Bigger hard-disc models in Autumn ii: storage size

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by StooMonster, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Anyone know the size of drives Sky are upgrading to? 80GB, 120GB or even bigger?

    Although I have a sneaking suspicion that 120GB limit is from the FAT file system. Anyone know for sure?

    StooMonster
     
  2. Starburst

    Starburst
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    Plenty of rumours about a new bigger SKY+ but nothing official.

    I suspect the IDE controller in the SKY+ can like a PC controller have it's bios upgraded to support hard drives larger than the standard 137gig limit.
    I had to upgrade both my motherboard bios and RAID controller when I purchased a 185gig hard drive for my PC last year.
     
  3. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Yes, but did you format it as FAT, FAT32, NTFS, or something else?

    I think the 127GB limit is from the disk format rather than BIOS, i.e. because Fat32 is not set up for LBA (large block addressing) and therefore the limit is 127GB; but it could be like WinXP before SP1 (and older WinOSes) that didn't have support for the 48bit LBA either.

    StooMonster
     
  4. Starburst

    Starburst
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    Good point, when I switched to XP I moved from FAT32 to NTFS but I don't recall their being any stipulation that the bios update was specific to the drive format.

    As I understand it the FAT32 format can support IDE drives upto 2 terabytes capacity assuming the controller can see that capacity in the first place which is why older controllers needed their firmware updated.
     
  5. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Yeah the number of blocks stays the same maximum, but their size gets bigger -- hence need for support of large block addressing. Horribly inefficient, but yes it can support up to 2TB; with LBA support that is.

    Thinking of the Sky digital platform this may mean middleware and BIOS updates rather than the regular downloaded firmware; which may not be possible over the air.

    Interesting, in a kind of geeky way. :rolleyes:

    StooMonster
     
  6. Brianjhussey

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    Hey Guys,
    I've just read this thread and I don't understand a word of it!!
    It's like a foreign language.
    However, the one thing that might persuade me to subscribe to sky+ would be a bigger hard drive.

    Brian.
     
  7. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    20 hours is enough for most uses, and that's with the 40GB drive in current use.

    40 hours should be plenty with 80GB drive, and if they go to 120GB you should expect 60 hours of storage; which is enough to archive entire series for a while.

    Because they like the cheapest drives with volume availability I recon 80GB are the most likely upgrade; that and 40GB are getting hard to find.

    StooMonster
     
  8. Tesla

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    Fat has a limit of around 2GB
    Fat 32 is around 127GB i think.

    I'm pretty sure this is to do with addresses. Eventually all the possible addresses get used up when this happens you reach the above limits.
     
  9. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    See above...

    Suspicion is that Sky Digital's hard disc limit being 127MB is because of use of FAT32 as hard disk format, and not coincidence.

    FAT32 usually has 127GB (giga-bytes) limit unless it has LBA (Large Block Addressing) support when the limit becomes 2TB (terra-bytes), but with much bigger chunks resulting in files take up more space than their data would suggest.

    StooMonster
     
  10. RAMiAM

    RAMiAM
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    I work in Cash Equities, and per chance happen to sit right next to the Media Analyst. So over coffee a few weeks ago he mentioned he was in a meeting with the product development director from Sky.
    The Sky+ box will remain the same, the price will remain the same but the hard disc will increase to 120gb. Should be with us this Autumn :thumbsup:

    Actually he couldn't remember the exact gb figure but said it was 100 and something so I can only presume 120gb. :lesson:

    RAMiAM
     
  11. explicitlyrics

    explicitlyrics
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    120 is i believe the cheapest at the moment. 200 is very close in terms of price per gigabyte.
    the limit is 137gb and it is very common to be able to go around it. For example in xbox chipping it was a newer bios that enabled drives up to 300gb to be used (even though the limit was originally 137gb). With some decent programmers (if they exist at sky) im sure they could manage it.
    excuse my rant but the 1.28d upgrade messed up 4 recordings that i wanted and 2 of them were the last episodes in their respective series.... grrrr. Top gear was missed for the 3rd time this series....
     
  12. Starburst

    Starburst
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    A new Premium SKY+ with a 160gig hard drive and two USB ports has been announced, expected in October with the mind boggling price of £399!!!!
     
  13. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Announced where? EDIT: okay, on the frontpage of DigitalSpy!

    What are the two USB ports for?

    StooMonster
     
  14. RAMiAM

    RAMiAM
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  15. BrianC

    BrianC
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    Component output? fingers crossed.
     
  16. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Scart connector and RGBS-2-YUV convertor box... still required.

    Not enough displays in UK have component input to warrant interlaced component video output (is what I bet they would say).

    StooMonster
     
  17. BrianC

    BrianC
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    interlaced? I was hoping for progressive - but I don't know if its possible with the encoding that Sky use, is it?

    Anyway, sky would be mad to miss out on giving another reason to upgrade - progressive (hell, even interlaced at a pinch) component output. There has to be something worth justifying that extra 200 quid, as a 160 GB HD doesn't cost that much more than a 40 GB HD, and neither do two usb ports either. I bet the USB ports are for external storage units and/or slave boxes.
     
  18. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    HDTV will be obviously have progressive output, SD will continue to be interlaced. However, one can easily feed Sky+ (with either RGBS or YUV) to an external scaler that will make the picture progressive.

    Also, just because something is component video doesn't mean it's progressive, e.g. my bedroom 17" widescreen LCD has component inputs but only accepts interlaced and not progressive signals via them.

    It's not only the cost of the hard discs, the new motherboard will have to use more expensive parts too. For example, to use larger drives ATA133 controller will be required, as opposed to ATA100 controller (cause of physical 137GB limit on v1, v2 and v3 boxes apparently).

    However, even this just adds up to pennies extra, as do USB ports, so I would guess that pricing is same as "official" pricing of Sky+ which without discounts is £400 (isn't it???? but no one pays that) and regular Sky digiboxes being £200+ and mobile phones being hundreds of pounds; but discounts bringing down price.

    StooMonster
     
  19. HMHB

    HMHB
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    Does this mean that I could have my existing Sky+ box put into the bedroom where I currently have a normal Sky box, and the new bigger one located in the lounge ? Would my current subscription for the extra box cover me for it being a Sky+ one ?
     
  20. MAW

    MAW
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    Digital extraction? No, I'm living in a dream world. Could they be thinking of EPG on a handheld PC? That might be funky.
     
  21. Starburst

    Starburst
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    You can have two SKY+ units right now if you so choose and if you are using the mirror/multiroom subscription one SKY+ fee covers both.
    I assume the same would apply if one of them was this new box.
     
  22. Starburst

    Starburst
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    How about linking SKY+ via USB to Fusions upcoming pPVR, portability is once again a big thing.
     
  23. explicitlyrics

    explicitlyrics
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    could also be planning a media centre type thing where you can connect digital cameras and memory cards etc... that would gain them an enourmous market advantage for such an all in one device...
     
  24. pemberto

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    Bet they don't release the protocol information for the rs232 port......
     
  25. David PluggedIn

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    at a guess the USB will be for a wired keyboard, or maybe some sort of memory stick for photo display or something...
    of course if you want the best picure then simply use RGB (best analogue option) or SDI (the only digital option) to either a PC or standalone scaler.
     
  26. StooMonster

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    Having previously suggested that USBs are for keyboard/gamepad controllers, my post-dinner thoughts (built on many posts above from different people) are that the USB ports are not for video like Microsoft's Media Center handheld devices, but for music.

    Imagine an Apple iPod type device with music delivered from an iTunes like service provided by BSkyB, but where downloads are charged directly to subscribers Direct Debit (like pay-per-view). It would work really well for BSkyB as they have the download bandwidth and the payment mechanisms too; raise that ARPU!

    StooMonster
     
  27. BrianC

    BrianC
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    Its the additional cost of purchasing a scaler that puts me off, especially if the new Sky+ box could output a progressive image for parts that effectivley cost Sky pennies. Implementing a progressive scan output from the new boxes would be a big selling point for people with even reasonable setups such as myself.

    Component is my prefered delivery mechanism for the progressive scan as its all my CRT supports for non interlaced sources - and I'm fairly sure far more sets support progressive over component than any other connection type (unless you do something daft and start adding computer monitors into the mix).

    Obviously Sky would have to make the progressive option switchable (just like every single progressive DVD player I've seen) as not everyone supports progressive over component as you say.

    Why would sky stop at portable music? We keep getting told that this Xmas there is going to be a big push of the video "iPods", and Sky have a proven DRM system (complete with expiry), so it would be a logical extention for Sky to offer a portable video "iPod" where you can cart around your recordings and after a certain period of time (decided by the content publisher not always sky) the recording disapears, just like Sky+.
     
  28. SilverPenguin7

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    I have applied to be a beta tester for the new 160gb box as they have 50 they want staff to test out over next couple of months. The choosen few have to fill out weekly reports on how the box operates. Fingers crossed I'm one of em!
     
  29. StooMonster

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    Microsoft may keep telling you about portable Windows Media Players which will work with their Media Centers, but not many other people. Don't see BSkyB being in the market to make their own either. Battery life and OS are the major challenges with these devices, and there are none currently available. This is why I suggested they may go for an established market (music) and use the same DRM technology, and there are plenty of USB players out there. Furthermore, one of the big successes of digital television has been digital radio channels, both on Sky and Freeview; and I could see a music service being an extension of that.

    Saying that...

    I've heard a rumour from more than one source that the USB ports are designed for connecting to DVD writers for archiving, but there's potentially big battles with the content owners which is why that's not even being discussed at the moment. Consequently they are looking to other uses too, which include music.

    However, they may all come to nothing and just be two dumb unused ports on the front of the box.

    StooMonster
     
  30. MAW

    MAW
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    However, they may all come to nothing and just be two dumb unused ports on the front of the box

    Most likely scenario of all.
     

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