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Like everything else in the computer hardware world, everything is getting cheaper and more powerful, opening up huge new options for consumers.
Digital storage advances are helping the long-awaited convergence of computer and TV to occur. Microsoft's new Vista operating system reportedly integrates DVR technology, allowing anyone to use their PC as a Tivo-like recording device.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is already in a pitched battle over the expected replacement for the DVD-ROM. There are two competing standards -- HD-DVD and Blu-Ray -- jockeying for position. And the expected replacement technology for those two is called the HVD, which would hold up to 1TB of data on a single disk.
The Terabyte -- 1,000 GB -- has also become the newest high-end hard drive capacity on personal computers. Just to put this into perspective, you could fit 200-plus standard DVDs into a 1TB disk.
Bottom line: Storage capacity is continuing to increase while it becomes less expensive, leading to new possibilities for average users. Even better, this high-capacity, low-price cycle is expected to continue for a while.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|