Archive for November, 2010

CD Manufacturing Companies

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

There are many CD manufacturing companies based in the UK who offer replication or pressing of discs. Replication is usually referred to as manufacturing because the discs are produced from raw materials. During this manufacture the discs are pressed with your data, audio or video pre-embedded into the CD or DVD.

On the other hand CD duplication is usually considered a copying or burning process rather than manufacture. This is because the CD-R or DVD-R used in the duplication process has already been manufactured. The duplication involves burning the digital information to these pre-manufactured recordable discs. This process is often used when up to 500 copies of a CD or DVD are required.

For larger quantities of CD music albums or DVD movies the replication or disc manufacturing process is the method used. On these quantities of 500 and above it is far more cost effective to produce a glass master and stamper, then to press the discs. All large manufacturers of CD and DVD use this replication process to produce retail quality entertainment releases.

Whether you choose the duplication or replication process for your discs the quality of the embedded data is exactly the same. The only difference is that potentially a replicated or manufactured disc will have a longer life expectancy than a burnt or duplicated disc.

DVD Replication Of Video And Film

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

These days the most popular form of video distribution involves the process of DVD replication. The DVD or Digital Versatile Disc has been around for over 15 years now and has become the biggest selling format for video and film releases. The DVD format has killed off the old VHS video tape with virtually no commercial film releases now being available on VHS.

The replication of video or film firstly relies on the production of an error free DVD-R master. Exabyte masters can still be accepted by some plants but the predominate master format is now DVD-R. The master disc is used to create a special set of files known as a DDP fileset. The DDP fileset is then used to create a DVD glass master using lasers and sputtering. This glass master can then be used to create positive and negatives and a final stamper used to press the discs.

Pressing the DVD discs involves the stampers and a “sandwich” of polycarbonate with a thin layer of nickel or silver. The video information is pressed into one layer of the polycarbonate by a series of pits, each pit relates to a bit of digital data. The layer of silver is to reflect the lasers of DVD players, basically the laser shines through the polycarbonate and reflects off the silver layer and back into the DVD player. Digital data is “read” by the laser and values dependant on the depth of the pit pressed into the disc.

DVD replication produces a very reliable and durable disc, unlike the old VHS format it is very hard to damage a disc or for it to become jammed up inside the player. I’m sure we have all experienced our VHS player chewing up the tape of our favourite film! Fortunately with the advent of DVD this is one issue that has been overcome.

DVD Duplication For Increased Disc Capacity

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

When you need a large amount of data storage on a disc DVD duplication can offer up to 4.7gb capacity. In comparison a CD-R will only allow for capacities of up to 700mb, so a DVD-R can actually hold almost 7 times more data than a CD. This can be very useful if you are archiving information or creating backups of computer data storage. A single DVD-R replaces the need for 7 CD-R’s so can take up a lot less space in your archive libraries.

DVD duplication can be used for a wide variety of storage purposes, video is one of the main uses but any other form of digital information can be burnt to DVD-R. Large photo libraries, hard drive back ups, media presentations and corporate marketing documents are all examples of information than can be stored on a DVD.

For successful DVD duplication you will need to supply an error free master DVD-R. All duplicated copies will be identical bit for bit clones of the master disc. If there are any disc errors contained within the master then these errors will also be duplicated to all the DVD copies. Always take the greatest care when preparing a master, use the highest quality media and burn the master at as low a speed as your burner will allow. Also, be sure to use a DVD-R write once disc, please do not use a re-writable DVD-RW disc. The dyes used in a DVD-RW are a lot more volatile and disc errors are more common with a re-writable disc. The majority of DVD duplicators will not accept a DVD-RW as a production master.

Christmas CD Replication Leatimes

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Well it’s that time of year again, everyone wants their latest album manufactured in time for Christmas but they are late supplying production parts. At present our DVD and CD replication leadtimes are still running at around 7 working days for bulk supply of discs only and around 10 working days for fully packaged products with printed parts. Therefore as long as customers can supply suitable production parts by 2nd week of December then delivery of CD replication orders in time for Christmas should be achievable.

If you are already behind schedule with production of masters and artwork then please ensure you check that all specifications are correct when you supply these production parts. Christmas CD replication leadtimes are critically based on us receiving suitable artwork and CD masters to required specifications. If we need to refer artwork or masters back to a customer then there will be a good chance that Christmas deadlines may not be achieved.

For artwork please make sure that files are supplied in correct CMYK colour mode and not in RGB. Please ensure all artwork has 3mm bleed where required and that dimensions are exact to specifications on our templates. Also make sure that resolution is at least 300 pixel per inch and that text is supplied in vector format where possible. These are really simple essential requirements but we are always surprised by how many customers supply unsuitable artwork for CD and DVD replication.

CD and DVD masters must be error free, the replication process will not allow for any master disc errors whatsoever. The most obvious advice is to always use as high quality media as possible and burn masters at low speeds. Also take extreme care not to damage or scratch the underside of the disc as this can easily lead to read errors and the master being rejected.

Questions And Answers – Can I supply JPEG Artwork For CD Duplication?

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

I am about to submit an order for CD duplication, can I supply the artwork as JPEG?

Ideally the answer is no. JPEG is a format generally used for digital cameras and computer based photographs. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, this is the organisation that developed this format. JPEGS are not generally suitable for commercial print although artwork can contain JPEG elements. For CD duplication on body and paper parts print we would always recommend you supply artwork in either photoshop .psd or ideally print ready high quality .pdf.

One of the problems with JPEGs is that images are compressed and text is converted into pixel information. This pixel information can print clearly if the resolution is high enough, at least 300 pixel per inch or preferably 600 pixel per inch. Although, with small fine text, a resolution of 300 pixels per inch can still give poor print results where the text will appear jagged or pixilated and often illegible. For CD duplication print it is often necessary to use small text and therefore JPEGs do prove problematic.

For best CD duplication print results the text content of artwork should be supplied in vector format. This can be achieved by converting all text to outlines, paths or shapes. It is not possible to embed text as vector within a JPEG file which makes the JPEG format problematic for high quality commercial CD printing.

Another problem with JPEGs is that they are usually in RGB colour format. RGB colour is not suitable for print so any JPEG artwork would need to be converted to CMYK. If you are working with RGB colour JPEGs they should all be turned into CMYK colour within your design application and then ideally the compiled artwork should be output as a .pdf file in CMYK high resolution.

CD Duplication Questions And Answers – Best Format For EP Release?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

We are looking to release an E.P. of our band, what is the best CD duplication and packaging format? We are looking at an order of 500 copies and already have artwork and CD master. We need to keep CD duplication costs to a minimum.

There are several suitable products for an E.P. release, if you are looking at 500 units we would certainly recommend CD replication rather than replication. Below are the 3 most suitable products:

CD replication In A Printed Cardboard Wallet – This style of product is what you would find as a free giveaway with your Sunday newspaper. The CD is inserted into the printed card wallet and there is an option for cellophane overwrap. This is the most cost effective solution for an E.P. and is suitable for retail. You can find this product as a budget E.P. release in shops such as HMV.

CD replication in Jewel Case with 4PP colour booklet and inlay – This is the standard format for CD album releases but is also commonly used for single or EP releases. CD’s come packed in a standard sized jewel case with choice of clear or black tray. A 4 printed page booklet is inserted to the front of case and a rear inlay sits behind the tray. Rear inlay can be printed one sided for use with black tray or rear inlay printed 2 sides for use with clear tray.

CD replication in a Maxi Single Case with j-card style maxi single inlay – Traditionally this is the format used for EP and UK chart single releases although over the last few years this format seems to have been in decline. Since the likes of Asda and Woolworths stopped stocking CD singles the demand for maxi single manufacture has decreased and manufacture costs have increased. A maxi single is now slightly more expensive than a standard 4PP jewel case product but if you want the industry standard E.P. release then this is a suitable option.

Fast Turnaround For Christmas CD Duplication

Monday, November 15th, 2010

CD duplication or replication in time for Christmas seems to be a popular enquiry in November. As usual at this time of year some of our customers may be a little behind with production of CD masters and artwork. Unfortunately due to high demand our CD duplication and replication services can take slightly longer on the approach to Christmas. Therefore when customers ask if turnaround can be achieved any faster the answer is quite often “no, sorry”.

Of course though CD or DVD duplication is a faster production technique so for some orders our customers may have to choose duplication in order to receive the discs for their deadline. Duplication of a disc can be achieved in just a day compared to replication which is 7 days minimum. If you are seeking replication of a CD album with packaging and printed parts then the manufacture will take at least 10 days. If Christmas deadlines are looming and you need the discs faster then the option of CD duplication can reduce this manufacture time.

Even with our CD duplication package prices in most cases the printed parts are still offset litho printed. So even though you may be opting for a faster duplicated disc you will still benefit from very high quality litho printed booklets and inlays. This combination of duplicated CD’s with offset litho printing for the paper parts gives a very high quality, professional end product.

Submitting CD Duplication Orders

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Another common question we are asked by telephone is how to submit a CD duplication order. The way in which an order for CD duplication or replication is submitted can affect how quickly the order is processed and consequently the turnaround time. If an order is submitted with all production parts clearly labelled and to correct specification then this makes our job of processing run a little smoother and quicker.

It is also important to supply a purchase order, covering letter or one of our downloadable order forms. For each CD duplication order it is important that all the following information is provided:

• Address for invoice.
• Delivery address.
• Delivery contact telephone number.
• Email address.
• Order specifications.
• Quantity.
• Choice of proofing – hard copy or email PDF.
• Any email correspondence offering prices or estimate.
• Any specific deadline.
• Additional mastering requirements.

All of the above information should be provided together with production parts usually consisting of:

• CD or DVD master disc, please supply in as high quality format as possible.
• Artwork disc, please ensure all artwork files are supplied to required specifications
• Hard copy printed content proofs if available.

If we receive a CD duplication or CD replication order that consists of suitable production parts and all the information listed in this article then it is usually possible to process within a couple of hours. Once the order is raised on our system one of our customer services representatives will email over a pro forma invoice and soft copy proofs usually in PDF format.

CD Pressing And Replication Services

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Over the last 25 years CD pressing and replication has become an enormous worldwide industry. The humble CD began life as just a media format for music album releases but has grown into the biggest and most successful method of physical data distribution. Other formats such as DVD and blu-ray disc have also developed from the original optical disc technology.

Despite progress of on-line distribution of music, video and data the CD and DVD is still the first choice by media companies. Pressing of CD and DVD is still a relatively cheap process and pressing plants can be found throughout the world. At Testa-Rossa, even though we are a Manchester based company we work with many of these worldwide pressing plants to ensure we offer our customers the best prices and highest quality replication services. With today’s express freight and courier companies we can often source fastest turnaround CD replication from the other side of the globe than here in the UK.

Some of the most modern CD replication and pressing plants are situated in the Far East and especially Taiwan. Just a few years ago many UK based customers would regard products from Taiwan as cheap or inferior products. Today that is certainly not the case and in our experience the Taiwan plants are more modern with brand new production lines and a level of service unrivalled by UK plants. So rest assured when you order your CD or DVD replication through Testa-Rossa you will be receiving the highest quality discs available in the current market.

Express Upgrades For CD And DVD Replication

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

The most frequent questions we are asked during a CD replication telephone enquiry are “what is the turnaround time?” and “can the turnaround time be reduced?”

In most cases the answer will be 7 working days production for bulk supply CD replication and 10 working days production for replication with printed parts and packaging. This production time is governed by the time that it physically takes to manufacture or press the discs and by our print suppliers. It is extremely hard to reduce this time at all and the answer to the 2nd question is usually no.

However, for the following products we can reduce the production times by a couple of days on orders of 500 or 1000 units:

• CD album replication in jewel case with full colour 4 page booklet and inlay
• CD replication in full colour printed card wallet
• DVD replication in DVD case with full colour DVD inlay

Upgrades for 500 units are available for an extra £70+vat and for 1000 units an extra £90+vat.

The production time is reduced due to:

• “Jump the queue” during glass mastering
• Same day delivery of print from our print suppliers
• Hand pack of order rather than machine auto-pack

Due the express service being hand packed unfortunately cellophane overwrap is not available with these upgrades.

So if you are desperate for a slightly reduced leadtime these upgrade packages may just be suitable and get you out of a sticky situation!

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