• Pablo Peña

The best ways to store and share 4K Video


Finding the best solution to handle 4K video file storage and sharing can be a challenge

The quality of high-resolution video such as 4K is quite impressive. Today there are many mobile phones available that can record video at 4K resolution.


If you record personal or professional video at that quality you will soon encounter one big problem. The 4K video files use enormous amounts of storage space. You cannot just record and forget about it because soon you will run out of disk space. Unless you want to delete all those previous videos you must transfer the new video files to your computer, you must make room for new material.


Professional video makers and avid home users have several good options to store those many hours of video.


Let’s have a brief look:


The cheapest would be to use any available hard drive from a PC.


Pros

  • The cost would be the main advantage of this form of storage. It is really cheap. You can find large hard disc drives for a low price.

Cons

  • The main problem with this option is that a hard drive is not the safest method to store your video files. A hard drive has moving parts. It is vulnerable to shocks, water, dust and tear.

  • Another disadvantage is that it is not portable. You cannot just take it with you everywhere to store you files as you film.

  • Another minus is that it can be very noisy. This is caused by the disc inside the enclosure that is constantly spinning and the moving arm. So, if you need a very quiet environment you will need something else.

Traditional hard disk drives are cheap but they are not the best way to store and share 4K video files

The speed of data transfer can be very slow. This will hamper video editing, especially with 4k, which requires high-speed read and write capabilities.

Because a hard drive is fragile, as mentioned above, if a problem occurs to the disk you could end up losing all your data.



Another alternative for video files storage can be a solid-state drive or SSD.

Pros

  • An SSD has a faster data transfer rate. Good for editing 4k video without using proxies.

  • It is very silent. It has no moving parts.

  • It is very resistant to shock. There are commercial models available that are also water resistant.

  • It is very portable. You can take it with you anywhere.

Cons

  • These units can be expensive. They are more expensive that a traditional PC hard disk drive.

  • If you produce a lot of 4K video the SSD units get full and you will need new ones. You have to be very organized to keep track of what is stored in each SSD.

  • If you lose the SSD or it gets stolen you lose all your footage.

I have seen that many pros use the Lacie Rugged SSD portable unit. The manufacturer specifies this model can store 2 Terabytes of video files and that it has transfer speed of 950 Megabytes per second. They state that this model is extremely water resistant (it has the international protection code IP67 rating for water resistance). They also say it can survive a 3-meter fall. It comes with encryption. The Lacie Rugged can perform a 60 GB video content transfer in 1 minute with read/write speed of 950MB/second. You can edit 4K video in RAW format directly from the SSD.

So that might be a model to consider. The 2-terabyte model is available for 499.00 Swiss francs from Manor.

A third option favored by many professional video producers is to have your own private Network Attached Storage (NAS) server. This is a server that is connected to your professional or home network. They are very easy to setup and use. Let’s see some NAS server for video storage benefits.

Pros

  • You can connect to the server from any PC or mobile device anywhere in the world with a username and password.

  • You can create different users and give them access to the server

  • You can share files with your clients and colleagues.

  • The NAS server is constantly making a backup of all of your files.

  • The NAS server has at least 2 discs. You can add more discs to the server as your storage space needs increase.

  • You can also have more than one NAS server.

Cons

  • The initial upfront cost. The price used to be high but it has fallen sharply in recent years. Clink on the link below to see a price list.

You can buy them from many stores in Switzerland. Interdiscount has several models with prices starting at 109.00 Swiss Francs. Here is a list of their NAS products


If you decide that a NAS server is the best option for you then you have to find out how much space you will need. With 2 Terabytes, you can store approximately 70 hours of 4K video files.


There is another option that will not be covered in detail here. This would be to store your files on an online service such as Dropbox or Google drive. These services allow you to create a free account that includes some small space. You have to choose a plan according to how much space you need. A plan with 2 Terabytes is around 200 dollars per year.

And there is yet another possibility that is worth mentioning. Some products allow you to combine the use of your own storage device with a cloud storage service

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