Hard drives are boring! But they are now a very important part of life in the world of TV production. I get through dozens and dozens of hard drives every year and as the drives I am using may hold footage that can never be replaced it’s important that they are as reliable as possible. For a while now I have been using a number of Sony hard drives and SSD’s. These drives are built for portable video applications and my drives have been all over the world from hot, humid Asia to the bitter cold of Arctic Norway. They have never let me down. Each drive comes in a nice case that resembles a video cassette case so that you can stack them neatly on a shelf. No more tatty, crumpling cardboard boxes. In addition the outer case protects the drive in transit, plus each case contains a USB3 lead and a firewire 800 cable, so you don’t need to search around for the cables.
The drives themselves are built in to a tough but very lightweight enclosure with soft rubber bumpers at each end. There are little notches and bumps in the bumpers that interlock if you stack the drives one on top of another, say on the desk of your edit suite. Not only do the rubber bumpers protect the drives from knocks and bumps, but they also incorporate flaps that cover the USB3 and Firewire 800 sockets. The drives meet the MIL-STD-810G standard and when the connector covers are closed are dust proof to IP5X and splash proof to IP4X. The HDD is built to withstand being dropped from 2m and the SSD from 2.3m. I have to say that my 256GB SSD has been dropped a few times now and is still going strong.
Sony are so confident of the quality of their drives that they offer a 3 year warranty and after almost a year on the market, I have been told that so far not one single drive has had to be replaced!
USB3 is backwards compatible with USB2, so if you don’t have USB3 you can just treat the drive as a USB2 drive. If you are a Mac user with an older Mac then you are well catered for with a pair of Firewire 800 ports on the rear of each drive.
The 256GB SSD is extremely fast and this drive has become my go-to drive for on the road use as I can easily edit 4K material stored on this drive and it appears to be really tough. I often ship my SSD along with my hold baggage when I’m flying, it’s been bashed about on snow scooters and used to edit from while bouncing down dirt track roads. I use the 500GB and 1TB Hard drives for general purpose storage and HD editing.
For more information take a look at the Sony web site: http://www.sony.co.uk/pro/products/broadcast-products-portable-storage