Duplication versus Replication for CD and DVD: What's the Difference?

There are two ways to make a copy of a CD or DVD. Information can be burned on to a blank CD/DVD-R; this method is called duplication. Information can also added during the CD/DVD manufacturing process; this method is referred to as replication.
Understanding the differences is important in determining which process is best for your project. A duplicated CD/DVD is not only created using a different process than a replicated CD/DVD, but the actual final product is also different. After the duplication process is complete, the final product is a CD-R or a DVD-R. Replication stampers for CDs produce CD-ROMs. (ROM means Read Only Memory). The final product in the DVD replication process is a DVD-5, DVD-9, DVD-10.


The Processes

CD duplication is similar to burning a CD/DVD on your personal computer. From a master CD which contains the digital information, an image of the contents of the CD/DVD is made onto a hard drive after which all the data is then written unto the blank CD/DVD-R, the information is verified with the master, and the process is complete.
CD/DVD replicates, on the other hand, are created during the manufacturing process. In other words, media like a CD/DVD-R does not exist before the process starts. Before the replication process gets underway, the client master is painstakingly evaluated for data corruption. Then, a glass master containing relevant data from client supplied master is created. Replication begins when a flawless glass master is assured. The glass master is used to develop a stamper. The stamper, in turn, is loaded into an Injection Molding machine that creates CD/DVD replicates. The quality of CD replication hinges upon the quality of the glass master's data. Through each successive step, quality and accuracy is consistently monitored to insure each disc is an exact replica or clone of the original. A layer of micro-thin aluminum is applied to the polycarbonate disc. It is then lacquered for additional protection and printed before packaging.
The client supplied master for CD-R and DVD-R duplication is the same, a CD/DVD-R. CD-ROM replication also requires a CD-R master. While a DVD-R is acceptable for DVD replication, most facilities prefer to work from a client supplied DLT or Digital Linear Tape.


Advantages of CD/DVD Duplication

The standard turn-time is 2-3 business days, even for runs up to 10,000 units.
Digital full color printing is available with no prepress charges.


Disadvantages of CD/DVD Duplication

The cost per unit for duplication is higher than replication.
DVDs can have up to 2 layers of information on each side of the media. DVD-R duplicates can have 1 layer of information on the entire DVD.

Advantages of CD/DVD Replication

The unit costs are lower than duplicated discs.
Both offset printing and screen printing is available for replicated discs.
Replicated DVDs can contain 1 layer (DVD-5) of information, 2 layers on one side (DVD-9), 1 layer on each side (DVD-10) or 2 layers on each side (DVD-18). Many replication facilities are not yet set up for DVD-18 replication.

Disadvantages of CD/DVD Replication

The standard turn-time is 7-10 business days, longer for runs exceeding 100,000 units. Standard duplication turn times are 2-3 business days.
Most facilities have a minimum order requirement of 1,000 units.

Are There Noticeable Differences?

Both CD duplication and CD replication extract data from the original in the same way. In terms of manufacturing, however, this is where the similarities end. The finished product of either process performs in the same manner, although there will be difference to the eye depending upon the whether the discs are digitally, screened, or offset printed.


Do you offer business card or smaller CD/DVD ?

Yes we do. We have found that business Card shaped CD/DVD as well as the smaller 8cm CD/DVD have been effective marketing tool because of their novelty value. The maximum capacity of the disc is less than a standard disc though so the content size will need to be considered.


Can you match the colour of the paper packaging with the CD ?

Due to 1) the different print processes and 2) the different surfaces (paper/cardboard vs polycarbonate plastic) exact matching of artwork & colour can be difficult. Although artwork proofing is vital step in the process, please be aware that results of around 15% may be applicable. Please speak with one of the
Experienced team about this, especially when matching of print is crucial.


Do you have samples of some of your work?

Yes, Please contact Cd Oz Media and we will make time to visit you or come over to see our showroom.


Can you engrave or full colour print USB?

Yes, although we offer single colour screenprint free of charge for bulk orders over 100+ units.
We can also provide premium customisation such as engraving, full colour print and even individually name print if required.


How do I use my USB Flash Drive?

Plug your USB Flash drive into any USN Port and then wait up to 10 seconds. The computer should automatically detect the new hardware (the USB) and the USB flash drive acts just like a protable hard drive. Just drag in and delete files and folders as usual.