External Drive Recommendations

I am shopping for an external hard drive for Channels DVR. Should I get one with:

~ 5400 or 7200 rpm?
~ AC or USB powered?

Any thoughts? This will be plugged into a 2018 Mac Mini.


Definitely AC powered not USB.

Same as above, definitely externally powered. Bus-powered drives are the root of too many issues.

Speed does not really matter much. 7200RPM drives just use more energy, and generate more noise, and 5400RPM drives are more than sufficient.

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Thanks everyone! Pretty much what I thought.

The drive speed isn't going to make a huge difference and I believe the slower ones have longer life in a use case like this.

You definitely one a full size drive, not the portable ones, and AC powered.

I've bought several of the Western Digital EasyStore drives that Best Buy sells and they frequently have them on sale... now with Black Friday coming you will see them marked down more over the next few weeks. I have one that I use as a backup for my NAS and two that I use for Channels. All are 10-12TB and were under $200. I use a Mac Mini for Channels too.

A little late but I am using a different solution. I use a 1TB Samsung SSD in an external case with a 2013 Mac Mini for the DVR server. The SSD is a bit expensive but it does not require external power. I have used this configuration for over a year now without issue.

I guess it depends on how much recording you are doing. I'm going through that much space pretty quickly.

My family records several shows a day on average but they generally get watched within a week by whoever recorded them and are deleted. So the 1TB drive hasn't been a big issue (except for the time my son had multiple full seasons of some show he only watches - I think it was Ghost Adventures). Things that are going to be archived get moved off to network drives. I use the Infuse Pro 6 to catalog and watch my permanent movie and television series collection. The Channels application has made great strides over the last year with their Library functionality but it doesn't have some of the features of a dedicated video player like Infuse.