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NAB show roundup: Cool gear for videophiles

Keith Shaw | April 12, 2013
A roundup of cool stuff from the annual show for National Association of Broadcasters

I've spent the past few days at the annual show for the National Association of Broadcasters, also known as NAB. The trade show, held in Las Vegas, features events and products geared toward television and radio stations, as well as filmmakers and other video creators.

This was the first time I've attended the show -- it felt interesting to be a trade show newbie once again (after 12-plus years of attending the Consumer Electronics Show, you tend to know where things are located). While many of the products were way over my head in terms of technologies, acronyms and my budget, I did find some cool stuff worth mentioning in this post:

G-Technology's new hard drives

Storage vendor G-Technology was courting content creators with its new high-capacity and high-performance external storage drives. The new G-Drive Pro features capacities up to 4TB, and with its Thunderbolt connection can deliver data transfer rates of up to 480MBps. The G-Drive Pro features two Thunderbolt ports, which lets users add additional storage or daisy-chain another Thunderbolt device (such as a monitor) to the Macintosh system. The 2TB model is expected to cost about $700, and the 4TB model will sell for about $850, G-Technology says, with availability later this summer.

The company also announced its new Evolution Series of portable hard drives, as well as a docking station that lets users combine the drives into RAID configurations for faster performance. The G-Drive ev External Hard Drive Module is a 2.5-inch, 7200 RPM hard drive that supports data transfer rates of up to 136MBps. The drive will come in 500GB ($150) or 1TB ($200) flavors, and will be available in May.

The G-Drive ev PLUS module gives you some additional performance -- the USB 3.0-enabled 2.5-inch drive (7200 RPM) can supports data transfer rates up to 250MBps, G-Technology says. The 1TB drive will be available later this summer for about $350.

Both the ev and ev PLUS modules can also connect to the new G-Dock ev, a Thunderbolt-enabled two-bay docking station. The dock lets you set up multiple storage system configurations, including JBOD, RAID 1 for redundancy or RAID 0 for performance. When two of the modules are connected to the dock via their SATA ports, the Thunderbolt connection to the computer helps increase the data transfer rates of the drives (when used in the RAID 0 configuration). Dual Thunderbolt ports on the dock let you daisy-chain up to six docking stations, or connect other Thunderbolt-enabled devices. Available in May, the G-Dock ev will include two 1TB G-Drive ev modules (and a Thunderbolt cable), and will cost about $750.

Signiant's high-speed large file data transfer

File movement software vendor Signiant announced the addition of file sharing capabilities to its Media Shuttle offering. The service lets multiple users more easily upload and download content from a shared file system. With broadcast and video files that are 1GB or more, getting those files transferred quickly from one person to another can be a drag on system resources.


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