CD DVD Duplication Vs. Replication - What's the Difference?
Daystar Music Group is a CD DVD manufacturing and duplication company in Knoxville TN. Each day, we work with music artists, companies and organizations to help them get the best multimedia product, whether it is music, video, or training materials. When you decide to reproduce a CD or DVD, you essentially have two options: duplication or replication. We get a lot of question on which is better, but the truth is that your situation will determine what's best.
Understanding the differences is important in determining which process is best for your project. A duplicated CD/DVD is not only created using a different process than a replicated CD/DVD, but the actual final product is also different.
There are two ways to make a copy of a CD or DVD. Information can be burned on to a blank CD/DVD-R; this method is called duplication. Information can also added during the CD/DVD manufacturing process; this method is referred to as replication.
Understanding the differences is important in determining which process is best for your project. A duplicated CD/DVD is not only created using a different process than a replicated CD/DVD, but the actual final product is also different. After the duplication process is complete, the final product is a CD-R or a DVD-R. Replication stampers for CDs produce CD-ROMs. (ROM means Read Only Memory). The final product in the DVD replication process is a DVD-5, DVD-9, DVD-10, or DVD-18.
CD DVD Duplication
Duplication is the process of recording or "burning" onto blank CD or blank DVD discs. This process is very similar to burning discs on your computer CD or DVD drive, just on a much larger scale. In Duplication, multi-disc duplicators are used to simultaneously burn several discs at once.
Duplication utilizes high-quality blank media and burn-speeds are set low to ensure the highest quality. Once the discs are burned, the top surface of the discs are printed using inkjet or thermal printers. The CD or DVD is then packaged according to the client's order, which is why turnaround times for Duplication are short, with many jobs being completed within 48 hours.
CD DVD Replication
Replication is a much more involved and complicated process. It requires more time and equipment to replicate a CD or DVD. Most replicated jobs are completed in 7 to 10 business days. Rush service is available many times a year, but does make things a bit more expensive.
Before the replication process gets underway, we check the master for any obvious data corruption. Then, a glass master containing relevant data from client supplied master is created. Replication moves forward only after a perfect master is created. The glass master is used to develop a stamper. The stamper, in turn, is loaded into an injection molding machine that creates CD/DVD replicates. The quality of CD replication hinges upon the quality of the glass masters data. Through each successive step, quality and accuracy is consistently monitored to insure each disc is an exact replica or clone of the original. A layer of micro-thin aluminum is applied to the polycarbonate disc. It is then lacquered and printed before packaging.
Which one should you choose?
So which method is best for your needs: Duplication or Replication? It's a question of quality, quantity, and time.
Although Replication ensures the highest quality, it is rather impractical to place a low quantity Replication order. Reserve Replication for 1000 or more. For high-quantity orders, going with Replication will give you the best value.
If you need anything less than 500 discs, Duplication will be a more ideal option for you. It is the best value for the quantity and turnarounds are faster. Projects that require between 500 and 1000 pieces manufactured can be replicated or duplicated. However, cost efficiency for replication starts at 1000 units of your CD or DVD.
Advantages for Duplication and Replication
- Fast turnaround. Many orders are available for pickup within 48 hours.
- Small quantities can be ordered each week, allowing you to budget weekly or for specific events.
- Reliable. Duplicated CDs and DVDs are reliable and look good.
- Master can be changed without pre-press charges.
- The unit costs are lower than duplicated discs.
- Both offset printing and screen printing is available for replicated discs.
- Replicated DVDs can contain 1 layer (DVD-5) of information, 2 layers on one side (DVD-9), 1 layer on each side (DVD-10) or 2 layers on each side (DVD-18). Many replication facilities are not yet set up for DVD-18 replication.
- Most replication facilities, as a result of their high volume run capability, can auto assemble discs into jewel cases, paper/tyvek sleeves, amaray cases, or cardboard sleeves.
- Higher compatibility with more playback machines.
Are There Noticeable Differences?
Yes. Duplicates and replicates work the same way. But they do look a little different. However, most consumers do not notice the difference between the two.
*This information compiled from multiple resources.