Seagate drives use new video streaming standard

Eight digital video recorder (DVR) manufacturers plan to use hard drives from Seagate Technology Inc. that are based on a standard for streaming video under development, Seagate announced Thursday.

Toshiba Corp., Thomson SA, Sony Corp. Pioneer Corp., Pace Micro Technology PLC, Nokia Corp., Motorola Inc. and Echostar Communications Corp. will use Seagate's new consumer electronics hard drives in their DVRs, Seagate said.

The new drives are based on the ATA/7 (advanced technology attachment) standard for streaming video. PC hard drives store and access data in fragments, which can impede the smooth playback of video content, Seagate said. The new standard provides a way to emphasize video streaming over error checking activities characteristic of PC applications, the company said.

The Technical Committee T-13 of the International Committee on Information Technology Standards is working on completing the specifications for the ATA/7 standard.

Seagate also improved the power consumption and lowered the noise level of the consumer electronics drives in order to satisfy the needs of the consumer electronics market, the Scotts Valley, California, company said.

Sales of DVRs such as the ones manufactured by TiVo Inc. have been growing as consumers latch on to the ability to pause and replay live television, and to program their DVRs to record television shows without struggling with the VCR remote. Seagate also thinks its new hard drives are applicable to consumer electronics devices such as video game consoles, it said.

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Tom Krazit

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