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REV technology In response to Iomega's REV drive: Yet another storage technology in Broadcast Engineering's July issue: Perhaps I'm missing something,
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REV technology

In response to “Iomega's REV drive: Yet another storage technology” in Broadcast Engineering's July issue:

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I cannot understand why anyone needs the Iomega/Grass Valley REV drive. Aside from being yet another media format, of which we already have too many, I cannot discern what makes this product advantageous.

It's a hard disk platter in a cartridge, with the head mechanism located inside the host unit. This requires elaborate methods to keep out contamination and increases the fragility of the disk/head interface. The cartridge contains the same kinds of balky parts that routinely cause problems in similar formats. Let's be honest: Nobody misses their Bernoulli drives or Control Data disk packs, do they?

I can buy a tiny Firewire drive right now with several times the storage capacity and four times the data throughput of the REV and without any of the mechanical complexity. For archival storage, I'd rather use data tape (cheaper storage density) or ATA hard drives in robust sealed cases. Why should we return to magnetic cartridge storage when optical and solid state are making huge advances? It strikes me that the REV is an idea whose time has gone.
Eric Wenocur
Lab Tech Systems

Grass Valley responds:

Yes, there are too many proprietary, restrictive and expensive approaches to recording and storage media today. Our industry needs to stop relying on the proprietary recording formats from a couple of manufacturers and embrace and leverage the capabilities and performance available from off-the-shelf IT-based technologies. Rather than manufacturers dictating decisions such as recording and storage formats, it's time to put the power of choice into the hands of users where it belongs.

The Iomega REV technology offers real alternatives, such as removability, durability and the convenience of tape, combined with the true nonlinear performance of a hard disk drive, at an affordable price.

The technology is highly adaptable into a number of applications across the production workflow, including recording, editing, playout and archival. Recorded content can be edited directly from the REV disk, so there is no need to transfer content onto a separate hard drive before editing.

REV removable rigid disk technology is based on standard laptop hard drive components — engineered for much greater durability by placing only the magnetic media and motor within the removable cartridge. All the sensitive drive heads and electronics remain in the drive itself. This not only benefits durability, but it also helps to keep the media costs down.

There is nothing fragile about the Iomega REV disk. The REV drive and removable media are robust and durable. The disk is capable of surviving repeated 48in drops, and its long-term archival capability is more than 30 years. Solid-state media is also rugged, but REV's removable disks are less expensive per gigabyte.

To a degree, there should be flexibility in choice of recording media. It's a great idea to allow camcorders and VTR-like devices to record to external media such as Firewire drives and USB Flash sticks. It'll be interesting to see how other manufacturers enable this type of capability.

Grass Valley believes in the performance and durability of the REV technology so much that it's integrating it into the company's new Infinity series of acquisition, recording and storage devices designed for a networked world and efficient production workflows.

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