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WD: 1TB of Digital Content Per House By 2014

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 31 comments

Hard drives may still be the primary storage solution for digital media in the future.

The future looks bright for hard drive manufacturers like Seagate and Western Digital as consumers fill hard drives to the brim with gigabytes of digital movies, music, and other multimedia content. In turn, manufacturers are pushing the hardware boundaries by offering larger capacities. Western Digital believes that consumers will eventually store an average 1 TB of digital content per houseold by 2014.

At a recent briefing in London, WD's executive vice president and general manager of Branded Products and Consumer Electronics Jim Welsh predicted that 1.4 billion PCs, 450 million smartphones, and 300 million connected devices will be available worldwide by 2014. Unsurprisingly, he doesn't believe that consumers will totally rely on cloud-based storage by then.

"When you need a lot of space, the best value is still going to be external storage," he said. "There’s also a fear out there that the [cloud-based] service could go down. There have been some companies out there that have lost some files. And, for the consumer, there will always be some doubt that will inspire them to own a drive of their own content."

He also believes the consumer's growing demand for digital content will eventually kill off DVD and Blu-ray formats, adding that built-in optical drives may even be eliminated in notebooks. "[Blu-ray] will continue to do fairly well, because of the richness of the content," he admitted. "But the convenience of people being able to download [is a massive factor]. It's that convenience that's really very very important. So a lot of devices will not have optical drives."

Although hard drives are convenient, they don't last forever. Data burned on optical discs by consumer-based drives tend to fail after a number of years depending on the disc materials and storage environment. USB drives can store data for ten years or longer, however the connectors can get damaged, rendering them unreadable. The best bet--it seems--is to use services that allow consumers to re-download purchased content if the original files are accidentally erased or lost due to hardware failure.

Will cloud storage ultimately become the best solution for digital content?

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  • 1 Hide
    dogman_1234 , October 14, 2010 5:11 AM
    2014? We have it now!

    I reality, I would like to see cheap 1 Tb SSD with some fiber optic system for streaming software and OS...on the go. Also in your next rig.
  • 3 Hide
    Marco925 , October 14, 2010 5:28 AM
    Too late in my house. been like that for a couple of years now.
  • 5 Hide
    the_krasno , October 14, 2010 5:31 AM
    Just ONE TB? >.<
    With all the HD movies and series, 10 TB's is not going to be enough at this rate. Where are my Petabyte hard drives?
  • 1 Hide
    rohitbaran , October 14, 2010 5:41 AM
    Well, I think 2014 is a little too far.
  • -1 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , October 14, 2010 5:56 AM
    No, we will have optical drives for a while longer than that. Unless everyone around the world has at least 100Mbps internet speeds there will be no reason to do away with optical drives. Downloading at 10Mbps a full 1080p movie with 5.1-7.1 surround sound takes a long time.

    that, and I think they will have to make sound cards MUCH better and have optional amplifiers for a home theater system, people don't like watching movies in 2.0 sound all the time.
  • 2 Hide
    sudeshc , October 14, 2010 6:08 AM
    I agree with "the_krasno" its definitely not enough right now how would it be years from now. I my self have more than 2 TB storage internal and 1 TB external and still i feel that its gonna be less as day by day my collection of music, movies and games is increasing, also we cannot deny that day by day movies and games are also increasing in size on avg. every Bluray movie sizes 15 GB and games now a days around 10 GB.
  • 0 Hide
    damasvara , October 14, 2010 6:09 AM
    With those FLAC albums I download everyday, it will happen by the end of this year! 1 terra-byte? Aim for the yotta-byte!
  • 0 Hide
    alyoshka , October 14, 2010 6:11 AM
    Lol, I have a feeling I already maybe accounting for 9 to ten households myself.....
  • 0 Hide
    sudeshc , October 14, 2010 6:11 AM
    it would be better if you(WD) can provide some not 50TB then atleast 20TB HDD
  • 0 Hide
    darthvidor , October 14, 2010 7:09 AM
    I have 8TB total storage at home
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , October 14, 2010 7:48 AM
    Definitely not per house, but a lot more houses by then. All of my friends have trouble filling up 320GB, whereas I'm steadily climbing every day.
  • 5 Hide
    L0tus , October 14, 2010 7:51 AM
    dogman_12342014? We have it now!I reality,
    Marco925Too late in my house. been like that for a couple of years now.
    alyoshkaLol, I have a feeling I already maybe accounting for 9 to ten households myself.....
    darthvidorI have 8TB total storage at home


    You guys are such nerds...

    *Hides his +10TB worth of external HDDs*
  • 4 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 14, 2010 8:05 AM
    ***Yawn***
    To all the show-offs, they mean average of course, just because you have 10Tb of torrented porn, music and TV shows doesn't mean the other 100 people in your street have any at all.

    There will always be the big downloaders who are lifting the average when there are people like my Dad who think 'Digital Content' means buying a DVD.
  • 0 Hide
    jsc , October 14, 2010 9:19 AM
    I am behind. Counting 3 desktop computers (one at 2.6 TB, one at 1.8 TB, and the little one at only 800 GB) and my two largest external USB drives at 2.25 TB, I do not meet the 8 TB threshold.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 14, 2010 9:37 AM
    1TB of digital content per house by 2014? the next day all of the people will be thrown in jail if the RIAA/MPAA keeps running amok...


    yeah that's right, i meant everybody. All people are guilty of something, even those who support those crazy copyright/patent/rights management/other cr4p....
  • 0 Hide
    tbq , October 14, 2010 10:50 AM
    I own far more than 1TB of data that I have personally created. I also have several TB of ripped, lossless music, and DVD .iso files so that I never have to use my physical CDs or DVDs. Still need to find a good HD-DVD / Bluray ripper so I can eliminate my daily disc use completely.
  • 0 Hide
    victomofreality , October 14, 2010 12:05 PM
    I think if WD polled tom's they'd find that most of us spat on the 1tb digital content line when we passed it a while ago... but remember don't judge the world by what we have look at your parents and your friends parents and judge it by them :p 
  • 1 Hide
    g00fysmiley , October 14, 2010 12:34 PM
    >_< 1 TB i have over 600GB of just music ... (legitimatly purchased mid you), then again i do store it as an image of the actual disk, and then as wma and mp3 conversions when i buy a cd
  • 0 Hide
    theoutbound , October 14, 2010 1:49 PM
    Cloud storage might eventually replace hard drives for some, but personally I don't like the idea of all my media being anywhere but sitting next to me. I think no matter what happens, people won't migrate everything to the cloud. This means that 1TB of content will probably be user's porn collections.
  • 0 Hide
    ricdiculus , October 14, 2010 3:35 PM
    back_by_demand***Yawn***To all the show-offs, they mean average of course, just because you have 10Tb of torrented porn, music and TV shows doesn't mean the other 100 people in your street have any at all.There will always be the big downloaders who are lifting the average when there are people like my Dad who think 'Digital Content' means buying a DVD.


    Seems to me us 'showoffs' are the kind of people who read these kind of articles and would like to see bigger drives. I'm an A/V snob and dont compress any of my media content. and bluray's are a litlle closer to 50 gig then 15, which means you get about 20 per terabyte. Compressed, streaming media aint worth a damn, imo.
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