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Is Duplication Lower Quality Than Replication?

Is DVD replication better than DVD duplication?

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Why should you care whether you are getting replication or duplication on your next CD or DVD? There are pros and cons in these two methods, not to mention the difference in cost and turn times. Stay tuned and find out.

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This is probably the no. 1 most frequently asked question that we get. Many people think that they are the same and use these 2 words interchangeably. Some people say one but actually mean the other. It creates a lot of confusion because each method has its pros and cons. If you are trying to get a price and time estimate even at the same quantity you might get wildly different answers.

DVD Duplication
DVD duplication (a.k.a burned DVD) is the process to create the content using DVD-R media. In other words, a duplicator is used to create or “burn” the source image to another pre-manufactured DVD-R.

DVD Replication
DVD replication (a.k.a pressed DVD) creates a glass master from a pre-mastered image. Stampers are subsequently created from glass master. The stampers will then be used to press the discs with injection molding made of raw polycarbonate plastic.

What’s the big deal?
Now you might be asking, “So what’s the big deal? So they are different process”. A big deal if you ask me. Replication is the de facto process for higher quantity manufacturing, say 1000 pieces and up. With replication, there is usually a setup cost because stampers and films that need to be made. A longer production time is also expected, most stampers need the entire day to make. We get a lot of wows when clients hear about how long it takes to replicate discs, the truth is, it is a much more complicated process that requires careful quality control and monitoring. The more you make, the cheaper it is with replication.
Lower quantities (we call it short-runs) are mostly done with duplication. With this method the setup is much quicker, since all we will be using is a duplication tower. It is also more economical because of little to none setup cost. That is why companies are able to have a very low minimum (such as 10 or 50) with duplication. You will get your products much quicker, usually within a few days time, but you do pay a higher рer unit price for each disc.

Is duplication lower quality than replication?
The short answer is no. The quality of the products is only as good as the original master. What most people are concerned with is the compatibility of discs with DVD players. It is not the same as quality. Nowadays about 90-95% of players are compatible with CD-R/DVD-R, with the exception of Playstation and X-Box. Just remember, the key is to thoroughly test the original master, otherwise problems will still arise no matter which method you use.


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