October 5, 2004 8:25 AM PDT

Sony's home server stores 1 terabyte

TOKYO--A terabyte of storage sounds like something a missile base may need, but Sony has started selling a consumer device with that much room.

The Vaio Type X, which is available only in Japan, is a home server that contains four 250GB hard drives: two for PC files and two others for audiovisual materials such as stored TV programs and music. The machine, which costs about $5,000, also comes with seven TV tuners and a special interface that lets consumers see thumbnails of what they record.

Sony released the device at CEATEC, a large tech show taking place here this week.

The unusual configuration results from the vagaries of Japanese television. The country has seven network stations, and cable is not as common as in the United States. With Type X, people can record shows from all seven stations automatically and then delete what they don't want to watch.

The 500GB dedicated to TV is enough to record six channels for five-and-a-half days nonstop, a Sony representative said. The interface helps consumers sift through the morass. It lets customers look at thumbnails of all the programs recorded during the same time slot or search for a program by name. It also groups shows by categories--sports or children's programming, for example--selected by the owner.

A hard partition exists between the PC drives and the audiovisual drives; however, owners can manually slip a file from one side to the other.

Sony does not have plans to bring the device to the United States.

In related news, Sony released a new version of its all-in-one W computer. The new model has speakers jutting out from the sides, so it operates as a home stereo when not functioning as a PC. It is being released in Japan, and Sony will study whether conditions are right to bring another all-in-one PC to the United States.


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100 Terabyte 3.5 in Disk Drive
Breakthrough Nanotechnology Will Bring 100 Terabyte 3.5-inch Digital Data Storage Disks Discussion at PhysOrgForum

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.physorg.com/news785.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.physorg.com/news785.html</a>
Posted by grey_eminence (153 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sounds good to me.
Here in the USA, with two adults in the house, and an occassional grandchild, we have five ReplayTV units with a bit over 1TB of storage among them. Four of them are on our home network which now has our new DVArchive server with 500GB of additional storage. DVArchive is acting as a web server to our home network such that we have access to all four ReplayTV units for viewing their lists of recorded shows, scheduling recordings, downloading shows for future streaming back to a ReplayTV or burning a DVD.

One big difference is that I built the DVArchive server for about $750; based on a Shuttle SK41G, Athlon XP 2400+, 512MB and two Maxtor 250GB drives. The five ReplayTV units each have one tuner.

So Sony is one step ahead of me, except on cost.
Posted by Crunchy Doodle (41 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The terabyte capacity is somewhat impressive, but it would be
far more significant if the video was recorded in H-264 format
rather than MPEG-2. I'm running 2.5 TBytes on my Mac G4,
partly because of the space load created by MPEG-2 formats on
the video work I'm doing. When I see a 8 GB DVD reduced to a
700 Mbyte H-264 (or Divx) file, I can see the shape of the future.
I just can't get there yet.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Terabyte Not so Big
So Sony has a server with 1000 gigs of storage...I have 660gigs on my home system, I have a friend that has 740 gigs ... files keep on getting bigger and bigger so we need more and more storage... I can remember when 40 megs was a LOT of space but I have files bigger than that all the time... and 10 years from now 1 Terabyte will seem like a small amount....
Posted by Migraine (95 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Low cost massive storage available in US
You don't have to build your own storage solution nor do you
have to spend those kind of bucks to get a home entertainment
solution with big capacity. Telly from interact-tv.com can be
ordered with 750GB today and I know they are working on larger
versions. Plus, this isn't a MediaCenterPC so it fits in a stereo
cabinet and networks with PCs Macs and Linux machines.
Posted by (1 comment )
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