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Question about storing video on hard drive

Old 05-22-20, 08:05 PM
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Question about storing video on hard drive

While I still prefer to watch things on DVDs as they're more permanent and have chapter search, I've been rapidly transferring a bunch of old TV recordings onto a hard drive, uploading the good stuff to YouTube and eventually putting the complete shows on DVDs properly chaptered and everything. I'm amazed at how much the hard drive can hold, I could be persuaded to just use that and forego DVDs if I could just chapter everything that's on it (each show is a file, but then I can only play that file and manually fast-forward and reverse-scan through them.)

My main question is- since I've got a bunch of stuff on the hard drive and it's not even half full yet, what safety measures should I take to make sure it's not suddenly wiped out? I can't keep it connected to my laptop all the time because of the lack of USB inputs on it. Is there any procedure I should follow when connecting and disconnecting it? I once scanned a bunch of magazines onto a USB stick, sold the magazines and then they all suddenly disappeared from the stick- I have no idea how it happened but I just plugged it in and nothing was on it.

Also how long can I expect this hard drive to last? I bought it a few months ago. I have another hard drive that's more than 10 years old and it can't hold nearly as much, but it does still work as I checked it recently- I need to manage the stuff on it while it is, some is stuff I downloaded before streaming was a thing, so I need to get around to watching it and deciding if I want to keep it or not. If this new hard drive fills up, which will take a long time at this rate, I could see just keeping all the stuff on it and buying a new one to continue, but I'd still feel more secure putting it onto DVDs as those have been said to last at least 70 years if stored right.
Old 05-22-20, 08:51 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

I've got some MKV files that have chaptering information in them. I don't know how to do it, but it is possible. They're either from broadcast, or BD, so I expect it's a manual process, but I suppose there's the possibility of doing it automatically from a DVD.

Regarding the storage, the only safe way is backups. Whether it's another HD or cloud storage, it's got to be somewhere else, or you've got a chance to lose it. Backing up to DVD doesn't sound like a reliable method, and would certainly be time consuming and tedious.
Old 05-23-20, 12:07 AM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

My suggestion would be to buy a Synology NAS 2 drive system. One drive basically mirrors the other in case of failure and you can access your videos from anywhere (they have mobile apps for almost everything). In addition the NAS can store your photos, music, has a video surveillance system for your IP camers, etc.. it's all built in and it's simple to use. I've been using the Synology NAS for over 10 years now and it's awesome.

Of course a NAS in your house is a point of failure your house burns down or something but Synology does have a backup service to a cloud for a fee.

Old 05-23-20, 01:59 AM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

The easiest and probably cheapest way is to copy everything on two hard drives. That way you have a backup when one of the hard drives fail.

The best and more expensive option would be to get a NAS. I've been using a Synology 4-Drive NAS for about 10 years. Whenever a drive fails, I just remove it and put in a fresh drive. And you can stream videos from the NAS to your TV using PLEX.

I backed-up videos on blank DVDs in the past. And later I found that a lot of them went bad. That's why I switched to a NAS. Maybe the quality of blank discs has improved since then. But I wouldn't rely on DVDs as my only backup.

If you're lacking USB inputs, pick up a USB Hub on Amazon for around $10. I'm currently using this one. Although if you're transferring large files, you'll probably want the USB 3.0 model:

Amazon Amazon
Old 05-23-20, 10:27 AM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

I'm assuming Alan wants to not spend too much which is why I only recommended the 2 drive (bay) version. I don't think he needs 4 for a simple mirror.

Having said that.. I have the 4 bay also (DS 918+) since I use it for everything.
Old 05-23-20, 02:19 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
but I'd still feel more secure putting it onto DVDs as those have been said to last at least 70 years if stored right.
I can see factory pressed DVDs lasting that long, but recordable ones that use a type of ink? I seriously doubt it. As others have mentioned, copying everything to a second back up hard drive would probably be the cheapest and easiest solution.
Old 05-23-20, 08:18 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

The good news is your hard drive should last several years without problem.
The bad news is it might have already died on you before I finished typing this sentence.

Get a second hard drive and mirror the first one. Then get a third hard drive and do the same thing.
Old 05-23-20, 09:06 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

Yeah, it's fine storing video on hard drives as long as you understand they have limited lifespans. That is why eventually mirroring their content on a second hard drive is essential. Most hardcore data back-ups involve some sort of RAID hardware and cloud system in case your place burns down or something.

I would even suggest using a USB keystick or something else small as another alternative back-up for vital data.
Old 05-23-20, 09:31 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

I second the Synology NAS system. I have the DS218J and it seems to be a cool device.
Old 05-23-20, 10:10 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

(At the risk of sounding like a degenerate).

The best "backup" for tv shows and movies discs, is to just buy a second or third copy of it on dvd (or bluray).


Last edited by morriscroy; 05-24-20 at 10:59 AM.
Old 05-24-20, 06:44 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

Further to that thought, another great "backup" solution is to upload a copy online (anywhere, whether cloud, file service site, torrent, or any other nefarious and myriad places) because then others will do the work of "backing up" and propagating your movies / files / media. So, if tragedy strikes, you have a good chance of finding your files online and can re-download them again, if the need arises. An offline backup of course also makes sense!
Old 05-26-20, 03:12 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

I'm not sure if we're allowed to discuss the "t-word," but I don't think anyone would recommend it for any kind of reliable backup. Aside from the legal issues, there's no guarantee that people will keep seeding the files. Especially as people move to mobile devices and smaller SSDs.
Old 05-26-20, 03:45 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

My plex HDD just died. I seem to remember most drives being good for only 3 to 5 years on average (you can probably tell by the warranty on the drive). Some small but not insignificant percentage dies within the first year, though. the other thing to take into consideration is that heavy use of the drive (reading and writing) may decrease the life of the drive.
Old 05-26-20, 04:39 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

Google Drive might be a good solution. You can get 2TB of storage for $10/month. That's a lot of video files.

Or you can get a smaller plan for the really important files that can't be replaced. 100GB for $2/mo or 200GB for $3/mo.
Old 05-26-20, 04:40 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I'm not sure if we're allowed to discuss the "t-word," but I don't think anyone would recommend it for any kind of reliable backup. Aside from the legal issues, there's no guarantee that people will keep seeding the files. Especially as people move to mobile devices and smaller SSDs.
... In a pinch, if all else fails! And, your own offline backup somehow isn't there or you don't have the files you need.

All I know is that the "online" method has worked for me, saved my files from oblivion. Files that I "made available" 20 years ago can still be downloaded, etc.

Another legal option is to upload files to the Internet Archive.
Old 05-26-20, 04:42 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I'm not sure if we're allowed to discuss the "t-word," but I don't think anyone would recommend it for any kind of reliable backup. Aside from the legal issues, there's no guarantee that people will keep seeding the files. Especially as people move to mobile devices and smaller SSDs.
... In a pinch, if all else fails! And, your own offline backup somehow isn't there or you don't have the files you need.

All I know is that the "online" method has worked for me, saved my files from oblivion. Files that I "made available" 20 years ago can still be downloaded, etc.

Some usenet servers store files for 10 years!

Another legal option is to upload files to the Internet Archive.
Old 05-26-20, 05:14 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
Google Drive might be a good solution. You can get 2TB of storage for $10/month. That's a lot of video files.

Or you can get a smaller plan for the really important files that can't be replaced. 100GB for $2/mo or 200GB for $3/mo.
I thought these services checked for mkv files or whatnot? Or do they not care at this point?
Old 05-26-20, 06:44 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

You can add chapter markers to MKV files with MkvToolnix. You can add chapter markers to MP4 files with Subler.

RAID (including mirroring) will protect you against drive failure, but it will not protect you against accidental data deletion. Accidentally deleted or overwrote a file? RAID will not help. RAID is not backup.

You should make a regular backup copy of your drive or RAID array. And ideally, you should have another copy of the backup that you keep offsite (in a bank vault or a relative’s house) in case a fire burns down your house. Rotate the on-site backup with the offsite copy every couple of months. Alternatively, a full cloud backup service (like Backblaze, iDrive, or Carbonite) can take the place of an offsite copy.
Old 05-27-20, 12:38 PM
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Re: Question about storing video on hard drive

I'm pretty much at the point where I actively sort out and avoid too many pieces of information which would required extensive long term storage. Essentially this means avoiding audio, video, very long documents, etc ... as much as possible.

If a document is important enough, I'll print out a few copies where one is in a safety deposit box (in a bank) with another copy in a fire resistant box at home.

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