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There is more Digital & Multimedia Evidence (DME) than any other type of evidence today.
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  • As each day passes law enforcement and government agencies struggle with managing more sources of digital evidence and multimedia, like body worn cameras. The massive amounts of data storage required have led many to finally consider secure cloud-based storage solutions, but as some have found out, despite the minimal capital investment cloud storage costs can quickly exceed the LE & IT budgets of even the largest agencies. Let's break this down and talk specifically about digital evidence and archiving.

    How are you archiving all of your digital evidence today? A tiered storage solution? Hybrid cloud solution? LTO tape? Hard drives? Optical discs (i.e. CD-R, DVD+/-R, BD-R)? Lots of questions and options, so lets talk specifically to the last group; those using optical discs.

  • Despite our efforts to educate everyone in the digital evidence chain on the proper way to label and care for CDs, DVDs, and BDs (see CD and DVD Care and Handling: Stop Destroying Your Evidence!), read errors still happen...a lot. Here are two of my favorite tools for repairing and recovering data from disc-based media.

  • If you plan on buying a Blu-ray player in 2011, don't be surprised if the back panel is lacking a component video output. A surprising number of mainstream 2011 Blu-ray players, (such as the Panasonic DMP-BDT210, Samsung BD-D5700, LG BD670, to name a few) are omitting the red, green, and blue video jacks, which means buyers will have to rely on HDMI for high-def Blu-ray video signals.
    It's all about AACS

    We can't blame manufacturers for omitting the component out of new players. For one, it's not a huge loss, as the vast majority of buyers will be using the HDMI output for video. But there's another issue: even the new Blu-ray players that are including component video connections will only output 480i signals, rather than high-def 1080i.

    Full Story

  • The chicken littles have been worried about this since long before the first Blu-ray (or even HD DVD) title was ever released, and the first step towards the analog sunset has officially come. Any new Blu-ray player announced after January 1st 2011 will only output HD via HDMI -- players that started shipping last year can still be sold until the end of this year though.

    Full story:

  • When describing the current fleet of BD burners on the market, one word that certainly doesn't come to mind -- sleek. Pioneer is aiming to change all that, though, with the BDR-XD04. What it lacks in a catchy name it makes up for with a slim and light clamshell design that doesn't make too many sacrifices in the features department. At just under 8.5oz and 0.55 inches thick, it puts most of its competitors to shame. Now, it settles for just a 6x write speed and skips USB 3.0 in favor of the more common (and slower) 2.0, but it is capable of drawing power entirely from your machines peripheral ports. (Though, you'll have the option of hooking up an AC adapter if you wish.) And don't worry about format support -- the BDR-XD04 will handle everything from quad-layer 128GB BD-Rs to old-school CDs with aplomb. The slim new burner will start shipping in the middle of this month for $150.

    Full Story w/PR:

  • Xbox 360 vs. PS3. There's no question that the real battle in the HD home theater space will be decided predominately by these two gaming platforms. With the PS3 launch just a week away, very few movies available in either format and the sticker price of the stand-alone players in either format, it all boils down to this. Microsoft and Sony have known it for a few years now, which is why they've each bet the bank and called in “solids” from all their homies.

    Personally, I think HD-DVD and Xbox 360 have the advantage, even though their HD-DVD drive was just released. While many in the industry gripe about the fact that Microsoft didn't embed the HD-DVD capability in their console, I think it was a wise move. The consoles were out on the market at an affordable price a year ahead of the competition, and the $200 price tag for an HD-DVD player is a steal compared to either format's stand-alone players.

  • One of the tools many of us keep in the toolbox for recovering from CD/DVD was recently updated to support other types of media, to include removable drives and hard disks.  It's also added support for NTFS.  Not familiar with IsoBuster?  Check it out at

  • Samsung Semiconductor Monday introduced a handful of new hard disks and optical drives, including a 3.5-inch desktop PC drive which it bills as the world’s fastest Blu-ray drive on the market.

    Full Story

  • January was quite a month for technology enthusiasts, with MacWorld and CES showcasing tons of cool new gear and promising much more in the coming months. Video is taking center stage in 2007, as manufacturers and service providers dump research and development money into video like never before. While some of the major players are still sticking to their proprietary guns, it's refreshing to see that at least a few are doing the exact opposite.

  • There's finally some content out using the latest and greatest HD standard, but I certainly won't be running to the store to replace my 1080i HDTV anytime soon. If you're a video "geek" like myself or have just been following the evolution of HDTV, you know that the PS3, Blu-ray, and 2nd generation HD-DVD will support 1080p. If you haven't been following this evolution, after reading this (and the CNET article linked below) you'll be able to tell the sales guy at your local electronics store to go annoy someone else while you browse for your next HDTV.

    Picture quality is determined by a multitude of factors and believe it or not resolution isn't necessarily the most important factor when we talk about 720p, 1080i or 1080p capable HDTVs. Sure, it ranks right up there, but contrast ratio, color saturation, and color accuracy do as well. For more detailed information on the HDTV standards and resolution, check out this excellent CNET article from David Katzmaier. The fact of the matter is that difference in picture quality between 1080i and 1080p will not be noticeable to the average viewer.

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