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CD DVD Replication vs. CD DVD Duplication: What The Heck Is The Difference?

As you begin looking for CD DVD replication or duplication services, you will likely be asked many questions concerning your project and the type of media you need. You may wonder to yourself, "Aren't all burnable discs the same?” - but as you’ll come to find out - there IS a difference between the media used to manufacture CD DVD duplication orders and the media used to manufacture CD DVD replication orders.

Using a reputable full service CD DVD Replication / Duplication company like PacificDisc, Inc. to partner with is certainly a helpful option to ensure a professional end result, but here is a simple explanation of some of the differences, answer some of the questions you may have, and set aside some misconceptions about DVD replication and DVD duplication.

CD DVD Replication

CD DVD Replication is the standard used to make mass quantities of CD's or DVD's. A “glass master” of your information is made which in turn producers “stampers” which are used for injection molding the information onto foil. Layers of polycarbonate plastic then protect the mastered information. It is then lacquered, usually screened, and ultimately packaged. Because most of this process is automated, the cost per unit becomes factored in and very affordable on orders generally greater than 1000 pieces. Until recently, almost all DVD CD duplication companies replicated their discs and would only offer service of larger volume CD DVD replication runs to their customers.

CD DVD Duplication

DVD Duplication is the standard in which smaller quantities of CD’s or DVD's are usually manufactured. CD-R and DVD-R media is loaded into burners. Your information is digitally extracted from your master source (usually a master CD-R or DVD-R) and transferred to the blank discs. Your information is typically verified and the copy then accepted or rejected. With the advent, popularity, and reduced cost of writeable media, it is now possible to offer the same level of CD DVD duplication services to customers that need smaller quantity orders as well as customers which need larger quantities.

What's the difference?

There is no data difference between a processed CD DVD duplication and a glass mastered CD DVD replication disc. In fact, both processes extract the information from your master source in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. Other than the way your disc is manufactured, the biggest noticeable difference between a replicated CD / DVD disc and a duplicated CD / DVD disc may be the way the surface is marked. This is usually due to the cost restraints associated with the method chosen to process the order.

True or False:

CD or DVD duplication is not as reliable as CD or DVD Replication?
It may surprise you to find out that in most cases the answer to this question is FALSE.

Writeable media was invented for the storage of data. Audio CD-Rs and subsequently video DVD-R's were an offspring of the data disk. As with any new technology, there are bugs and glitches to iron out when trying to mass-produce writable media. In an effort to get product into the market place, many disc manufactures produced sub-par product, which had trouble loading audio and video, and thus would keep your disc from “spinning up” in your player.

Today’s writeable media are manufactured under much stricter guidelines. It is true that there are still many inferior brands of discs saturating the market place, but by choosing a reputable CD DVD duplication company like PacificDisc Inc. - which uses only professional equipment and high quality media, you should be assured of receiving a quality product.

In Conclusion:

CD DVD Duplication and CD DVD Replication both have their cost and quality advantages. Ultimately, it is the consumer/customer that will choose the best method to manufacture the replication project. The CD DVD replication company you partner with will help you put a project together that both meets your quality demands and budget restrictions. Learning all you can about your CD DVD Replication project will help you make an informed decision about your project and the way you will manufacture it.

About the Author: Morris Anderson is the co-Founder and CEO of PacificDisc Inc. - a smaller, more boutique replication company that specializes in helping first-timers through the CD or DVD replication process. Morris has over 20 years experience in the production field, having run three Television stations and an Independent Production Film company, prior to founding PacificDisc, Inc. To learn more about PacificDisc's DVD / CD Replication, visit

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