WD: 1TB of Digital Content Per House By 2014

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?

  • dogman_1234
    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.
  • Marco925
    Too late in my house. been like that for a couple of years now.
  • the_krasno
    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?
  • rohitbaran
    Well, I think 2014 is a little too far.
  • Gin Fushicho
    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.
  • sudeshc
    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.
  • damasvara
    With those FLAC albums I download everyday, it will happen by the end of this year! 1 terra-byte? Aim for the yotta-byte!
  • alyoshka
    Lol, I have a feeling I already maybe accounting for 9 to ten households myself.....
  • sudeshc
    it would be better if you(WD) can provide some not 50TB then atleast 20TB HDD
  • darthvidor
    I have 8TB total storage at home