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Hitachi C5K250 and P7K500 CinemaStar Hard Drives Announced


Newest Generation CinemaStar Drives Combine Low Power, Quiet Acoustics and High Reliability; Multiple Form Factors Offer Design Flexibility

Debuting today, the newest members of Hitachi GST’s CinemaStar™ cast of hard drives are ready for their close-up. Hitachi is offering multiple form factors to address a wide variety of needs in the growing consumer electronics market. A 3.5-inch drive with capacities up to 500GB provides industry-best power utilization and performance, while the more compact 2.5-inch drive is well-suited for use in sleek set-top boxes and portable digital video devices. Both drives are based on a Hitachi design crafted especially for the unique demands of recording and playback of audio/video content.

The abundance of digital video has been fueling consumer demand for digital video recorders (DVRs) with more storage capacity and new slim, space-saving designs. The CinemaStar C5K250 and P7K500 are the latest in a long line of Hitachi drives optimized for use in home entertainment applications.

2.5-inch CinemaStar C5K250
The 2.5-inch CinemaStar C5K250 is designed to meet the needs of a growing number of manufacturers who wish to offer video recording and playback features in a small form factor. The drive uses the same SmoothStream™ technology as its larger 3.5-inch CinemaStar “sibling,” but offers reduced size, low power and quiet acoustics, all while providing ample capacity of up to 250GB. The low power capability, combined with the large storage capacity, enables the design of portable and/or battery-powered Personal Media Players (PMP) and ultra-slim, reduced footprint set-top boxes that still offer the same functionality as the much larger units seen in many households today.

As consumer electronics manufacturers push their designs to achieve environmentally friendly, lower power consumption levels, the Hitachi CinemaStar C5K250 ensures that customers can achieve the lower power usage they want and still enjoy the smooth digital video experience they expect. The drive is designed to switch to a 0.55 watt idle power mode if recording or playback pauses for longer periods. The CinemaStar C5K250’s low-power profile also means the drive requires smaller power supplies and less cooling, which may help extend the life of the hard drive, the host product, as well as surrounding devices in a typical entertainment cabinet.

3.5-inch CinemaStar P7K500
The 3.5-inch CinemaStar P7K500 is a family of drives designed to provide high capacity and high performance for full-featured set-top boxes or DVRs with multi-streaming functionality.

The CinemaStar P7K500 family makes it possible for DVR manufacturers to broaden their product offerings to cover the entire spectrum of customer needs – from very high capacity, high performance multi-function systems to more economical units – all using the same leading-edge Hitachi GST CinemaStar family of drives. This flexibility allows consumer electronics developers to select the CinemaStar drive that meets the cost and performance/capacity requirements of their entire product portfolio. The new drives are based on Hitachi’s recently-introduced Deskstar P7K500, which are extremely frugal on power consumption. The new 3.5-inch CinemaStar PATA model for example, uses 34 percent less power than its predecessor.

The CinemaStar P7K500 offers a special feature called AV-Zoning, which allows data recovery procedures to be defined differently for multiple partitions on the same drive. In this way, critical system data can be differentiated from time critical video content, which may not require the same stringent data recovery measures. As a result, AV-Zoning helps ensure a smooth video experience for the user.

With a top capacity of 500GB, the CinemaStar P7K500 can store up to 178 movies, 125,000 four-minute songs and 250 video games.(1)

Hitachi SmoothStream Technology
Because AV systems play and record streams of data, they place very different demands on a hard drive than those found in traditional IT and computing applications. If the stream is interrupted, it may result in missing audio or video information, creating an unacceptable delay. As a result, the CinemaStar C5K250 and P7K500 both feature Hitachi’s patented and innovative SmoothStream technology, which delivers an integrated set of features and functions that enable Hitachi hard disk drives to perform optimally in audio/video (AV) applications.

Hitachi SmoothStream technology enables a host device to control the drive’s error recovery processes. This feature tunes the drive to capture video data streams on a command by command basis, allowing integrators to mix different AV and IT applications on the same platform. Hitachi was the first hard drive vendor to integrate such a capability in its products and the CinemaStar C5K250 drive represents Hitachi’s second generation SmoothStream implementation.

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In addition to SmoothStream, these new video-tuned hard drives bring together a number of consumer electronics-specific features and benefits, including:

  • SMART Command Transport and adaptive error recovery for optimized video streaming and picture quality;
  • AV-Zoning allows manufacturers to configure unique data recovery procedures to help ensure uninterrupted video playback(2);
  • Silent-seek acoustics for bedroom-quiet operation;
  • Advanced power management features enable the drives to run cooler and use less power;
  • Fast spin up times provide efficient reading/writing of data during digital video recording and playback;
  • Choice of either Parallel ATA (PATA) or Serial ATA (SATA) interfaces for design flexibility.

“DVR capacity constraints are becoming more acute with the growth of HDTV, and consumers are feeling a bigger storage crunch with the explosion of digital music and photos,” according to John Rydning, Research Manager for hard disk drives at IDC. “Hitachi’s new CinemaStar disk drives provide a range of form factors and capacities designed for low power and quiet 24×7 operation to address key DVR requirements across a wide variety of personal video recording devices.”

Technical Specifications

CinemaStar C5K250

  • 80/120/160/250 GB
  • 9.5 mm in height
  • 5400 RPM
  • 205 billion bits per square inch maximum areal density
  • 1/1/2/2 glass disk platter (s)
  • 2/2/3/4 TMR recording head(s)
  • 1000 G/1ms non-operating shock
  • 400 G/2ms operating shock
  • 5.5 ms average latency
  • 13 ms average read time
  • 1.7 W performance idle
  • Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s
  • 95/95/102/102 grams in weight
  • 2.4 Bels typical idle acoustics
  • 2.6 Bels typical operational acoustics

CinemaStar P7K500

  • 250 / 320 / 500 GB
  • 189 billion bits per square inch maximum areal density
  • 2 / 1 platters, 4 / 2 recording heads
  • 1138 Mb/s max. media data rate
  • 7200 RPM, 4.17 ms average latency
  • PATA-133 and 3Gb/s SATA
  • 8 MB data buffer
  • 26.1 mm in height (max)
  • 550 in weight (max)
  • 350 G/1 ms non-operating shock
  • 3.6 / 4.8 watt idle power
  • 2.5 / 2.6 Bels typical idle acoustics
  • 0 to 65 degrees C operating temperature (top cover)

(1) One gigabyte (GB) is equal to one billion bytes when referring to hard drive capacity. Accessible capacity may be less. Actual storage capacity may vary depending on compression rates for stored media.
(2) Available exclusively on the CinemaStar P7K500

About Hitachi Global Storage Technologies
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies develops advanced hard disk drives to store and preserve the world’s valued data. Founded by the pioneers of hard drives, Hitachi GST enables users to fully engage in the digital lifestyle by providing high-value, high-capacity storage in formats suitable for the office, in the home or on the road. With vertically-integrated research, design and manufacturing capabilities, Hitachi GST delivers leadership technology and quality to its global customer-base.

With approximately 33,000 employees worldwide, Hitachi GST offers a comprehensive range of hard drive products for desktop computers, high-performance storage systems and servers, notebooks and consumer devices. For more information, please visit the company’s website at

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE:HIT)(TOKYO:6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 384,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2006 (ended March 31, 2007) consolidated revenues totaled 10,247 billion yen ($86.8 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at

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