Advice on a hard drive for streaming to ATV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by oursfan, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. oursfan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #1
    I am in the market to get an affordable external drive to store all of my movies on since my iMac is filling up rapidly. I want a 1TB (at least) HDD. I did some research and found some good reviews on the Fantom Drives. I have never heard of them, but the reviews I read sounded pretty good. Plus, they are fairly cheap and are currently offering some rebates (which is nice). The drive I was looking at is the Fantom Drives GreenDrive 1 TB eSATA/USB 2.0 Hard Drive. You can check it out here http://store.fantomdrives.com/general/prodDisplay-CatID-149-ProdID-611.htm.

    This is supposedly a "Green" drive and is suppose to save on power and lower your carbon footprint. They offer other drives but this one is the one I was looking at because I found it on PC mall for $89 after the rebates that they offer. This is by far the best price I have found on a 1TB HDD. But, I am not really sure if it will be good enough to do what I want it to. (i.e. stream from my iMac to my ATV without hanging up) The specs do not give an RPM speed of the drive. I was always told to go for a 7200RPM drive. Can someone that knows more about this stuff check out tis drive and give me an opinion on it? Is it a good fast drive? Worth $89? Will it be good for what I want to use it for?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #2
    I can't speak to the Fantom in particular (you can read reviews online as well as I can :), but any properly functioning hard drive made in the past five years should be able to source a single ATV without problems.

    I have used a variety of external drives for my iTunes collection for several years; single IDE drives, multiple drive enclosures, etc. They all work fine as media storage.

    Since you have an iMac, I would suggest that you tell iTunes to move your entire library to the external drive for simplicity and ease of use. Then it's time to start thinking about how you will back up your new stuff.

    A.
     
  3. oursfan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for the quick reply. I was thinking that it should be decent for what I want to use it for, but was not sure if I was missing anything that was important.

    Any ideas on how I can back up everything? I will prolly have about 1.25TB worth of data on my iMac and the external drive once I get everything loaded. Do I just get a 1.5TB drive and use time machine to back it up? What happens when my data goes over 1.5TB?

    What are my back up options that are not going to cost me an arm and a leg?
    Thanks!
     
  4. oursfan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #4
    Here are the specs on that drive:
    Access Time : 8.5ms
    Capacity : 1 TB
    Power Supply : 110/220 V (Universal Power Supply)
    Form Factor : External Unit
    Host Interface : USB 2.0, eSATA 300
    Connectors : 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x eSATA 300
    Type : External Hard Disk
    External Hard Disk
    Sustained Data Transfer (Maximum) : 68 MB/S
    Bus Transfer Rate (Maximum) : 60 MB/S (USB 2.0), 300MB/S (eSATA 300)
    Package Contents: : G-Force GreenDrive Hard Drive, USB 2.0 Cable, Power Cord, User Manual
    OS Support : Mac OS X 10.2 or greater, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista
    Product Weight : 2.4 lbs
    Product Dimensions : 8" x 1.25" x 4.75"
    Box Weight : 5 lbs
    Box Dimensions : 9" x 10 3/4" x 3 3/8"
    Warranty Information : Warranty Terms: Two years limited

    I am not sure if this is a fast drive or not. Can someone please tell me if this drive is decent? I have tried to search the net for "Sustained Data Transfer" and "Bus Transfer Rate" to see if I can figure out a comparable to this drive but can not find anything on it. All I want to know is if this drive is a good one based on these specs that are given. Anyone want to look at these specs for me and tell me yea or nay?
    Thanks!
     
  5. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #5
    At some point you will want a 2TB enclosure for Time Machine. I use a pair of Western Digital My Books which can be had for a bit over $200. The ones I have are a little noisy, but since they are off except when Time Machine is active it's not a problem.

    And after that? We do it all again :) I am up to 4TB of live external storage plus my boot drive, and another 4TB of external drives for backup (4TB = 2.7TB of formatted capacity).

    A.

    NB: I prefer to use Firewire for all my external drives and use USB only for my collection of low-bandwidth devices. You can daisy-chain dozens of Firewire drives together without the use of hubs, and mostly everything just works. Other folks have perfect results with USB, so you'll have to decide what works for you.
     
  6. roidy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #6
    I think someone`s diddled you out of about 1TB of space there mate. 4TB`s worth of drive should format to about 3.7-3.8TB of free space.;)
     
  7. MacCoCo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    Hard Drive/Streaming

    I stream ALL of my media content to my TV. My entire home is wired for Cat5; however, in both wired and wireless (802.11g) setups, my playback/transfer rate is fine.

    The first external hard drive I bought was a Wester Digital 320GB (USB). Hooked it directly to my iMac and works great. It currently houses all of my movies. Recently, it filled up, so I went out and bought another one.

    The second external hard drive I bought was a network drive. Also Western Digital - this time I got a 1TB. I will continue to put movies and other media content on this drive.

    I currently have most of my music organized on my internal iMac hard drive. I might move some over to the network drive.. now that I have it.

    The Western Digital drives are great. I had a few issues setting up the network drive to the iMac as the drive was geared a little more toward a Windows machine.

    Hope this helps... BC
     
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    For movies, all hard drives are more than fast enough so don't worry about rotational speed, cache or anything else. Just get a reliable brand (both enclosure and hard drive). Personally, I only buy fanless aluminum enclosures (internal SATA and external USB2 and/or FW) and Samsung drives (except for the two Seagate 1.5TB drives I own).
     
  9. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #9
    Ahh, true. The live data is on a Drobo, so there's a terabyte of redundancy in there. I have ~3 TB of live data space, and ~4 TB of backup.

    A.
    (who obviously needed more coffee for my previous post)
     
  10. roidy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #10
    Alrescha, I was going to get a Drobo but your saying it hogs a whole TeraByte of space just for itself? I dont think I could live with that. Why would it need 1TB for redundancy, what exactly is the redundancy for? Surly thats what RAID is for to keep a backup and prevent data loss. I`ll have to reconsider weather to get one now as basiclly your going to but putting a 1TB drive in it that you carn`t use.
     
  11. roidy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #11
    Ok just ignore me, I just realised that even if I had 4 1TB drives in a RAID array I`d still only have 2TB of free space because 2 are used by the array for backup. So populating a Drobo with 4 1TB drives and getting 2.7GB of free space is actually more than I`d get using RAID1. I`ve gotta stop posting when I`ve just woke up.:)
     
  12. JonasLondon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #12
    :) Yep, I read that as a rule of thumb, the "Drobo makes available all data minus the largest drive" - which I suppose makes sense. If you stuff 1TB drives in there, it could not possibly protect everything unless at least 1 TBis set aside for redundancy.

    Actually eager to buy one after a WD MyBook 500 GB used for our ripped CDs just ... died.. three days ago. This was two days after we had received the first TB drive to go into the new Drobo or other storage unit... "Hello Murphy!" :( oh well. Let the fun of re-ripping 400 CDs begin...

    Unless Drobo announces a eSata version tomorrow on MacWorld, we're buying the current one...

    J.
     
  13. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #13
    NB: My Drobo is populated with Western Digital Green drives. While not perfect, it works quite well (Drobo doesn't appear to play nice with FW400 devices on the bus). On the other hand, I notice that people with Seagate drives seem to have many more complaints. So if you're going to buy new drives for your Drobo, that might be something you want to consider.

    A.
     
  14. Keepitsimple macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #14
    Looking for a reliable external HD for back up

    I would really welcome any suggestions for a reliable HD for back up. I had a 500 GB Lacie and it failed after 1 year. I did some research online and found that many people have had the same problem with Lacie, but I havent found another drive that is really highly rated. I'd prefer a fairly quiet drive that has FW 800 to use with my iMac.
     
  15. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #15
    As I mentioned above, I'm using a pair of Western Digital My Books as my backup device. The models that I have do have fans, and when the fans come on they can be a little noisy. The current crop of My Books are fanless, and so should be quieter than mine. They are available with a variety of interfaces, the Studio Edition II has FW800 and is formatted for OS X.

    I've gone back to using WD products after a long absence. I haven't had any regrets thus far with the nine drives I've acquired over the past year or so. I must mention that WD isn't perfect, they had a bad batch of Firewire cables at one point, and some people had complaints with their desktop software. I emailed them for replacement cables and they sent them without hassle. I don't install their software. :)

    A.
     
  16. blackfx35 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #16
    Generally speaking, is it best to go with a USB or Firewire connected external HD (using it with my iMac)? What are the major differences that one would notice between the two? I am trying to find a good external HD to put all of my media on it to stream to my AppleTV. Probably looking for 500GB or 1TB. Thanks.
     
  17. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #17
    I use Firewire for the following reasons:

    o It's faster. While USB has a faster signaling rate, Firewire is more efficient

    o It can use less CPU, as the Firewire controller does the work, not the CPU

    o It gets my disk I/O off of the USB bus, where all the flakey devices live.

    That last point is important to me. I have all kinds of USB things, and few of them behave well. Some of them can cause bus resets, hangs, or other strange bus activity, and I'd like my disk I/O to be isolated from that noise.

    A.
     
  18. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #18
    Firewire is always better, but not always necessary. If you're only planning to use the drive for streaming media, then USB2 is perfectly fine.
     
  19. blackfx35 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #19
    Thanks Alrescha. Are there specific drives that you would suggest? I am a bit lost here...
     
  20. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #20
  21. blackfx35 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #21
    Thanks Cave Man. Just so I can learn a bit, if USB is fine for streaming media, what could I do that would be better to have Firewire?
     
  22. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #22
    Choose firewire if you do a lot of accessing (read or write) to the drive. This would include editing photos or video stored on the drive, using it for a scratch disk, etc. In other words, if you intend to use the drive for things other than reading media for streaming (and the occasional writing to the disk when you put your media on it).
     
  23. blackfx35 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #23
    Ok Great...I would likely have needs for firewire then, as I do edit video. Although it might make sense to edit this video on my iMac HD, and then just move the final video to the external HD when complete...
     
  24. blackfx35 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #24
    Last question (I think). Does the firewire version of the Macally enclousre have any USB or is it just firewire. I might want to connect this to an airport extreme base station in the future, so that would be a consideration to think through as well.
     

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