Western Digital Announces FireWire Audio/Video Storage Device

Borrowing technology from Sony, Western Digital has released the first FireWire based audio/video storage system. FireWire allows the simultaneous playback and recording of audio and video signals, allowing the new hard drive to fill any number of home entertainment center style roles. Western Digital hopes that their new drive can become the center of a new breed of home entertainment system. According to Western Digital:

Western Digitalis 1394 A/V HD is the first technology to deliver both asynchronous and isochronous capabilities by using IEEE-1394 digital interface technology developed by Sonyis Interconnect Architecture Laboratory (IAL), one of the U.S. Research Laboratories of Sony Electronics Inc. The unique combination of these capabilities enables a rich set of functionality for the future development of both a computer peripheral and a consumer entertainment product.

"The 1394 interface has seen increasing visibility in both PC and consumer applications. Western Digitalis A/V hard drive is a clear example of a device that uses 1394 to cross the narrowing line between these two industries." said Scott Smyers, vice president of Sonyis San Jose, Calif.-based Interconnect Architecture Laboratory.

The 1394 A/V HD technology enables simultaneous recording and playback of MPEG2 video (high definition and standard definition), DV (Digital Video) and audio streams, making it an ideal solution for delivering optimum performance and ease-of-use for in-home networks, digital video recorders and other digital?consumer electronics. Implementing an embedded file system to manage and control the streaming content also adds to the capabilities and performance of the HD. This technology also includes the "5C" DTCP copy protection?technology in order to prevent the unauthorized use of copy-protected content?that the A/V HD might store.

You can find more about Western Digitalis line of storage devices at their web site.