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Author: Roupen Mouradian, Chief Technical Officer

The process of getting your final media product in a format you are happy with at the price you are happy with is often unclear. Before you can start making decisions on the services right for you, there are a few terms you should be familiar with. When producing mass quantities of DVDs, there are 2 possible avenues for production. DVD Replication versus DVD Duplication.

What is Replication?

Most typically used, replication is for orders where large quantities of CDs or DVDs must be produced. Replication uses a process of creating a glass master of your final CD or DVD and stamping this content onto discs. The drawback of replication is the initial time and monetary cost in preparing your CDs or DVDs for final production is more. However, because the price of media for replication machines is cheaper (due to the large quantities), this initial cost ceases to play an important factor on orders of more than 1000 pieces. You will find after this number it is actually cheaper to replicate than to duplicate. Data is usually delivered for replication in DLTs or DVDs for Authoring (note these are different from normal DVDs you would find at the store and require a special DVD burner to write to)

What is Duplication

Duplication becomes useful for small quantities of CDs and DVDs. Rather than using a glass master and stamping the new CDs or DVDs, a large array of burners are used. In these media burners, CD-R or DVD-R discs are loaded. Then the information is read off of the master CD or DVD and transferred to each of the burners to create duplicate copies. The data remains exactly the same as the original CD or DVD. After each DVD is verified, it is removed and complete.

When To Choose

Duplication is most often used in small runs. Because replication requires more time and a more complicated process it is not feasible to use in production runs under 1000 pieces.
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