I have been importing video at a dizzying rate at home. My Mac Pro has 2.5TB of local storage and one of my 1TB drives is approaching capacity. This overloaded by 1TB time machine disk I have tucked away in the living room inside my Time Capsule / Airport Base Station. This is not surprising since that time machine disk backs up all of the other macs in the house: 3 iMacs and a laptop. The time has come for another investment. I found a cheap 2TB 5400 rpm drive that simply hooks up via USB and directly connected that to my desktop and tucked it away behind my monitor. I’ll use that for the Mac Pro backup and leave the Time Capsule to back up all of the other machines. Space issues should be solved for now. If I actually fill up the second 1TB drive in my desktop, then the 2TB will need tob e replaced. However, I’m more than 70% done transferring DV/HDV footage from tape to my machine so I think the first 1TB drive will be enough for what I have now and probably what I’ll need for 2011 new footage.
One note on my HDV footage. The HDV camcorder I have shoots 1080i video, the “i” being interlaced video. Interlaced video doesn’t look so good on a computer screen and 1 hour of this video chews up 45GB of space! Having all of this raw data would be a good source to create lower-resolution videos like 720p, 540p, 480p, but the massive space requirement did not seem worth it. On my current budget, I just didn’t want to spend hundreds more dollars on 4-8TB of space to accommodate all of the footage I have and backing it up. So, I import the video as non-interlaced 540p, which is H.264 encoded and still looks great.
If I’m ever creating a video and having this mildly degraded source causes the resulting work to be sub-optimal, I can consider re-importing the original footage at full native resolution. However, seems like in most cases I’m OKwith the quality of final projects based on the 540p clips.