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CD/DVD replication or duplication – What is the difference?

There are two main ways you can “burn” or copy a CD/DVD; duplication or replication. So what really is the difference between the two processes and which option will better suit your requirements?

Duplication

Timing is the main key deciding factor when it comes to choosing between the two procedures. If you are working to tight deadlines, then CD or DVD duplication is often the best option. The duplication process involves placing premade discs into a ‘burner’ and copying the data to the blank discs; similar to the way discs are burned on normal PC CD or DVD burners.

Replication

Manufactured discs are most suitable when working to more relaxed timeframes and require quantities of 500 discs or more. The main advantage that manufacturing has over duplication is that the cost per unit is significantly lower due to the majority of the process being automated.

The process involves creating a ‘glass master’ from your original master CD or DVD. A metal stamper is then created from the glass master and individual ‘stamps’ your data onto blank media. An aluminium based reflective surface is then metallised onto the disc before a second layer of polycarbonate is applied.

So is there any difference in the final product?

There is no real difference between the quality of the end product of duplicated and replicated discs. The inherent difference is in the processes used to create the end product. The Duplicated discs have the data "burnt" to the dye of the pre made disc, where as replicated discs have a physical impression (or pressing) on the disc which represents the data.

Duplication is commonly used for orders less than 500 discs while replication is available only for order of 500 + discs.
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