It's one thing when the most taxing task your DVR will ever face is the furious fast-forwarding necessary to get the next scene in your favorite recorded drama, but if you've got over 100 hours of HD VOD to churn through while recording tonight's game and sifting through next week's programming list, having a more intelligent hard drive just might help out. In an effort to reduce DVR hard drive fragmentation, lengthen the life of set-top boxes, improve the quality of service / speed to the end user, and give your average DVR the ability to "manage up to 14 HDTV (19.3Mbps) streams from a single 3.5-inch HDD," Hitachi has developed AVSM technology to help your DVR's HDD think things through before going through the motions. The background software differentiates between "streaming applications and best-effort, non-real-time applications" such as electronic program guides, IPTV downloads, and photo browsing in order to manage the line of tasks more efficiently. Overall, the software reportedly reduces duty cycles "by up to 60 percent" and all but eliminates disc fragmentation, but realistically, with new units popping up entirely more frequently than your average hard drive takes to perish, hooking DVRs up with all these smarts might be a bit unnecessary for those who stay on the bleeding edge.

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Hitachi develops AVSM software to make DVR hard drives "smarter"