Initially we were not impressed by the new range of solid state and spinning platter hard disks from Sony. Once we got to talking to the Sony demo guy at IBC, we found out one great feature about these new disks.
Hard disks with Firewire 800 & USB3, they are everywhere, in almost every computer shop and yes, even our local Tescos. So why would we be interested in the new range of hard disks from Sony?
First of all let's talk about why they have announced these drives. They are the 256GB PSZ-SA25 SSD drive, the 500GB PSZ-HA50 HDD and 1TB PSZ-HA1T HDD. The bus powered range all feature two Firewire 800 connectors and a USB3. They are to complement their PMW-50 and PMW-1000 recording decks and other file based aquisition products. The drives run at 400MB per second for SSD and 120MB per second for HDD via USB 3.0.
As you can see from the photos, they feature a rugged design being wrapped in rubber to protect from shocks and water splashes (Or erhem, coffee). So confident are Sony of these drives being protected (MIL-STD-810G standard), the demo guy was dropping the unit on the desk whilst playing back media.
The drives also come in a plastic tape like box that is perfect for extra protection should you wish to put the drive in a Jiffy bag and whizz it off around the world. You can also lable up the box and put it on the shelf.
So what is the best feature about these disks? If you have a drive fail within 3 years of purchase, Sony will take the disk and try to extract as much of the data as possible and return it to you, for free. If you have ever had to get a third party data recovery company involved in retrieving data from a disk, you will know they charge $300 plus just to take a look at a broken drive.
Pricing is important, although these will be priced more than your high street computer shops, the ruggedness and the data retrieving make them surprisingly attractive to us editors on the move.
We can see these drives being used in 3 situations. On location for the storage of rushes on the day, for mobile editors who carry around a disk with their laptop and also for the sending of rushes, archive or any data long distances by mail or courier.
Now, if they made one with Thunderbolt...