WD Purple instead of WD Green Power AV for use in a digital video recorder?

This question has already been asked before (e.g. here and elsewhere), but has not really been answered yet.

So, what is the main difference between a WD Green Power AV drive and a WD Purple drive?
I know: it is SilkStream vs. AllFrame; but what is it in actual fact and what does it translate into (in real life)?

Form the specifications of both drives, the only notable difference is the higher error rate of the WD Green Power AV drive in comparison with the WD Purple drive; so it seems to me that a WD Puple drive could exhibit some hiccups when encountering reading errors (trying hard to re-read them, like a normal desktop drive), whereas a WD Green Power AV drive would simply pass over them (ignoring the error in favour of continuing the data transfer without interrupting it or slowing down its rate significantly).

Is my supposition correct?

Or why are WD Purple drive “not recommended” for use in a digital video recorder? Is it because of the above-mentioned hypothesis of mine, or is there something else as well?

By the way, my satellite receiver set-top box keeps writing constantly to its hard drive when the set-top box is switched on (for rewinding the programme that is being watched) and the drive always spins even when the set-top box is switched off.

I know that the WD Purple is optimized for constant (and possibly faultless) writing, whereas the WD Green Power AV may possibly be optimized for simultaneous reading and writing (both possibly faulty).

I am going to replace the 250 GB Seagate Pipeline HD (ST3250312CS) in the set-top box with a 1 TB Western Digital Purple (WD10PURX) because I can get one at a very good price.

The Seagate Pipeline HD 250 GB hard drive has worked very well for almost 6 years so far, but now I am getting unbearably sick of deleting older porn recordings to make room for newer porn recordings. (It is so saddening and disgusting having to pick a victim all the time!)

Thus, there will be at most 2 writing streams and 1 reading stream (up to 11 Mbit/s each).

Do you think that a WD Purple drive could handle it? Perhaps WD Green Power AV drives are designed to handle multiple reading streams (such as for media extenders, etc.), but this will not be a requirement in my case.

Do you think that a WD Purple drive could work in this scenario in a satisfactory way?
(Other users have been satisfied with WD Purple drives in digital video recoders and with WD Purple drives in general, noting their reliability in this particular scenario.)

Hi there :slight_smile:

The WD Purple drive is designed to work in DVRs and should work perfectly fine in your system. It has features that enable it to record video without interruption and thus not losing a single frame from the recording due to other processes. It has optimized sequential speeds and gives priority to the writing processes over the others. It’s also designed and optimized for video streaming so you shouldn’t have issues with that either as well as that they suppor some additional ATA commands that are specific for Audio/Video/DVR systems.

The WD AV drives can also do the job and are meant more for streaming rather than recording. As older models they don’t have all the features that WD Purple drives have and are more targeted towards extremely cool and quiet media streaming and power saving whereas the WD Purple drives should be able to sustain more demanding workloads when it comes to recording videos.

In your case both drives should work just fine so it’s up to you to decide which one you’d go with.

Let me know if you have additional questions!


1 Like

No, thank you; this answers my question thoroughly and exhaustively.
I asked it also because there was not such a definite answer and people were just wondering and guessing endlessly.
Now everyone can come here or be pointed to this thread for a clear, concise and definitive explanation.

You are most welcome! :slight_smile: Thank you for the good words.

Feel free to ask if there are any other questions or anything that I can help you with!


Can a Purple drive maintain a smooth playback of 1 stream while recording 1 or 2 streams. Thinking about replacing an AV-GP WD10EURX drive with a WD30PURZ.

This is for a TIVO PVR/DVR