecting, I can see I'll need a solution for high def program storage .. also off tcm mostly. That's the anticipated problem I'm looking to solve.
     
  11. markmarz

    markmarz Member

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    Feb 3, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    [/QUOTE]

    Would you mind giving a rough estimate of the cost of your raid array? I'm thinking that even if it costs less once we're talking 5,000+ movies, the initial investment for that sort of capacity is large. Whereas the blu ray initial outlay is $200 for the burner & $1/blu ray. Net present value factors in with such a large difference in initial cost, I think. Plus the cost of blu ray per movie is paid once, not ongoing as with drive replacements, power consumption, etc.

    Also I'm having trouble figuring out the $70 per spindle figure you mentioned in your other reply. What's the capacity per spindle?

    Your comment on h.264 is interesting; that's quite a savings from 10gig to 6gig per movie; I'll have to look into that.
     
  12. jcthorne

    jcthorne Active Member

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    Houston
    You have made a bad assumption. That being that bdr is more reliable than hard drives. It's not. The bee disks would also need backup. Also when media in a raid array fails, you know and recover. When optical media fails you don't until you try to use it. If you think your bdr discs are good enough without backup, then compare to simplex hard drive space, not redundant. Hard drive space is both cheaper and more reliable than BDR. Then there is the whole convenience and useability discussion.
     
  13. markmarz

    markmarz Member

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    Interesting. I think blu rays are at least touted as more reliable than dvd-r, yet I haven't had a problem reading any of my dvd-rs, including those over 10 years old. But of course you're right, a well maintained hard drive array with backup is always going to serve up the same bits reliably. It's just the cost I'm considering. I wouldn't consider backing up either my dvds or blu rays; the cost & hassle isn't worth it. Not like the data is priceless.

    OTOH when a hard drive fails everything on it is gone. The drive has to be replaced, and then reloaded from the backup. When a blu ray is unreadable the content is gone forever, but it's just 1 movie (or two). I don't think it's likely that all or even a large percentage of blu ray media will become unreadable 10 years from now or even longer. But of course that's just my opinion; time hasn't passed yet.
     
  14. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    You should do some research on writeable media logevity. You have a commonly held belief that just because you have not personally had a failure that you will not. These were not made for long-term archival storage, and unless they are junk, do not give outward signs of failure until the data starts to disappear. Hopefully you will not be surprised by going through and testing some of your older media, but you may be.
     
  15. markmarz

    markmarz Member

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    Chicago, IL
    You have no idea what my beliefs are or what research I've done.
     
  16. pmiranda

    pmiranda New Member

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    Austin, TX
    Actually I think you made them pretty clear two posts ago...

    BTW, With 4 2TB drives, you could run RAID-5 and have 6GB of storage instead of just mirroring to get 4TB. It would be slower, but for the purposes of backing up and serving movies, it's fast enough. Personally I don't put all my eggs in one box anymore, though... I have one computer with a 2TB drive that holds all the movies I've bothered to store and serves them, and it automatically mirrors across the network to another computer that has a 1.5TB (usable space) RAID5 array. Both computers run pytivo and can serve up movies in the event of any one failure.

    I'm not worried about the power consumption of having all this on rotational storage since I would have both of those computers running for other reasons anyway. If anything happens to either machine, I can still have full access to everything until I can replace the bad hardware. The whole thing is way less effort than burning anything to optical media. It's so little effort that adding the step of transcoding to H.264 and possibly losing some quality just isn't worth it for me, although it might make it faster for when I want to take a something to-go on my laptop or phone.

    Just some more food for thought.
     
  17. markmarz

    markmarz Member

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    Feb 3, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    The thing is, I'm soliciting opinions and throwing out objections as they occur to me. I've never said what research I've done, nor do I know where I'm finally going to come down. It bugs me to have those who don't know me tell me what I believe and presume they know what research I've done .. and that it's inadequate. And when the heck did I say I didn't believe failure would happen to me?

    There, now I feel better. Slightly.

    In your case you're combining RAID with mirroring. Which is great but that's what I mean by expense. In my case I'll need a lot more than 2TB once I get obsessed as I usually do.
     
  18. pmiranda

    pmiranda New Member

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    Austin, TX
    I should note I'm not using RAID5 and mirroring in the same system on purpose... I just happened to have an old RAID5 array that I was already using and have it as a second source of storage for what is now my main source of AV storage... a cheap 2TB drive in my HTPC system.
    The RAID5 array is the main storage for pictures and documents and such, and those are automatically copied the other direction to my HTPC as well as to my laptop (which automatically backs up to a system at work). If the house burned down I'd have to re-buy movies and music, which are replaceable, but I have off-site backup for my irreplaceable documents and pictures, all without relying on a 3rd party service.

    My HTPC runs all the time to provide music to the house via iTunes (with an iPhone for remote control) and occasionally gets used to play a bluray disc if I want the better quality or haven't copied it to the hard drive so TiVo can play it. (One cool detail: I have PowerDVD set to always use SPDIF or HDMI output, and the main audio defaults to analog so iTunes can play music in the house at the same time that somebody is watching a movie :up:)
    - that really has nothing to do with your line of inquiry, I just wanted to share :)
     
  19. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    That depends. If you are looking for a solution that will never cost anything to upgrade, then yes, you are looking at a very large cash outlay. Outside the enterprise environment, few people would seek such a solution, and in general even enterprise entities are going to seek scalable solutions, not solutions that are suited day one to their final task. Initially, a mid-size to large tower can be a good housing solution. This case,for example, is only $55, or $45 after the mail-in rebate. It can easily house 6 or 7 hard drives (9 if you don't have any optical drives). A pair of these can be used to create two mirrored systems, one for primary storage and the other for automated backup. My recommendation is to pick up a couple of small hard drives, maybe on Craig's list, or maybe you have a couple lying around, for the OS drives. 45G is more than plenty. With that and a couple of last-generation motherboards, you can build a couple of nice arrays expandable to 20T RAID6 with 2 parity drives for maybe $200 - $250, excluding the data drives. These should last you several years before you need to consider expansion solutions.

    The sweet spot right now for hard drives seems to be the 3T drive, at just a bit over $50 per T. Four of them arranged in a pair of 3T RAID6 arrays with a drive missing or two member RAID5 arrays each is a good starting point, costing about $600 for the drives. If your recording habits are anything like mine, this should last for close to 2 years before you need to buy more drives. By that time, the 4T drives may have dropped to under $200.

    First of all, I am not sure what quality of disks you are going to get for $1. Certainly I have not seen any name brand disks selling that low. You may find yourself having to replace those disks in less than 5 years, or in not much more than 5 years in any case. Since a relatively large amount of space on each BRD is going to be wasted, it will probably take in excess of 200 disks to achieve the same day 1 storage capacity as the RAID arrays. That plus the burner comes to, say, $400, vs perhaps $550 for each array. With backups, that comes to maybe $600 for BRD storage vs. $1100 for a pair of 3T arrays. Since the BRD media writes many times slower than the RAID array, you also have to consider your own time and how much it is worth.

    Again, that is not true. Those BR disks will almost certainly have to be replaced within 10 years, perhaps much less. There is also an excellent chance the data on some of them will be lost for good, perhaps in as little as 4 or 5 years.

    A 20 drive chassis like this one, costing $1300 comes in at $65 per drive, plus the cost of the HBA, which is around $100, or 2 HBAs at about $200 to host two 10 drive arrays in a single enclosure.

    The largest consumer grade drives of which I know at the moment are 4T. The most economical per byte are 3T. That should change in the next few months, but if you are taking the plunge now, 3T is the way to go. In a RAID 6 configuration with one OS drive and an optical drive in each tower, that gives those $45 towers an ultimate data capacity of 15T, or perhaps 2500 HD movies, before you need to consider an expansion solution like the one above. If you want to push the resiliancy a bit, you could go with RAID5 and stretch it to 18T. I don't really recommend it, but given a robust backup solution, one can skimp a bit on the drive redundancy.

    Well, using the default conversion in VideoRedo TV Suite, it's more like 7G vs. 10G, but the point still stands. One can reduce the rate to 50%, or even lower, but one is likely to start noticing a lot of artifacts if one does.
     
  20. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    Yeah, but he seems to be starting from scratch.

    BTW, I don't choose to employ disk or array mirrroring myself. The reason is, the most common cause of data loss is human error. Most such errors are caught in fairly short order, however, so instead of mirroring, I copy all file updates once a day using rsync. I only eliminate deleted files on the backup server manually once a month or so. That way, the chances of catching and fixing the odd Oops! here and there is excellent. With mirroring, all updates and deletes are propagated to the backup immediately.
     

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