How to get more Xbox One game storage with minimal effort

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The stock Xbox One claims 500GB of storage, but in reality it only has 364.8GB of usable space. Each Blu-ray disc game you play has to be completely installed on the internal hard drive in order to play it – these games run between 20GB and 40GB on average! Additionally with Xbox One Backwards Compatibility and the plethora of Xbox Live Games with Gold pouring in each month, that storage is probably getting a bit thin right about now.

Microsoft has made it very clear it voids your warranty to open the Xbox and tinker with the internal hard drive. So how can you get more gaming storage with minimal effort (and without voiding the warranty)? DIGISTOR has a series of gaming hard drives that are fully compatible with Xbox One! How much storage can you add? Up to 2TB, which is four times the advertised capacity of the stock 500GB system.

The drives are small, whisper quiet, and don’t need to be plugged into the wall. Simply plug in the USB 3.0 drive into the back or side of your Xbox One and you can set the DIGISTOR drive as the new default location to install all your games, saves, and profile content if desired. Another benefit of storing your games on a small pocket sized USB 3.0 drive is you can grab your DIGISTOR HDD and bring all the pre-installed game content to your friends house and play on their console without needing to download the content again, or re-install from the disc (although you will need to bring the disc as well for security purposes).

Take a look at our gaming hard drives section of our website and grab one for yourself before you are alerted you’re out of space!

Source: DIGISTOR Gaming Hard Drives

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The importance of Blu-ray discs made in Japan

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Having to look for some of the highest quality Blu-ray media on the planet can be a daunting task for individuals and organizations. The notion that buying direct from “the source” as the only reliable means is often on the top of their search to-do list.  While having dedicated countless hours sifting through forums on where the best media can be purchased, looking tirelessly through overseas shopping sites, can always be worthy of a certain amount of bragging rights when the goods is finally in hand.  Others may rely solely on eBay and Amazon sellers from overseas as their middleman.  But where else can these consumers turn to that simply want the best media and what makes their exhaustive search so worthwhile?

Most, if not all, are searching for media made in Japan over any other origin because of innate quality control system and choice of materials.  Being all-too-familiar that ordering from Japanese companies and its affiliates does not guarantee they will receive the genuine discs, that were made in Japan, and not “from Japan but made somewhere else,” as some merchants would have you believe.  To add more complications to the matter, ordering certain package quantities could also be a factor.  For example, buying the individual pack (or the 5 pack jewel case) will be a product made in Japan. However, ordering the 10 pack jewel case or the 10 or 25 pack spindles, will get you a product made in China, Singapore, etc.

To them, data integrity, performance, and longevity of their stored digital assets is very important, so naturally only the best quality media will do.  After all, Japanese made recordable media strikes a chord with users, as they have proven themselves time and time again.

After the hunt is over the fun part comes into play.
DIGISTOR brings you high quality made in Japan media with our Professional Grade discs.  Regardless, of you buy a 5, 10, 25, or 100 pack, you will get exactly the same high quality discs.  Aside from being made in Japan, here are some key reasons why some of the best and latest media technologies are featured in the DIGISTOR Professional Grade discs:

Phase-change recording technology, which has undergone continuous refinement over the years, instantaneously changes the atomic arrangement within the recording layer from a noncrystalline (amorphous) phase to a crystalline phase when it is exposed to a high-temperature laser beam.

The phase-change recording technology enables reliable, high-speed recording.01. phase change

 

 

 

 

 

A hard coating technology makes DIGISTOR BDs highly resistant to scratches.02. hard coating bd

 

Scratches are fatal to recording discs. Scratches can make it impossible to read important data or cause noise in playback images. DIGISTOR discs uses a spin coating method to apply a hard coating of uniform thickness that protects the disc from scratches.

04. hard coating

 

High-Quality BD Discs resulting from experience

More than 35 years in developing recording discs. Our Blu-ray Discs are manufactured in an integrated production plant in Japan where every process, from material development to final manufacturing, is performed. This enables a smooth flow of operations such as development, new technology assessment and mass production, and produces discs with extremely high levels of reliability.

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Industrial SSDs on the Frontiers of Science: Using SSDs at the International Space Station

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It’s not only high-end business and heavy-duty applications that rely on the power of Industrial Solid State Drives (SSDs) these days. Besides powering most of our earthly communications and industry, Industrial SSDs are also pushing the frontiers of science beyond the limits of our atmosphere. They have become the storage medium of choice at the International Space Station, allowing reliable, high-volume data collection like never before.

Data storage in space comes with its own set of special challenges. Not only does whatever storage medium used need to be compact, taking up a minimum amount of space, it also needs to be light; as every ounce in the journey to space counts. Limitations also demand that it should have low power consumption.

Finally, any storage system used should have high reliability, and an extreme temperature operating range, the ability to function without gravity, and the ability to withstand a high dose of radiation and remain uncorrupted.

Industrial strength SSD systems are all good as far as most of those criteria go. Radiation alone is a potential problem area. Down here on earth, we’re protected from cosmic radiation by the ozone layer and our atmosphere. This covering is effective in shielding us from most debilitating radiation.  Out there in space, they’re going (figuratively) naked.

Off-the-Shelf and Into Space
NAND flash memory tends to have a vulnerability to radiation; ionizing effects have the potential to do a number on the individual cells that hold the information bytes, resulting in voltage shifts and data corruption. But NASA scientists have discovered that while some memory chips fail dramatically under radiation pressures, others have the capacity to perform reliably.

This means that high quality industrial SSDs can be used after a rigorous test-and-retest procedure in which the highest performers are selected.

That’s why the International Space Station (ISS) now has the capacity to send a large volume of data and video images down to us here; shouldering past the old limits of knowledge and understanding in a way that’s never before been possible.

And it’s only getting better. While the switch from older operating technologies to SSDs began several years ago, just last week astronaut Tom Kelly switched out the old-fashioned Columbus Video Cassette Recorders (VCRs) from the starboard end of the ISS and replaced them with new Solid State Drive recorders.

As the transition to SSDs continues, we can expect to see a much larger volume of higher quality images and information beamed down to us directly from the outer frontiers of scientific exploration.

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What Went Wrong With TLC NAND

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When Samsung pushed the envelope and introduced their TLC-NAND flash memory for general use, it had the makings of a landmark innovation. TLC (triple-level cell) NAND is cheaper to manufacture than either SLC or MLC NAND, as it works by fitting more data  into the same NAND cell—three bits per cell, rather than the one bit or two bits that single level (SLC) and multi-level (MLC) NAND can put away in one cell space.  You’d think TLC NAND would take over the market in short order; no reason to waste resources manufacturing more expensive SLC or MLC NAND.

When introduced the new TLC-NAND solid state drives seemed to have conquered all previous difficulties of TLC NAND with some state of the art firmware. Read speeds looked pretty; Samsung SSD 840’s 500MB/s is nothing to sneeze at and reliability was a non-issue.

But, mounting excitement over the potentially cost-effective storage innovation waned as performance problems were discovered.

In fact, it wasn’t long before users began reporting a new and extremely debilitating challenge. Those pretty read-speeds, that near 100% reliability: those only counted for new, freshly written data. Data that had been sitting on the drive for, say, all of eight weeks, would have deteriorated to a level that it could only be read at much slower speeds.

Meaning, by the time you had data sitting static on your drive for six months or a year, those previously high read-speeds would have been reduced to processing at a snail’s pace.

It turns out that this is a problem inherent in the TLC system. Although there’s a voltage drift that happens in every NAND drive over time, in SLC and MLC NAND, this drift is small, consistent, and can be accounted for in the reading algorithms. When you lock three data bits in a cell, though, data deterioration speeds up immensely. What’s worse, there’s no longer a generalized algorithm that can take all the shifting into account, so the old data is simply blurred.

Samsung has introduced two firmware updates in an attempt to smooth over the problem. The first, a fancy algorithm that was meant to take account of the voltage drift and factor it in where necessary, completely failed at solving the issue.

The second, while more successful, offers a somewhat unpleasant workaround: The drive is set to rewrite all data regularly, so nothing ever is old.  It does manage to get around the problem: if all data is new data, it will all be readable and quickly accessible. However, since every NAND SSD has a finite number of writes or rewrites, this isn’t an ideal fix.

What does this all boil down to?
Simply that TLC NAND is not the future of data storage, and it doesn’t even have a good seating in the present. If your data matters in the long term, you’ll want to go with a higher-quality NAND: MLC-NAND for your basic SSD needs, or SLC-NAND for industrial use or super-sensitive data storage. There’s no other way about it.

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Your microSD Card: Is Cost All That Matters?

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They look the same and have the same capacity.  For consumers shopping for a microSD card, the only difference might appear to be their price. Does it really matter which microSD card you buy? Should you go with the cheapest option?

Turns out, there’s more to that little plastic chip than you can see on the outside.
It may come as a surprise, but choosing a microSD card is actually an important decision that affects the performance of your phone or other mobile device. Pair a cheapo microSD with your top notch smartphone and you’re setting yourself up for a whole range of problems, ranging from memory failures and corrupted files to crashing your entire phone OS.

“The fact that there are a lot of fake cards out there,” reports Richard Lai of Engadget interviewing Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s Vice President of International.

The market abounds with SanDisk that is not really SanDisk, Kingston that is not really Kingston, and other major manufacturers that are possibly just cheap Chinese fakes. It’s not hard to print out a name-brand sticker and put it on a generic microSD. Barra elaborated on the problem:

“You think you’re buying like a Kingston or a SanDisk but you’re actually not, and they’re extremely poor quality, they’re slow, they sometimes just stop working, and it gives people huge number of issues, apps crashing all the time, users losing data, a lot of basically complaints and customer frustration. It’s gonna be a while before you finally accept that maybe the reason why it’s not performing is because you put in an SD card.”

Because of the prevalence of sub-quality microSD cards on the market, the problem has many smartphone manufacturers choosing not to put microSD slots in their high-end, flagship phones at all. There’s just too much potential for disaster and the problems that come up usually get blamed on the innocent phone, rather than the tiny memory card hiding inside of it, jamming up the works.

But despite the concern from big brands, microSD slots are still a big selling point for shoppers.
If you do value the ability to increase your smartphone’s memory beyond its out-of-the-box capacity, make sure the card you’re slipping inside is a quality product – not a phone-debilitating enemy in disguise.

It’s important to not only choose a brand you can trust, but also with a reliable distributor; preferably, an official partner of a top-quality brand like Panasonic or Kingston. Our official partnership with Panasonic is just one reason DIGISTOR is a preferred retailer for high-end, quality microSD cards you can trust. If you’d like to learn more about our quality control and microSD card compatibility, call up one of our sales associates for more information.

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Top 5 things cinematographers love about our Professional Video SSDs

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Cinematographers and filmmakers love our Professional video SSD drives. After much discussion on the how and why we developed a series of SSD drives focused on video capture, primarily aiming towards certification for Blackmagic recording hardware, we have found the top 5 things that get cinematographers excited about our drives.

 

1. It’s the first and only SSD series made exclusively for video capture.
DIGISTOR set out to build the SSD line up specifically focusing on video capture rather than designing an SSD for computer use. Where other brands build SSDs for a wide variety of computers, we focus on what works well with your video recording hardware.

From the locked bill of materials and firmware, to the NAND flash, controller, and even the physical size of our SSDs, our Professional Video Series was built from the ground up to meet the unique needs of professional filmmakers.

2. Our Professional Video Series SSDs are sized for a snug fit.
Your Blackmagic Camera has a 9.5mm size slot — shouldn’t your SSD be designed to sit securely inside?

While the industry continues to move towards more compact drives, the Professional Video Series remains a standard 9.5mm to avoid shaking, rattling, flexing your connector and possibly dropping frames.

3. Our locked BOM ensures long-term compatibility with Blackmagic.
Once approved by Blackmagic, we lock our bill of materials — both physical and firmware. Before any changes are made, our SSDs are again extensively tested for re-certification by Blackmagic.

For our customers, that means every DIGISTOR drive that has been listed as Blackmagic compatible will remain so, regardless of movements in the market for new NAND or updated controllers.

4. Your workflow, made more efficient by editing straight from the disk.
Stuck on site or don’t have the time to transfer your footage to local storage?

Made to go directly from your Blackmagic recording hardware into the HyperDeck Studio, Blackmagic MultiDock, or connect with a Thunderbolt adapter, our powerful SSDs allow you to smoothly transition from shooting to on-site editing.

5. Our Professional Video Series comes ready to shoot.
Unlike off-the-shelf SSDs that require formatting before use, our Professional Video Series SSDs are made to support recording hardware right out of the box. Compatible with exFAT and already formatted, you can go straight to shooting.

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Apple’s new Photos app, how to back up your photos without iCloud

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Apple recently released a totally new Photos app for OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite that replaces the widely used long time software iPhoto. (To get the new app just update your Mac by visiting the App Store > Updates). The new Photos app is a needed breath of fresh air on the desktop, as it takes many ques from the iOS version of the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad. The simple and intuitive UI and familiar editing functionality make it an instantly familiar playground for organizing and editing photos on your Mac.

One of the perks of the new Photos app is that it will sync all your photos and videos to iCloud so you can access “your entire collection from your Mac and iOS devices anytime.” However, that comes at a cost. Apple continues, “You get 5GB of free storage in iCloud – and as your library grows, you have the option to choose a plan for up to 1TB.” Let us note that the 5GB free storage isn’t just for photos, that includes all your iPhone and iPad backups, which might take a big chunk of that free space. What if you don’t want to add another yearly fee to your bank statement, but you still want to have a safe backup of your Photos Library? This is where REWIND Archiving software comes in. REWIND allows you to Archive your photos to long lasting Blu-ray disc for safekeeping.

Today we’re going to visit a step by step process showing you how to archive your new Photos Library in OS X Yosemite using REWIND. We will do so using the DIGISTOR DIG-79103 USB 3.0 Blu-ray burner, a 25GB BD-R disc, and a MacBook Pro. (The REWIND archiving software and a 25GB Blu-ray disc are both included for free with DIGISTOR brand Blu-ray burners).

Photos App
Here’s the new Photos app with some imported images of a beautiful area called Mount Tamalpais State Park not too far from DIGISTOR HQ in Campbell, CA. Lets see where these photos live on the Mac, and then how to use REWIND to archive them.01.-Photos-App-Open

Photos Library
Notice here in the Pictures folder we have a Library called Photos Library. Within the contents of the Library are all the imported images from the Photos App, along with non-destructive edits, and organizational database information.
02.-Photos-Library

Use REWIND to Archive Photos Library
Start REWIND, give your archive a name. Select the Photos Library, click Next. Insert a BD-R into your Blu-ray burner and click Archive It! Wait a few minutes for your BD-R to burn, and your archive is complete.

 Congratulations! Your Photos are now safely archived.

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SSD Dos & Don’ts

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SSDs are quickly replacing mechanical, magnetic hard drives thanks to their speed, ruggedness and lightweight, compact form (among a host of other reasons!) Because SSDs are relatively simple to set up, most new users don’t put much thought into long-term care.

Still, there are certain “dos and don’ts” every SSD user should be aware of to extend the life of their drive. Here’s a quick rundown to keep your SSD operating at peak performance:

Don’t Defragment Your SSD
Unlike magnetic drives, fragmentation isn’t going to hurt your SSD’s speed. In fact, fragmentation is a requirement for maximum SSD performance!

SSD controllers can access multiple channels simultaneously. This means that sprawling data across several flash chips allows your SSD to access information with more speed, instead of slowing it down.

Do Check That Auto-Defrag is Disabled
Defragging your SSD is not only unnecessary, but it could shorten the life of your SSD.

SSDs have a lifespan that’s determined by how much they’re used. While it’s designed to last much longer than you’ll ever need it, defragmenting your SSD involves writing data unnecessarily, which will shorten your SSD’s lifespan. OS X and Windows should both be able to detect when an SSD is in use and turn off defragmentation automatically, but just in case be sure to check that the auto defrag option in your OS of choice is turned off.

Don’t Use for Archived Files
SSDs offer uncompromising speed, making them the ideal choice for operating system files and other programs that must be accessed frequently and quickly.

However, due to size limitations and cost-per-gigabyte, SSDs are less efficient for storing large or seldom-used files that simply take up space. If you require a large amount of storage for archiving purposes, optical drives and Blu-ray recordable media provide a scalable and low-cost solution.

Do Enable TRIM
When a block is written to, the entire block must be erased before it can be used to store new data. But the process of erasing blocks can slow the SSD’s performance if it’s managed on the fly.

TRIM is a command that extends the life of your SSD by preventing the drive from overusing certain blocks. The command does so by stepping in a little ahead of time and instructing your operating system (supported by Windows 7 onward) to erase the blocks that are no longer considered “in use” and can be wiped internally.

Windows 7 and 8 should detect an SSD and enable TRIM automatically, but it’s a good idea to check anyway.

Don’t Use Old Operating Systems
Old operating systems like Windows XP and Windows Vista don’t include support for the TRIM command, leaving deleted file data on your drive.

Unerased sectors slow down performance, forcing your operating system to first erase the residual data before writing a file into the free space.

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Why Digistor’s Professional Video SSDs Rock Blackmagic User’s Socks Off

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Our SSDs have been described as the “best choice” by filmmakers and here’s why…

1. We streamline your workflow.
We design our SSDs to use the latest NAND flash controller technology, focusing specifically on in-camera use, which means they work well under pressure, no need for OS level optimization that a standard PC SSD may need. The Professional Video Series SSD drives arrive shoot ready, so you can unbox, plug-in, and start filming.

2. Were the most reliable.
Have to shoot a long presentation? Our Professional Video SSDs work flawlessly shooting nonstop, filling the entire drive and never dropping a frame. 4K RAW recording requires massive storage, so we’ve specially developed the 1TB Professional Video SSD for 4K capture in RAW format! To ensure your Digistor SSD goes the distance, our developers employ improvements that extend the endurance of our SSDs with intelligent block management and wear leveling, as well as advanced garbage collection techniques.

3. We build with a locked BOM for quality and consistency with every drive.
What goes on your SSD isn’t just your creative vision, it’s your whole team’s hard work. Digistor knows that filmmakers need the peace of mind that comes from an SSD that’s tailor made for Blackmagic cameras and recorders. Unlike off-the-shelf SSD brands with flexible bill of materials (BOM), which means they can change controller manufacturers, NAND flash, or Firmware with any given batch, we have a locked BOM, giving you reliable, glitch free performance every time. Once our drives are certified by Blackmagic, that certification locks our build.

Have more questions about how Digistor Professional Video SSDs can enhance your Blackmagic experience? Give our team a call or drop us a line at sales@digistor.com.

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How SSDs Have Taken Industrial Applications by Storm

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Many rugged industrial SSD applications owe credit to the innovation that was brought about by consumer demand for more powerful electronics, such as iPods, digital cameras and smart phones. It’s thanks to huge adoption within consumer devices that the cost per gigabit has become affordable for the masses and enticing for industrial innovators.

The first adoptions of SSDs outside of consumer electronics were primarily made by high-end industrial and military system designers that required a better solution for rugged tasks than offered by hard disk drives.

Those initial applications were limited to flight and mission data recorders, field computers for troops, GPS communication systems and other industrial applications where devices were required to withstand high vibrations or extreme temperatures.

As the merits of SSD technology increased, the drives became an attractive option for single board developing computers, and were integrated into everything from edge routers and switches in netcom applications, industrial automation, control equipment to ATM machines and other forms of interactive kiosks and medical devices.

Because of their lower power consumption and long product life in applications that require 24/7, or “always on”, capability, SSDs also offer dependability in tasks that require the highest endurance – making modern generations of SSDs true drop-in replacements for hard drives.

The implementation of SSDs in the industrial market continues to rapidly increase thanks to unparalleled flexibility and new dimensions of applications. Because they only require a fraction of the system power of hard drives, SSDs are an appropriate choice for onboard storage even in the most space-constrained designs. Adding to their advantages, new generations of SSDs ingrate voltage detection technology to eliminate potential drive corruption in case of a power disturbance.

The advanced SSD technology offered by Digistor’s industrial drives have been developed and designed to excel in a range of innovative applications that require unique specifications and features. Whether the application demands enhanced temperature, security, maximum performance or extended duty, there is a right Digistor storage solution for every industrial storage need.

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