How are replication and duplication different?

Duplicated CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-Ray (BD-Rs) are also called burned discs. In discs made for duplication there is a specially formulated organic dye layer. This layer is literally burned by a laser to etch the information (videos, music, software, etc) onto the disc.

Replicated CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are manufactured with the information stamped into the plastic. The first step in making a replicated disc is to create a stamper. The information from the master disc is used to create a mirror glass master. From this glass master, a metal stamper is made from which all Replicated discs are pressed.

The stamper is placed in an injection molding machine and molten plastic is injected into a mold and pressed under great pressure onto the metal stamper.

How do Replicated DVDs, CDs, and Blu-Ray discs compare to Duplicated DVD-Rs, CD-Rs and BD-Rs?

The replicated discs and duplicated discs will essentially hold the same amount of information. They are the exact same size physically but the most noticeable difference is duplicated discs will normally have a purple, green, yellow, or brown tint on the bottom of the disc from the dye layer, whereas a replicated disc is silver on the bottom.

Another difference to consider is the quality variation. Due to our stringent quality controls procedures, we guarantee all WTSmedia replicated discs will play in all players. However, with duplicated discs that is not always the case. Not all players will play back duplicated CDs or DVDs, regardless of the quality of media you choose. Furthermore, if you burn a low quality disc there is a good chance it will not be readable by all disc players. This is due to several factors. Most commonly the dye used in cheap discs doesn’t burn crisp and disc players cannot accurately decode the information. Also poor quality discs can be “out of round” or have the center hole not in the center. This causes the disc to “wobble” as it spins. Because of this wobble some disc players cannot track the information and play it back properly.

To lessen the chance of having a duplicated disc that won’t play in all players always use high quality discs.

Is it better to replicate CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs or duplicate CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs?

It depends on the quantity and turn time needed. For a quantity less than 1000 pieces or a job that needs to be turned very quickly, duplication may be the best option. There are some up front expenses that must be made for replication, but once the glass master and stampers are in place, it is typically cheaper to replicate than to duplicate blank discs. The rule of thumb we often use is if you have fewer than 1000 discs to produce or need them completed in less than 5 work days, then we will duplicate the order.  If you need 500 discs or more and prefer replication, please let your customer representative know.

What is a DDP, DLT, or ISO file?

A DDP file (or Disk Description Protocol) is the preferred format to submit DVDs for replication. An ISO image is an Archive file (also known as a Disc Image). Using DDP or ISO files means that you can send WTSmedia your masters through the internet using our File Upload System rather than a physical disc. This saves you both Time and Money! Plus you do not have to worry about your mastering being scratched or damaged in the mail.

DLT (or Digital Linear Tape) is magnetic tape data storage for large DVD files. Replication facilities such as WTSmedia use DLT as it is highly reliable for creating glass masters for disc replication. DLT also allows you to add CSS encryption, ACP and Macrovision Ripguard.