Replication Vs Duplication
When you are planning to get some copies of your CD or DVD made, the first question comes is whether to duplicate or replicate. Most of the people think of these two processes as the same. But, for the CD and DVD industry, these are very different.
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Let us explain to you what CD and DVD replication and duplication mean:
Replication basically means to make exactly same copies of something. This is a very common biological term. In the language of technology, replication means the process of making a huge amount of exact copies of a CD. This process is referred to as professional CD burning. The data is not burned directly into the CD but a new CD is modeled to be the exact copy of the master CD. This is bulk work and is generally done when a huge number of copies are needed in high quality. The raw materials used in manufacturing the disks is polycarbonate and then the data is physically pressed into the surface of the disk. The artwork of the disk is also screened. The Replicated CD/DVD has a silver look to them and are the ones that you usually find at the music stores. The process of disk replication has five steps. The steps are:
In this step a piece of polished glass is taken and small holes are engraved into it that represent the ones of the binary content. Glass master now becomes the exact same copy of the original DVD/CD.
The glass disc is very fragile and can break with only a little pressure so, a metal stamper is made to make the disk more durable. A metal stamper is made from aluminum plates. This is the complement of the glass master since all the 1s of the glass master becomes 0s on the stamper and all the 0s will become 1s.
Molten polycarbonate is injected into the stamper to make the disc even more durable.
Now after the coating of the polycarbonate, the disk is transparent so a reflective mirror coating is given on it so that the data can be read by the laser that falls on it. So, basically, the process that makes a disc reflective is known as sputtering.
A lacquer is applied to the disc surface before printing the artwork and then it is UV dried. Then the artwork is printed on this by either silkscreen printing or offset printing.
Duplication is the simple process of burning the data from one CD to another. This can even be done at your house by the use of burning software. For every copy, you need to make, the data has to be burned again into a new disc. The data is encoded into the disc by burning small microscopic holes into the dye layer of the CD/DVD. The steps in creating the disc are very easy and little:
The data from the master CD has to be copied to the computer if you have only one CD slot. If there are two then this step can be avoided.
A CD/DVD burning software is needed to inscribe the data from the master CD into the new CD. Once you have the software, run it and burn the data to the new CD. For every new CD, you need to burn the data again and again.
Since your house or office is not a professional lab, you might not the big printing instruments. The printing of the artwork can be done in three ways- 1) Paper- Print your artwork on a die cut CD labels and then stick it on the top of your CD. these labels are easily available in all the CD/DVD selling stores and provide different choices of the pattern. 2) Inkjet Printer- The artwork can directly be printed on the CD/DVD using an inkjet printer suitable for CD printing. Since the disc surface is not waterproof or fingerprint proof you can apply a coating of disc laminator before printing the content into the disc. 3) Thermal Transfer- Another way to print at home is by the CD printers that use thermal transfer technique to print out high-resolution CD covers. The printing cost through these printers is a lot higher than the inkjet and the investment should only be made if the work is in bulk.
What to choose? Replication or Duplication?
If you have a little time it is obvious you have to choose duplication because it happens faster than replication and you can do it yourself. If the amount of CD/DVD you need copies of are more than 500 or 1000 then replication is what you should choose for because making 1000 copies will be a very hectic task in itself and also very costly.