When the DV Project arrived, I installed the software drivers, connected it to my Mac via FireWire, and up it came on my desktop – 160 beautiful megabytes of disk space.
I plugged a camcorder into a Formac Studio DV interface and streamed some video onto the drive right away. Instant gratification. And not a glitch in sight.
There are two 80GB drives inside the box – configured using RAID 0. Data is alternately written to each drive in small packets to maximize throughput.
The data throughput depends on which Mac is used. The three PCI-slot G4 and G3 Macs use earlier implementations of FireWire, restricting you to a maximum of 18-20MBps write speed – unless you install a PCI FireWire card. Apple now uses improved FireWire controller-chips, so all four PCI-slot Macs and the latest PowerBooks can achieve sustained data rates of around 35-40MBps with a DV-Project.
A single stream of DV video needs a data rate of just 4MBps, so you’re not going to have a problem with either newer or older Macs.
When using Media 100, you’re just about OK with a three PCI-slot Mac at 18MBps – but not if you want to use a Digital Voodoo card thatrequires 20-26MBps.
At nearly £1,349, the DV Project isn’t cheap. But you’re buying a very well-designed system that has been optimized for video. You can use DV
Project with any of the desktop video-systems currently available – unlike other FireWire drives that can give problems when you move them between workstations. Every component in this system has been tweaked to achieve the highest levels of performance, and it comes with specially written DVD RAID software for FireWire.
DV Project is for the editor who needs lots of storage, ease-of-use and high performance. If you want a FireWire drive simply to store data, then get any off-the-shelf unit (see pages 81-85).
DV Project is guaranteed to give great results with video and is good for pre-press when working with lots of large images.