Xbox One Expansion Drive is Here

Running out of room on your Xbox One internal hard drive? Many are. The Xbox One gives you 500GB of internal game storage… or does it? On a fresh Xbox One we took a look at the internal storage and found only 364.8GB of usable space! If you’re a game fanatic, you might find that’s no where near enough for a console lifetime of gaming! Blu-ray based games and game downloads now take anywhere from 18GB to 45GB of hard drive space, and each game requires loading to the hard drive to play.

Xbox One internal Hard Drive is limited to 364.8GB

Xbox One internal Hard Drive is limited to 364.8GB

And what about if you want to bring a game over to a friends house? You bring the Blu-ray game disc, but then you have to wait for the game to install on their system before you can play. More and more we see the need to expand our Xbox One hard drive and make our main storage mobile ready.

Many know DIGISTOR for our series of PS3 and Xbox 360 Portable Hard Drives, and we’re happy to announce we’ve expanded our line of products to include the Xbox One Expansion Drive by DIGISTOR. The new expansion drive is available in 500GB and 1TB size formats, and connects to your Xbox One through a single USB 3.0 cable, no wall adapter needed!

Simply connect the portable drive to your Xbox One, and now you’re able to move or copy game installs or apps to the DIGISTOR drive instead of the internal drive. You can even choose the DIGISTOR drive as the default install location to make sure all future downloads go to the right place.

To learn more or buy the Xbox One Expansion drive for your console visit our Gaming Hard Drives product page.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera passes professional eye test

With all the numerous products clogging the high-end camera market, it can be difficult for video professionals to choose the tool that will best meet their needs. They can look at all the touted features and product specs, but in the end, what's shown on paper may not be reflected by a camera's actual performance. The only way to know for sure how well a given piece of recording equipment will operate is to work with it hands-on, testing how it runs under conditions that the average filmmaker will consistently run into.

Even with the influx of new, insightful statistics in the sporting world, many professional analysts still rely on the "eye test" to assess the skill level of an athlete. There's no better way to gauge the performance of an individual than to see how he or she responds to in-game conditions. Camera equipment is no different in this regard. Production crews can shell out a lot of money on an expensive camera loaded with impressive features. When it's crunch time, however, that piece of hardware may not provide the value that it promised.

The BMCC gets assessed
Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut recently took this approach when assessing the performance of Blackmagic Design's Cinema Camera. With several years of experience in the film industry, working on high-profile projects such as "Terminator Salvation" and "Need for Speed", Hurlbut has seen his fair share of recording equipment. That experience has no doubt helped the professional cinematographer hone a keen eye for recognizing quality in high-end cameras.

Hurlbut subjected the Cinema Camera to a barrage of tests crafted around various circumstances that professional filmmakers may routinely find themselves in. For instance, Hurlbut wanted to see how the BMCC would handle itself when the person behind the camera attempted to execute a shadow transition. The BMCC excelled in this area, providing rich clarity as an image becomes progressively darker.

The BMCC also received praise for its ability to present skin tones in a realistic and lively manner. It can be difficult to achieve such an accurate presentation of the human figure when shooting on video, but BMCC was up to the challenge. Although Hurlbut noted some redness when testing Blackmagic Design's product, he chalked that up to the lens used with the camera.

Hurlbut went above and beyond normal testing conditions to see what the BMCC was really made of. He submitted video transfers to varying levels of both over- and underexposure. While Hurlbut was able to eventually push the camera to its breaking point in these instances, he came away impressed with its versatility, resiliency and overall performance.

"[T]he BMCC is a great bargain. I will be using this camera more often with the right glass and armed with the insight I have obtained through extensive testing," Hurlbut wrote.

Use quality SSDs to support the BMCC
To truly capitalize on Blackmagic Design hardware, professional filmmakers must have an equally high-quality solid state drive in place to flawlessly process data. It can be easy to overlook the importance of acquisition media when purchasing a new piece of high-end recording equipment, but these devices can be instrumental in achieving reliable video capture.

Many SSDs on the market have not been designed with video recording applications in mind, often making them ill-suited for these tasks. For instance, they are unlikely to have been produced with the industry-standard 9.5mm form factor. SSDs created for use with laptops or PCs may feature slimmer designs, meaning they will not fit inside the BMCC without rattling around during operation and run the risk of dropped frames. That movement can also easily result in the drive itself becoming damaged, resulting in a complete loss of any video that has been stored on the device.

Instead of rolling the dice on an off-the-shelf product, filmmakers should put their faith in the Professional Video Series SSD drives from DIGISTOR. This equipment has been designed from the ground-up with recording applications in mind, giving production crews the tools they need to consistently shoot scenes without worrying about lost video. Even when shooting raw, uncompressed transfers, DIGISTOR SSDs are able to shoulder the workload and facilitate the video capture processes without losing a single frame. This means that production crews can avoid ever encountering the dreaded circumstance of needing to redo an entire day's worth of work because the acquisition media device malfunctioned and lost everything that had been recorded.

Professional shoots run on tight schedules and tighter budgets. With the many different components that must work seamlessly together on a movie, film or commercial set, there's absolutely no room for error. An off-the-shelf SSD will only introduce another unknown factor for production crews to worry about and account for. Put any lingering fears about dropped frames and lost footage to rest by embracing the unparalleled features of DIGISTOR's Professional Video Series SSD drives. If professional filmmakers are going to use high-end cameras like the BMCC, they should invest in acquisition media that will wring the best performance from this equipment.

Physical and online storage don’t have the same government protections

Information is essential for businesses as they use their reports to make important decisions and drive development for the future. However, this data is increasingly being targeted by malware and other malicious entities that can bring down operations. In this type of environment, it's absolutely critical to choose the best solution for data archival and storage. While many managers view online platforms as the answer, recent developments in the protection of these deployments show that they may not be the optimal choice for corporate information.

Online storage reviewable by law
Many organizations move their sensitive files to the cloud and other online solutions in order to have constant access, but rulings by officials state that this platform isn't as secure from prying eyes as owners hope. According to Engadget, a New York judge stated that U.S. search warrants could be used for digital information, whether it was housed locally or globally. While there were challenges to this notion, the U.S. government recently backed up the claim, stating that the Fourth Amendment protections are not the same for files in online storage as they are for physical data. In a world where data breaches are a rising occurrence, it should be no surprise that the government wants to keep up with activities in the online storage space. However, Microsoft disputed the ruling, claiming that protections should be extended to digital content and that the government's views of this material on foreign deployments are wrong. 

"From the Justice Department's point of view, this law is necessary in an age where 'fraudsters' and 'hackers' use electronic communications in not just the U.S. but abroad as well," Engadget stated. "Indeed, the Microsoft account in this case is in relation to a drug-trafficking investigation. However, Microsoft believes there are wide-ranging implications for such a statement, and it's not the only company that thinks so."

Physical storage more secure overall
Blu-ray discs are increasingly becoming favored as backup devices for a number of large organizations. Most notably, Facebook is using this hardware for cold storage of information. Physical backups can be easily accessed and are extremely durable. The performance of Blu-ray discs will always remain constant, ensuring that users are able to leverage it at a moment's notice. In addition, the organization will have total control over their sensitive data at all times, mitigating the potential for it to be corrupted or stolen by external parties. Because this type of storage is covered under the Fourth Amendment, it will be more advantageous to utilize it over online-based platforms. This will ensure that backups are always available and are not open to digital vulnerabilities.

Data archiving solutions needed in healthcare industry

Despite their many differences, most sectors have more in common than industry members might realize. Seemingly business-oriented tools can often have tangible applications in other verticals, bringing the same benefits to a wide variety of organizations. This is particularly true of the healthcare industry and data archiving solutions. While long-term storage drives may appear to be most readily useful for large enterprises and data centers, they can offer the same level of quality and performance to hospitals, medical centers and other healthcare organizations.

Medical facilities are in the midst of an information boom. These organizations are currently being flooded by incoming data, including patient files, financial documents and medical records. There is no such thing as disposable data in the healthcare sphere, meaning that everything needs to be documented and stored for later use. Data archiving solutions are increasingly becoming a critical need for medical centers, particularly as they continue to face pressure to transition to digital records. The federal government has pushed the healthcare community to discard paper-based filing systems in favor of electronic documents, offering incentives to those organizations that can demonstrate "meaningful use" of electronic health records in their practice.

According to a recent HIMSS Analytics survey, such policies have significantly driven the need for better data management within healthcare organizations – and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

"By 2015, most hospitals are expected to have undergone a massive, data- and reform-driven transformation," said HIMSS Analytics vice president Lorren Pettit. "Between the conversion to ICD-10 for better coding, meeting meaningful use milestones for data sharing at the point-of-care, and the continued influx of EMR/EHR systems, hospitals will have created an exponential proliferation of data volume."

Medical records need to be archived
Due to the sensitive nature of these records, medical centers will require reliable methods of archiving them for later use. Even those organizations that leverage cloud-based storage services will need to have an effective data archiving solution in place in the event of a catastrophic event. CoreLink Data Centers director Nav Ranajee highlighted the urgency to deploy disaster recovery tools within healthcare operations, noting that the growing relevance of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health has further spurred on efforts to implement such assets.

"Regulatory, technological and environmental factors are raising the importance of a comprehensive DR strategy," Ranajee wrote. "Healthcare IT executives must ensure that they have identified their critical systems and have plans in place to recover if hit with a natural disaster or a cyberattack. The consequences and risks are too great to ignore."

HIPAA compliance should be of major concern to organizations that rely on cloud-based services for their data storage and archiving needs. Not all cloud providers operate in accordance with federal regulations, putting their clients at risk for violation. Furthermore, an emergency scenario could disrupt a medical facility's access to their hosted storage platforms. In some instances, that data may never be recovered. Given the high stakes of healthcare data storage, administrators should backup cloud platforms with physical data archiving solutions.

Go Blu-ray for data archiving needs
Optical media currently offers the best method of securely backing up information for the long haul. In particular, data archiving solutions built upon Blu-ray discs offer a wide range of benefits, including durability, scalability and affordability. DIGISTOR's Enterprise Archive utilizes high-quality Blu-ray discs that have been designed with longevity in mind. Healthcare officials can securely store important medical records for up to 100 years with DIGISTOR's archiving tool. Furthermore, because Blu-ray media is more cost-effective than other storage formats, medical centers can scale up their critical archiving processes without breaking the bank. This means that organizations can enjoy the financial incentives of meaningful use projects instead of having to direct those funds back into their storage needs.

Even healthcare facilities that use the cloud as a primary storage format, should look to Blu-ray data archiving solutions to back up those services. A disruptive event can occur at any time, knocking servers offline and preventing administrators from accessing their hosted documents. DIGISTOR's Enterprise Archive tool ensures that such events are merely an annoyance and not the catastrophic incident that could adversely affect hospital operations for years to come. When choosing an archiving platform, medical officials should prioritize reliability, affordability and scalability over all other considerations. The DIGISTOR Enterprise Archive solution hits on all of those marks, making it ideal for healthcare use.

Industrial SSDs aid military vehicle diagnostics

Most drivers in the United States have encountered a moment when they were driving down the road and their dashboard suddenly lit up, notifying them of a potential engine problem. Vehicle diagnostics are commonplace today, giving otherwise unaware drivers a heads-up about everything from forthcoming engine failure to faulty airbags. These intricate systems help drivers to avoid causing major damage to their cars' engines and potentially being stranded on the side of the road when their vehicle suddenly breaks down.

Within the military sector, the need for on-board diagnostics is even more pressing, particularly for troops who have been deployed in war zones. Soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq and other areas of the world where armed conflict may occur need their vehicles to operate as flawlessly as possible. Even the military's most sophisticated land-based vehicles such as tanks and armored personnel carriers may encounter engine malfunction or failure. If this were to occur while a unit was out on patrol in a dangerous region, troops could be stranded and left waiting for help in a vulnerable position. That is why on-board diagnostic systems must perform at the highest level and continue providing military personnel with up-to-date information regarding the status of a particular vehicle.

On-board diagnostics improve vehicle condition
There are many benefits to utilizing on-board diagnostics for military purposes, including avoiding situations like the one described above. With a finely tuned system in place, APC or tank drivers could be notified of a pending problem with an engine component before it leads to a full-scale vehicle shutdown. According to Sohel Anwar, an engineering professor at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, drivers could use the advanced equipment in military vehicles to power off particular problematic components, enabling them to return to base without causing further damage. This would not only prevent more widespread damage to the engine, but would also help the military reduce its repair costs.

Cutting back on overall maintenance expenses is a major benefit of on-board diagnostics since operators can preemptively take their vehicles in for repair before an initial problem leads to deeper concerns. Because these systems reduce the amount of time elapsed between when a malfunction occurs and when it is addressed, they prevent military units from spending a great deal of government funding on extensive repairs that could have been avoided if caught sooner. Furthermore, a proactive approach to military vehicle maintenance will dramatically improve the health and performance of tanks, trucks and APCs.

Flash memory trounces the competition
To keep diagnostic systems running smoothly and properly recording and analyzing data, military personnel will need to utilize high-quality storage devices that are capable of handling these workloads. NAND flash memory has long surpassed disk-based drives for military applications as they can quickly and easily write or retrieve important information. Traditional hard disk drives are not appropriate for these instances since their read/write heads and magnetic platters require time to move into position. This translates into noticeable lag time that most every PC user has experienced on a regular basis.

Military personnel do not have the time to wait for their critical systems to boot up or for important applications to launch. If an error involving an engine component has occurred, drivers need to be notified right away. Because solid state drives run on flash memory, they are ideal for use with high-performance military vehicles. Information can be quickly retrieved from a memory block, enabling lightning-fast boot times.

Industrial-strength SSDs a necessity for military applications
Not all SSDs are fit for military use, however. Tanks and APCs will inevitably create and encounter extreme vibrations, increasing the likelihood that poorly made components will be damaged. Industrial-grade SSD drives are capable of performing under these conditions, providing consistent service even when a vehicle is driving across rugged terrain or comes within close proximity of an explosion. Lesser products are unlikely to continue operating, preventing important diagnostics systems from running effectively and giving operators critical updates regarding their vehicles.

Another benefit to using industrial SSDs, such as those provided by DIGISTOR, is that they can handle the extreme environments that military vehicles often run in. Over the past decade, the United States military has had a significant presence in the Middle East, stationing troops in arid conditions. The United States Marine Corps explained that those environments can wreak havoc on vehicles as well as their components, particularly since temperatures can swing to both extremes in the desert.

DIGISTOR Industrial Strength SSD Drives have been designed to handle such inhospitable operating conditions without experiencing component failure. These high-quality devices can withstand temperatures ranging from minus 45 degrees Celsius to 85 C, giving broad coverage in both extremely hot and cold environments. For military applications, this means that desert-based personnel will receive consistent performance from their SSDs even when temperatures plummet at night and rise back up to scorching levels during the day.

Military vehicles should only be outfitted with the very best equipment, and that includes SSD drives. DIGISTOR's products have been designed with durability and reliable performance foremost in mind, making them ideal for these types of applications.

Filmmakers flock to Blackmagic camera equipment

Both established and aspiring filmmakers have more resources at their fingertips for capturing professional-level video than ever before. In the past, it would have been difficult for an independent director to get the same quality of footage as a production team with thousands of dollars worth of cameras, lighting rigs and editing suites. Today, however, filmmakers and other video professionals can lean on new, high-quality hardware to get the performance needed to stand toe-to-toe with studio-backed projects. At the forefront of this push to offer advanced camera equipment at a reasonable price is Blackmagic Design.

Many media outlets have sung the praises of Blackmagic Design, noting the manufacturer's deft balance of quality and affordability with its equipment. For instance, when recently reviewing one of Blackmagic's latest products, the URSA 4K Digital Camera, Ahmad Hafiz took note of the company's overall dedication to performance. Furthermore, the Blackmagic goes above and beyond when considering what features should be added or improved upon to better meet the needs of its customers. User feedback is continually utilized to enhance the quality of Blackmagic products and deliver hardware that will effortlessly capture raw, uncompressed video.

"If you love photography and film, you'll have your arms wide open and ready to receive Blackmagic's 4K Digital Cameras," Hafiz wrote for The Fuse Joplin.

Blackmagic cameras aid professional shoots
Blackmagic adopters have provided numerous success stories outlining how these high-quality cameras helped on their productions. The latest video professional to heap praise upon the recording equipment manufacturer is Jon Hess, an award-winning director, producer and writer. Hess has helped shepherd several major productions to completion, including the Academy Award-nominated "American History X," which he co-produced. As a director, however, he has not released a film in over a decade.

With the help of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Pocket Cinema Camera, however, Hess has been able to return to the director's chair with his forthcoming release, "Dead Men Float." The Cinema Camera served as the primary recording instrument with the Pocket Cinema Camera used to help crew members get shots in more confined environments. Leaning on Blackmagic's equipment, Hess and his team were able to capture high-quality, raw video that displays every desired detail. With a large amount of crisp video to work with, the production's editors were able to effectively craft the story they wanted to tell.

"The camera really opened up what I could do creatively," Hess said. "One of the best examples of the camera's quality was during a pivotal night scene. We set up the camera, shot at ISO (1600) and were able to get this beautiful night scene, that in the past, would have taken a whole film crew and a large budget to get."

Consider acquisition media needs
When using a high-quality recording device like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, it's important for filmmakers to consider their acquisition media needs. Some of this hardware requires a solid state drive to properly capture high-quality video, and short-changing this aspect of the process will come back to haunt a crew. If video professionals choose an off-the-shelf product – even one that has been cleared for Blackmagic use – they may encounter significant performance issues that could dramatically affect a shoot. Not all SSDs have been designed with video capture in mind. Many being released at this moment are actually specified for use with Netbook PCs, leading to form factor issues during the installation process. An ill-fitting SSD will rattle around inside a Blackmagic Cinema Camera, especially during more rigorous shoots. That activity could damage the device, resulting in the loss of whatever video had been recorded.

Video professionals should look to leverage SSD drives that have been engineered specifically for video capturing purposes. DIGISTOR's Professional Video Series SSDs are certified for Blackmagic use, making them ideal accessories for hardware that requires a solid state drive to operate. These high-performance tools ensure that uncompressed, raw video is recorded smoothly with no lags or dropped shots, giving filmmakers the professional-quality video transfer they need to compete in today's media industries.

Optical storage receives praise at Creative Storage Conference

In most organizations, information is becoming a highly valued commodity as it can help decision-makers make educated choices and drive business advancement. With this level of importance, it should be no surprise that companies are doing all they can to back up their files and ensure that they have an iteration available at all times. This will help support continuity efforts and enable management to guarantee that sensitive data is not lost. Resoundingly, optical storage has risen to meet these demands and has been adopted by numerous firms for its capabilities.

The benefits of optical storage
While CDs, DVDs and USB devices have mostly disappeared from the storage market, Blu-ray discs have become the media of choice for a number of businesses. Among these supporters are Sony and Mitsubishi who recently spoke at the Creative Storage Conference about the quality and applications of Blu-ray storage, Hollywood IT Society reported. Both organizations noted the amount of quality control they have with Blu-ray, stating that the media can stand up to their rigorous testing and continues to output optimal performance. The high-quality materials also help Blu-ray media withstand harsh conditions without losing stored data or harming the disc itself, saving significant costs in the long run. As these benefits become more apparent, more companies will look to adopt it for their own advantages.

"Long-term offline archive preservation is one of the most important usages of optical disc storage," industry expert Ikuo Matsumoto told the source. "In addition, the new usage of optical storage, near-line storage for huge amount of data of data centers, have empowered companies like Facebook."

Using optical media for long-term archival
When thinking of storing data, it's important to consider what factors might be at play in the future. Could the media be destroyed by natural disasters or affected by malware? Forbes contributor Tom Coughlin noted that while long-term archival can be a challenge, by choosing the right storage system, decision-makers can ensure that their media lasts even under adverse environmental conditions. Sony, for example, sends their discs through testing in high temperatures, salt water, UV radiation and corrosive gas, but the products still last a minimum of 50 years, demonstrating the resilience of optical media. This means that even if a fire or flood may hit the company, data stored on Blu-ray discs will likely be recoverable.

In addition, Blu-ray media is more accessible than traditional tape. Tape-based storage can end up costing a lot after accounting for maintenance and media provisioning. Blu-ray can save money in the long-run as it has a considerably longer shelf-life than other options and requires less upkeep. With these benefits and the overall optimal performance, Blu-ray discs are expected to be around for the foreseeable future.

"I've been surprised at how often the term comes up during the discussion regarding professional optical disc," Sony director of B2B media marketing William Cubelli​s said, speaking at the recent Creative Storage Conference. "It blows me away because we've seen optical disc storage work for a long time now."

Lean on longevity, reliability of Blu-ray data archiving solutions

Hard disk drives have long served as the standard platforms for data storage, but their reliability has always been in question. The internal moving parts that power HDDs make them susceptible to damage and ultimately data loss. The Internet is filled with horror stories from people who saw their most priceless documents and files disappear into the ether thanks to a faulty storage drive. More than ever, consumers and business users alike should have a steady archiving solution in place to reclaim information that may be lost due to a malfunctioning HDD.

Writing for How Stuff Works, Ed Grabianowski highlighted some of the many issues that HDD users may encounter, including full-scale hard drive crashes. He stressed that while there are instances when HDDs will give some indication that they are reaching the end of their shelf life, many times these devices cease functioning with no notice whatsoever.

"Don't rely on warning signs to predict hard drive failure," Grabianowski wrote. "Assume that your hard drive is going to fail, and back up critical files. If you have a reliable back-up, you'll save yourself many headaches."

Don't roll the dice on long-term HDD use
Even HDDs that have provided years of flawless service have a finite shelf life. It's important that individuals don't attempt to test their luck and the limits of their hard drives by relying solely on these devices for longer than their expected lifecycle. ExtremeTech contributor Sebastian Anthony reported on a 2013 study on the average failure rate of hard drives, finding that the percentage of HDDS that continued operating fell precipitously following their third year of usage. According to his analysis, approximately half of all hard drives will fail within six years, driving home the point that everyone needs to archive their important documents.

"If you buy a hard drive today, there's a 90 percent chance that it will survive for three years," Anthony stated. "If your drive makes it to the three-year point, you would be wise to back up your data, as there's a 12 percent chance per year that your drive will die."

A member of Apple's online community further brought the need for data backups into focus, stressing that HDD failure isn't a possibility, but an inevitability. When implementing data archiving solutions, users are protecting against a data loss that will occur eventually. And given HDD's notoriously unreliable technology, that hardware failure could come at any time. The forum member explained that when weighing the cost of implementing a backup tool versus the untold value of one-of-a-kind documents and the thousands of hours of work that may have gone into their creation, the urgency for data archiving should become clear.

Blu-ray offers ideal data archiving platform
Both business users and consumers should leverage data archiving solutions that address the longevity and reliability concerns that plague traditional HDD options. To that end, a backup tool that is based on optical media will effectively meet those needs. Blu-ray discs, in particular, have the durability and longevity required to successfully carry out data archiving processes without worrying about the long-term integrity of user information. Today's products are capable of storing a great deal of information on a single disc, making them ideal for both consumer or business use. In addition, Blu-ray as a format avoids the reliability issues that make HDDs risking bets for long-term use. A single disc can effectively work for years, even when stored in relatively inhospitable environments. The lack of any internal, moving components ensures that Blu-ray discs will continue operating even if they are jostled or moved violently.

Furthermore, Blu-ray discs offer a scalability that traditional storage options simply cannot match. When paired with a Blu-ray burner and high-quality archiving software such as DIGISTOR's REWIND, this format can effectively back up as much information as a user sees fit. Because Blu-ray is a cost-effective medium, individuals can ramp up their archiving processes on the fly and keep up with their escalating storage needs. This way, users can avoid feeling the pinch of reaching the end of their archiving tool's storage capacity. With a Blu-ray burner and discs, along with REWIND software, individuals will be able to securely back up their most important and unique documents and files, saving them for later use. There's even a free trial of REWIND available for individuals to download and try out for themselves. By taking this approach to data archiving, users can avoid the headaches that occur following an inevitably hard drive failure.