What’s the difference between replication and duplication?

Replicated discs (pressed discs) are created by physically pressing your data into the surface of the disc, whereas duplicated discs (burned discs) encode your data onto the disc by burning microscopic holes into the dye layer of a recordable CD or DVD. Replicated discs are the standard for major commercial releases; however, duplicated discs have lots of advantages, too.

Should I get done replication or duplication?

It depends on your application. Replication is most cost effective on orders of over 500 discs, and offers more packaging options. Duplication is most cost effective on orders of fewer than 500 discs and can be significantly faster than replication in terms of turn around times. To help make your choice, call your Product Specialist at (818) 727-0200.

What Form of DVD Master should i Submitt?

DVD-5 titles: DVD-R disc or DLT. DVD-R is most common.

  • DVD-5 titles: DVD-R disc or DLT. DVD-R is most common.
  • DVD-9 titles: DL-DVD-R disc or DLT. DLT is a safer format, and it will allow you better control of where to set the layer break
  • With copy protection: DLT or data disc with DDP 2.0

Is the Disc Master check before replication?

Quality control is an important step of CD duplication, CD replication, DVD duplication and DVD replication process. Playability and Visual Inspection When we first receive a customer’s master, it is checked for playability on a DVD player, computer and stereo. We look for errors in menu navigation, skipping, freezes in video, extreme audio levels. We can’t guarantee that we will be able to catch an error but we do try. The disc is inspected for physical damage such as scratches and dust. Customers are notified of any potential problems before we start actual production.

what is DVD 5?

DVD 5 is the most common DVD format for Replication. It’s a single layer disc that holds 4.7 GB of content. Do not confuse it with DVD-R, which is a blank media format use for duplication only.

What is DVD 9?

DVD 9 is a double layer disc that holds 8.5 GB of content. The only way to create a DVD-9 format disc is mass quantity replication by creating glass masters for both layers. A DLT or Double layer DVD-R can be used as masters. Do confuse DVD-9 with DL DVD, DL DVD is a blank Media format used for duplication only.

What is DVD 10?

DVD 10 is a Double sided Disc with a single layer of content on each side. Just picture 2 DVD-5 glued against each other, t will hold 94 GB of content. The only way to create a DVD-10 format disc is by Replication. A DLT tape is required to produce the glass master.

Will my song titles appear when I put my CD into a computer?

When album information is displayed on a computer, it’s a result of your CD being registered in an online database (also known as CDDB). A similar but different technology is that of CD-TEXT, which shows album information that is actually encoded on your supplied master disc. CD-TEXT will only display on players that support it. The most common CD-TEXT capable players available today are aftermarket car stereos. If you don’t know whether or not your master has been encoded with CD-TEXT, let us know and we’ll be happy to check for you. We can accommodate your needs, simply ask your Product Specialist for more information.

How can I get a resale certificate?

If you take delivery of your order in NJ, NY, CA, IL, GA, VA, or WA, and don’t have a resale certificate, you’ll need to pay sales tax. Resale certificates are issued by the state to registered businesses that resell their merchandise to distributors and retailers. A resale certificate exempts you from paying taxes on the manufactured product because those taxes will be passed on to the consumer when you collect sales tax. For more information visit http://dor.wa.gov/content/forms/. Note: Unless you run a full-time business that sells to distributors and retailers, a resale certificate is often difficult to obtain.

How are the various print methods different?

In the CD and DVD industry, the term label refers to the printed image on a CD or DVD. There are basically four ways to print a label. 

Silkscreen printing is generally regarded as the highest quality method of label printing. Replicated discs are printed using the silkscreen method.

Offset printing is also another method used in conjunction with Replication. This too is a high quality method used to print on the disc face.

Thermal printing is a durable, professional, direct on disc printed label. It’s an excellent choice for text and line art on white discs. Photo Quality images, without the need for paper labels. Thermal printing also requires no dry time, and thermally printed images will not smear or peel off. This is the best option for short run duplications.

Inkjet printing is a great way to get high resolution and great color without investing a lot in equipment. This method of printing requires the use of inkjet-compatible blank media. Because ink is being applied to a less absorbent surface than paper, inkjet-printed discs require time to dry, and can smear if exposed to excessive moisture. 

Paper Labels are not popular today as they were before. Negatives are possible CD or DVD Player damage due to peeling paper label. Ink smear is also possible with the paper label as is with the ink jet printed disc. Now we offer better quality printing for practically the same price, printing directly on disc. See thermal Printing

NTSC or PAL what’s the difference?

There are two main types of video standard used throughout the world. They are NTSC and PAL. Why are there two different standards? Geography and the nature of technological innovation meant that two standards were invented and neither was adopted universally The National Television Standards Council (NTSC) format was invented in America in 1953. PAL (Phase Alternating Line) was invented in Germany in 1963. What’s the difference? There are some differences in the way that the two standards deal with color, but for DVD, the main difference is frame rate and resolution. In NTSC, 29.97 frames are transmitted each second. Each frame is made up of 525 horizontal scan lines, (Active picture is 720 x 480 pixels) In PAL, 25 frames are transmitted each second. Each frame is made up of 625 individual scan lines (Active picture is 720 x 576 pixels) Who uses what? North, Central and South America, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan the Philippines and Burma use NTSC. The rest of the world use PAL When do I need to convert? If you have PAL content that needs to be played on an NTSC DVD player We come across this frequently when clients need to play their PAL video (made in the UK or Europe) to viewers or clients in America (an NTSC country) When you have PAL and NTSC content and want to put it on one DVD When you make a DVD it has to be either PAL or NTSC, you cannot have PAL and NTSC video on the same DVD. If some of your content is PAL and some is NTSC you will need to standards convert some of your video, so that it is all the same standard. When don’t I need to convert? When playing NTSC on a PAL Player Many PAL players, especially newer players, will play back NTSC content. When your DVD, is intended to be played on a media player in a computer Media players on computers such at Windows media player and QuickTime do not worry about PAL or NTSC and will play back either format.

How can I convert my footage from PAL to NTSC ?

Changing a piece of footage from one standard to another is called a standards conversion. When you standards convert between PAL and NTSC you are changing the speed (frame rate) that the film is transmitted, the way the picture is stitched together by the screen (scan lines) as well as the picture size (active picture). During this process many things can go wrong resulting in the picture not displaying properly. Contact us for more information regarding PAL and NTSC media.

What are the acceptable forms of DVD master for replication?

DVD-5 titles: DVD-R disc or DLT. DVD-R is most common. DVD-9 titles: DL-DVD-R disc or DLT. DLT is a safer format, and it will allow you better control of where to set the layer break. With copy protection: DLT or data disc with DDP 2.0 CD-R and CD-RW are the most common formats Quality control is an important step of CD duplication, CD replication, DVD duplication and DVD replication process. Playability and Visual Inspection
When we first receive a customer’s master, it is checked for playability on a computer and or stereo. We look for errors in menu navigation, skipping, freeze in video, extreme audio levels. The disc is inspected for physical damage such as scratches and dust. Customers are notified of any potential problems before we start actual production. Data Verification
The next step we use specialized testing machines to verify data on the disc to ensure all the information on the disc is readable and is compatible to CD or DVD standard.

Intellectual property rights and licensing ?

For every order we ask the client to fill out an Intellectual Property Rights form, which basically states that the customer owns the rights to reproduce all the materials on the CD or DVD. The materials include music, video clips and software. Every customer is required to fill out this form for every job that we produce, without it the job will be on hold.
Sampling and other third party materials If your content contains materials that you do not own, you need to obtain the appropriate license for legally be using it. If you are recording a cover of someone else’s song, then you are required to obtain the Mechanical license in order to legally reproduce it. If your content contains an existing recording, you need to purchase a Master Use Licensing from the record label or the rights owner. Companies such as the Harry Fox Agency makes obtaining licenses easy. If your content contains third-party software such as QuickTime, Window Media Player, check their website for special licensing agreement for distribution. Even though they are free software for download, a distribution license maybe required to put it on a disc. Do I need a license if the products are not for sale? Yes you need permission to use licensed materials even if it’s not for sale.

What is UPC barcode ?

What is a UPC barcode? UPC barcode is a unique ID number assigned to a product for tracking retail sales and inventory
Do I need it? UPC barcode is not mandatory unless it is required by a distributor, retail store, or if you intend to track retail sales yourselves
Where do I get it? Does it cost money? Generally UPC barcode can be obtained from a replicator with a small fee. If you prefer to get your own barcode you may do so. How do I start tracking sales? A barcode needs to be registered with soundscan or videoscan so you can start tracking retail sales. Reports can be obtained from soundscan or videoscan for a fee

What is the turnaround time for Replication?

7-12 business days after the receipt of master, paperwork and approval of PDF proofs. Turnaround time vary depending on quantity and packaging.
What is the turnaround time for Duplication?
3-7 Business days after the receipt of master, paperwork and approval of PDF Proofs. Turnaround times vary depending on quantity and packaging.

What is the minimum order for CD/DVD replication?

There is a minimum of 500 pieces for all replication orders, depending on the packaging.

What is overrun?

In order to maintain the highest quality possible on each project, each disc goes through quality control when it is produced. The ones that do not pass the tests will need to be replaced. Therefore, up to 10% more discs are manufactured in the beginning to ensure that all failed discs can be replaced.

What is a check disc?

A replicated check disc is pressed from the stamper that is based on the supplied master. It will be identical to the mass order that will be produced from the same stamper. So what is the difference between a replicator and an author’s check disc? 

Most DVD authors will burn a DVD-R to show clients an example of the work before submitting to the replicator. Menu buttons, navigation and so on can be verified. 

On DVD-9 or titles that require copy protection, the master copy will be on DLT (Digital Linear Tape). In this case the authorer will most likely shrink the content onto a single DVD-R or a DVD DL. This check disc will not be a true representation of what the clients will receive from the replicator. Therefore, a check disc from the replicator is highly recommended for DVD-9 and titles with copy protection. 

Creating a check disc takes time however. After a stamper is made a few discs are pressed and mailed to customers for approval. The stamper is usually taken out of production and additional setup time is required to finish the job when the check disc is approved.

How should I prepare my image?

Use the following guidelines when preparing images: Use our templates as much as possible Common design software include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign Acceptable file formats include psd, tiff, pdf, ai, indd, eps. Avoid jpg, gif, bmp Master images should be minimum of 300 dpi and in CMYK Include font files for illustrator, InDesign, or Photoshop artwork

How should I get my artwork to you?

Artwork can be sent in a few different ways:

  • Uploaded via our website for files up to 2 GB
  • Emailed to Sales@speedlightduplication.com for files less than 20 MB
  • Mailed on a CD

Available artwork proof options for CD/DVD
The artwork for your CD/DVD project, like headlines in a newspaper, is the first thing that attracts customers to buy. In order to make sure the image and color is everything that you want it to be, the following types of proofs are available in the printing process:

  1. Soft proof / PDF proof This is the one that is viewable on the screen in the form of PDF. The purpose is to confirm layout, i.e., type, copy, position and image. Images generally will appear pixelated because they have been scaled down for email. This type of proof is standard and generally provided free of charge. Due to the different setup of each person’s monitor screen, PDF proof cannot be used for proofing color.
  2. Digital proof / Kodak proof Digital proof is a step up from PDF proof. An actual print is made from a print machine that is calibrated like the press. It’s a good approximation of what the final printed piece will look like. It is also much less expensive than a press proof because the lack of setup required.
  3. Press proof / Contract proof The press proof is an actual printed piece from the printing press with plates and inks specified for the job. A press proof is the ultimate check for image and color values. It involves setting up the job and running a proof on the actual stock to be used. It has the highest cost of all, but it is the most accurate form. For CD/DVD disc, this is the only form of printed proof available. You may be asking now, there are replication companies that offer free printed proofs, why should you pay for any of these proofs mentioned here? These so-called ‘printed proofs’ that are advertised are actually nothing but print outs from a color laser/inkjet machine, without any calibration. It can be used to verify layout and position, but should not be used to proof color.

Can I still design my own artwork if I don’t have Adobe design software?

Common design software that are used today include Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign therefore our CD DVD graphic templates are designed to work with them. However if you do not own these softwares, you could still create your own design. Many media software such as Nero, Memorex, Neato, Avery come with a label/cover design program with preloaded templates and will let you create simple CD DVD label and package without much technical knowledge on graphic design. When you are finished, the key is to export the final files to a -proprietary format such as jpg, PDF or tiff so we can place it on our CD DVD design templates

What does 4/0, 4/1, and 4/4 mean on your printed material pages?

4/0 means printing 4-color process on 1 side and white on the other side. 
4/1 means printing 4-color process on 1 side and black/white on the other side. 
4/4 means printing 4-color on both sides

Artwork proof approval checklist

Proofing for artwork proof is an important step in the CD/DVD replication process. It gives you one last chance to see the artwork before it goes off to be printed thousands of times. Here is a checklist that might help you organize what needs to be verified:
Viewing the PDF proof: make sure the PDF proof is viewed on a large enough screen. A mobile phone screen is too small and you may not see all the details.
Crop marks / Trim/Bleed: Important images and text should be at least 1/8″ inside the trim. Artwork should extend at least 1/8″ beyond the trim for bleed.
Dimension: As an example, mini disc and regular disc may appear the same size on the PDF proof. Print and cut out the proof to ensure the right size.
Font type/Copy: Check if fonts have changed on the proof, and there are no typos.
Images/Layout: make sure the right images have been used and they have not shifted in the proof.
Special effects: look for any drop shadow and transparency effects, make sure they show up correctly.
Spot colors: if any spot colors is used, it should be noted on the proof.
PDF artifacts: sometimes you might notice that the vertical strokes of certain letters such as ‘L’, ‘H’, ‘I’ might look thicker than the other letters. Usually this is a problem on the acrobat reader, and the way to verify it is the print the PDF proof out, it should be a concern if the problem does not show up on the actual print out.
Inside spine of Digipaks: note that the inside spine of a digipak will be white, since it is the unprinted side of the paper. There is an option to print a solid color or CMYK colors at an extra cost.
Tray position (digipak only): Whether the job requires a single tray, or double tray, twin tray please double check it is the correct tray and the position of the tray is correct.
Page order (booklets only): Verify pages of booklets are in the right order. If you have many pages, the best way is to print the pages out and put together a mock-up so you have a good idea how the booklet flows.
Hard copy proof vs. PDF proof: It is important to know that PDF proofs are not color accurate; there are digital and press proofs available for additional proof options.
These are our suggested minimum steps to verify we have received all the graphic elements correctly for print; if there are special requirements for your specific project, please check for that as well. Remember, when you sign off on a proof, you indicate that everything on the proof is correct. If a problem is discovered afterwards it is likely that you will incur additional costs to fix it.

Any Questions?

Call 1-818-727-0200 and one of our amazing sales rep will help you!

Speedlight is an advanced CD & DVD manufacturing company dedicated to efficiency and high quality standards. We offer CD Duplication, DVD Duplication, Blu-Ray Duplication, CD Replication, DVD Replication, Blu-Ray Replication, CD/DVD Printing, and much more. Recording studios, independent producers, advertising agencies, magazine publishers, religious organizations, film networks, and record labels find the quality and service from Speedlight, Inc. an essential asset for their media projects. Feel free to give us a call at 1-818-727-0200 or just Request a Quote online


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