Any storage solution must be tested to ensure universal system compatibility with a broad range of AV/security products including set top boxes, DVRs and other mainstream surveillance systems. It also needs to be optimized for smooth, continuous digital video playback. Hard drives are available that can now handle as many as 12 simultaneous high-definition streams and 16 standard-definition streams and are based on the industry-standard ATA specification for universal compatibility. A storage system that provides simultaneous multi-tasking capabilities also gives companies the ability to use standard streaming management and error recovery options.
Storage reliability is paramount to maintaining long product life of surveillance systems. Today's HDDs have been specifically designed and tested for long product deployments in high-temperature, always-on streaming digital audio/video environments. Drives that have been specifically designed for these intensive applications typically feature a high Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of 1 million hours, which is higher than desktop PC hard drives. Advanced HDD technologies that help ensure longevity such as Preemptive Wear Leveling (PWL) from Western Digital have also been developed.