Duplication, Replication and Publishing
What alternatives are available to duplicate DVDs?
There are several different methods available to make one or multiple
copies of existing DVDs ranging from single DVD recorders to specialized
devices that automatically duplicate and label discs and, for large runs,
commercial mass replication. Options are distinguished by cost, speed,
convenience and capability. Some of the many applications include reproducing
previously created DVD home movies, circulating in-house corporate software,
updates and training videos, making backup copies for off-site storage
and even commercially distributing software, audio and DVD-Video titles.
As previously stated in this white paper, it is essential to always investigate
and obey COPYRIGHT LAWS whenever dealing with content of any type and
be aware that products that bypass content protection systems are not
permitted in most jurisdictions. Also keep in mind that one is not necessarily
authorized to copy a disc even if it lacks content protection measures.
OSTA does not support the use of writable DVD for any unlawful purpose
and that all DVD products should be used only for legal purposes.
Computer DVD Recorders
By far the quickest and least expensive way to duplicate a disc is to
copy it using a computer outfitted with a DVD recorder combined with
off the shelf writing software. In addition to creating discs from scratch,
many basic writing software packages will duplicate most standard DVD
formats. Specialized copying software is also available with more sophisticated
capabilities such as the ability to simultaneous duplicate to multiple
recorders. But remember that the ability of a system to copy specific
disc formats depends upon the individual capabilities of the software,
reader and recorder used. It is therefore advisable to check with the
respective manufacturers for specific information.
Typically, discs are duplicated DVD to DVD by using the computer’s
DVD-ROM drive as the master source feeding the copying recorder. In cases
where a separate reading drive is not available the master is first downloaded
to the computer hard drive using the reading ability of the recorder
and later written back to a blank disc using the same recorder. Employing
the computer’s hard disk as an intermediate copying step is also
a common tactic used when dealing with poor quality source discs or other
situations where computer systems are not fast enough to keep up to the
speed set on the recorder.
DVD Duplication Systems
For copying larger numbers of discs various dedicated DVD duplication
solutions are available including machines that function by themselves
or with the assistance of operators. These configurations can either
sit as standalone units or may be attached as computer peripherals.
The most common devices are hand-fed tower systems that employ a number
of DVD recorders linked together for simultaneous duplication from either
a master DVD or from a hard drive. Also widely used are automated products
incorporating robotic disc handling systems that mechanically load
and unload one or more recorders. Sometimes disc label printers are
included to produce a handful or even dozens of finished discs per
hour. In addition to large commercial solutions many DVD duplication
systems are compact and affordable and within reach for personal and
office use. A number of companies also offer commercial DVD duplication
services to perform short run work in quick turnaround times.
DVD Mass Replication
In contrast to DVD duplication which is usually performed on a small scale
at the desktop level, DVD mass replication is typically used to make huge
quantities of discs such as commercial DVD movies and software DVD-ROMs.
These prerecorded (pressed) discs are manufactured from a mold in a factory
setting and are created using a complete series of industrial processes
including premastering, mastering, electroplating, injection molding, metallization,
bonding, spin coating, printing and advanced quality control. In addition
to manufacturing discs, many replication companies offer companion services
including packaging, printing, distribution and fulfillment.
What is DVD publishing?
Somewhat like DVD duplication equipment, DVD publishing systems employ
DVD recorders but are used to create quantities of unique discs from
different computer files rather than just to make multiple copies of
a single master disc. Employing robotic disc handling systems and integrated
label printers, many of these devices can be accessed over computer networks
and shared much like office laser printers. Examples of DVD publishing
applications include creating writable DVDs containing medical images
or monthly banking records, archiving computer-generated billing records
to disc in place of microfilm and accepting conventional analog video
tapes resulting in DVD video on writable DVD discs.
Is it possible to transfer the contents of a DVD-9
video disc onto a writable DVD?
Writable DVD discs are currently single-layer (SL) products that accommodate
a maximum of 4.7 GB of information per side. Prerecorded (pressed) DVD
discs, on the other hand, can contain up to 8.5 GB of data on one side
by using dual layers (known as DVD-9). Several techniques can be used
to place the larger contents of a DVD-9 DVD-Video format disc onto writable
DVDs. These include splitting the material onto two discs or re-authoring
it to fit onto one. For example, by using various software programs disc
content can be broken into pieces or supplementary material deleted so
only the main video segment remains to fit onto a single writable DVD
disc. Such software can sometimes recompress the video content to a lower
bit rate to fit onto one disc. In this case excluding extraneous material
lessens the required amount of recompression to maintain higher video
quality. As stated earlier in this white paper, COPYRIGHT LAW must always
Is it possible to copy one writable DVD disc type
Depending upon the capabilities of the hardware and software used it
is possible to copy one writable DVD disc type onto another (for example,
copying the contents of a DVD+RW disc to a DVD-R disc). Be aware, however,
that there are slight capacity differences among the various types that
might make the contents of one disc too large to fit onto a disc of another
type. As well, some application formats may be untested or inappropriate
for use with certain types of discs.
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