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COMMENT The Importance of Storage couple of days, you are scrambling to delete files to make more space. Sigh… CODECS COUNT The reason is that video files don’t live in a vacuum. The codec that you shoot and edit determines how much space your files will require. For example, the table below illustrates five different codecs all shooting 720p files. The image size, the frame rate is the same, but the file size is not. Codec The critical component that no one wants to talk about - because it just isn’t very sexy - is storage. Yet, if you don’t have the right storage, the fastest computer in the world is not going to work very well. So, let me share some thoughts on what you need to consider when purchasing storage. SIZE MATTERS - BUT SIZE ISN’T ENOUGH A few years ago, we debated how many gigabytes to get. Today, we are obsessed with total terabytes. In a year or two, exabytes will be affordable and we’ll happily start debating these. The key rule you must keep in mind is that however much storage you buy, it will never be enough. In Hollywood, there’s a saying that an actor “can’t be too rich or too thin.” With storage, the rule is that a hard disk is “either empty or full.” For some reason unknown to the brightest minds on the planet, a half-full hard disk is almost unheard of. Plug-in a brand-new hard disk and, within a 38 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 102 JUNE 2015 11 GB / hour 5.2 MB/second 19 GB / hour ProRes 422 “ 3 MB/second XDCAM EX What’s the best computer to edit video?” It’s a great question – it’s just the wrong question. Yes, CPU speed is important and the Internet is buzzing with the latest specs on GPUs. But, today, virtually any currently shipping computer is more than adequate to edit video; even 4K. Space to store an hour of media AVCHD by Larry Jordan Data Rate per second 18.1 MB/second 66 GB / hour ProRes 422 HQ 27.5 MB/second 99 GB / hour RED R3D 38 MB/second 137 GB / hour Why the difference? Most video formats are compressed and the codec determines the amount of compression. Some formats, like HDV and AVCHD, are massively compressed; removing more than 95% of the original image. Others like RED and ProRes are much less compressed, retaining more of the original image. So, as you start to budget for storage, you need to first ask yourself which codecs you are likely to be shooting, whether you plan to transcode or render media and what formats you plan to use for final output. All of these decisions have an impact on the amount of storage you’ll need. YOU NEED CONNECTIONS Having massive storage is part of the solution, but you also need to give it a fast connection to your computer. In the past, it was a choice between FireWire and USB 2. Neither of those choices are good ones today. USB 2 is too slow for any video editing; except for transferring files from one drive to another. FireWire is fine for SD, but struggles to keep up with HD. I no longer advise it, unless you are running on an older, slower system without access to faster connections. Mac users are best advised to use Thunderbolt, with a maximum throughput of 2.2 GB /second. However,