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Cuban Sees HD Layup With Cheaper Storage

Tech visionary, HDNet founder and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has an eye-opening blog item about the state of PC storage and its impact on high-definition digital media:

I know that the price per GB of an external hard drive is now down under 50c. That price is going to fall further--a lot further as capacities increase. This time next year, we should be talking about 1 TB (that's 1,000 GBs) drives at 25c per GB or less. The increased capacity means not only that I can stick more HDNet movies or TV shows on a drive and sell them to consumers, but it also means that I can increase the quality of the picture substantially.

Most PC storage executives are hedging their comments when it comes to the availability of a terabyte of storage on the desktop. That may be understandable. Consider Maxtor. It noted in its most recent quarterly report with the SEC that it has suffered from pressure on its profit margins "primarily due to the decline of average selling prices, partially offset by the increase in our average capacity shipped."

But Cuban may not be far off.

For example, Maxtor recently began shipping its new DiamondMax 10 internal hard drive (300 GBs) that some retail outlets have marked up to $268. That's not exactly 50 cents per GB, and it's not even in the same ZIP code as 25 cents per GB. But it's closer than it was six months or a year ago.

HDNet, which provides high-definition video content, will be a beneficiary of lower prices and higher capacities, Cuban says:

When we get to TB hard drives for under $250, we will be able to fit 50 movies in HD quality on that drive. More than 1,000 movies in DVD quality on that drive. The keychain drives will be able to hold an entire HD movie and cost under $20.

That will likely hold true if--if--manufacturers can keep up.

Blogger Bruce Umbaugh likes what Cuban has to say about the impact that new storage availability could have on HD, even though folks in some corners of the industry may not:

I doubt anyone behind emerging DVD formats would embrace this kind of cutting-edge technology, but it's great to hear someone in the industry willing to share these ideas.

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