The difference between duplication and replication

What is the difference between duplication and replication? This is a question we are often asked by clients. And below you can find an explanation of the main difference.

CD & DVD Duplication

Duplication is the same process as burning blank CD-R's or DVD-R's in conventional disc burners found on most computers.

For mass duplication, a duplicating tower or more are used. This tower is similar to your computer tower; however, all the slots are filled with CD and DVD burners. And these towers also work stand alone as there will probably be a controller board fitted that enables the user to access and control all the burners located on the duplicating tower.

Once the discs have the data duplicated onto them, they are ready for printing.

CD Printing

For duplicated discs there are CDs available which are coated in a material that allows the ink to dry and stay on the disc. This material can come in a white colour, or is also available in silver.

For duplicated discs, there are 3 main ways the CD or DVD can be printed. The first is ink-jet CD printing. This method is excellent if the design contains photos, graphics, images or logos as the inkjet CD printing method produces the best results. If the disc has a solid single colour, then the preferred method for printing is to use a thermal CD printing process. Finally if a high volume of CDs require to be printed then screen printing can also be used.

DVD & CD Replication

Replication is the method for when the quantity of discs required is more than 500. This is the professional way of pressing CDs and DVDs. The method involves making a glass-master of the CD or DVD; this is then converted to a metal plated stamper. The stamper is loaded into the machines and then a conventional injection moulding process is used to create the discs from scratch. This means that plastic polycarbonate granules go into the machine on one end and the resulting output are CDs or DVDs discs that are clear plastic. These discs are then coated in metal, applied a layer of lacquer and are effectively then ready for use.

Even though the replicated discs are now ready for normal use, they are usually printed onto before being packaged up and distributed for use.

CD and DVD Printing for replication

For replicated CDs and DVDs, there are 2 methods employed for printing. If the disc design is pre-dominantly a solid single colour, then screen printing is the preferred method, however, if the disc contains images, photos or graphics, then the best way to print this is to use offset CMYK CD printing.

Advantages of Duplication

Duplication is cheaper than replication if the quantity is below 500.
The process is fast, discs can be made ready within minutes or hours.

Advantages of Replication

Professional quality retail ready product
The underside of the disc is silver, as opposed to replicated discs that can have a green or purple underside.
Replication results in a more reliable disc. They will play in most systems as opposed to duplicated discs that can sometimes have problems playing in all players.

More information on CD Duplication and DVD Duplication
More information on CD packaging and DVD packaging
More information on CD & DVD Replication

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