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Gigabytes & Terabytes (and even Petabytes)

Gigabytes is a term that we have all become familiar with, as the Hard Disc Drives (HDDs) in most Personal Computers (PCs) are now typically sized in the Gigabyte range.

A reasonably modern PC is likely to be supplied with a 250 or 500GB hard drive. A disc of such capacity is likely to be more than adequate for most standard PC usage.

Back in the days when Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) were a new technology the first units were typically supplied with a 40GB hard disc, that being the largest single drive capacity available at the time.

As with all things technological HDD sizes have developed greatly, and it is now quite simple to purchase a single HDD with a capacity of 1.5 Terabytes!

What’s a Terabyte? One Terabyte is equivalent to one thousand Gigabytes.

Therefore 1.5 TB = 1,500GB!

That’s a heck of a lot of storage capacity on a single drive.

Why do we need all of this capacity for IP CCTV recording solutions? If you are familiar with taking and manipulating digital still photographs you’ll be aware that a single high quality image file may be 1MB (MegaByte) in size. Bear in mind that with a network camera CCTV solution we will effectively be capturing many such images every second, from every camera, and you’ll begin to understand that we can very soon accumulate GigaBytes of storage.

The amount of storage available directly dictates how much video we can store. We can regulate this by either adjusting the file size of the images (using some form of video compression) or by adjusting the number of images per secnd that we capture (the frame rate or fps – frames per second).

The really big IP CCTV camera solutions (see our IP CCTV Facts page) are now using PetaBytes of storage.

  • 1 GigaByte = 1,000 MegaBytes (106)
  • 1 TeraByte = 1,000 GigaBytes (109)
  • 1 PetaByte (1015) = 1,000 TeraBytes (1012)
  • 1PB = 1,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes – that’s a lot of image storage!!!!

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One Response to “Gigabytes & Terabytes (and even Petabytes)”

  1. How many MegaBytes in a GigaByte? Says:

    […] covered this topic of MegaBytes, GigaBytes, TeraBytes and PetaBytes before, but we realise that it still confuses people, so we just thought it might be worthwhile mentioning […]

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