Archive for January, 2013

DVD Duplication Costs

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

So what are the exact costs associated with DVD duplication and print?

The main cost is always the blank DVD-R that is going to be used for the process. There are hundreds of different brands of recordable DVD available these days from the cheap supermarket self branded discs right up to the high quality manufacturers such as Sony and Verbatim. Some DVD duplication companies will just use the very cheapest media they are able to source in order to keep advertised prices of products as low as possible. These low prices can look attractive to the potential customer but beware, cheap prices usually means a cheap disc is being used and therefore a higher risk of disc errors.

The second most significant cost of DVD duplication is the print method to be used. Again, cheaper advertised prices will usually be due to cheap inferior print techniques such as black only inkjet print. Inkjet printing of discs can be useful in the home environment but for commercial duplicators results are usually poor with the risk of the print smudging. A far more preferred print method for low quantity orders is thermal print. Thermal printing can be black only or full colour transfer to the disc surface. This method gives a smudge proof gloss finish which looks very professional.

If you are seeking high quality duplication then the 2 main factors to consider are the type of disc being used and the printing method. A reputable duplicator will always use the highest quality discs available and a thermal process for the printing.

Low Cost UK DVD Replication Deals

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

If you are a company seeking the mass copying of DVD video or data then check out our low cost UK DVD replication deals. Testa-Rossa can provide low cost pressing of DVD from as little as £365. Products that can be supplied include the simple bulk DVD on spindles or a range of card and plastic case packaging.

Despite the term “Low Cost” all DVD replication is of the highest retail specification. The replicated discs are pressed rather than burnt to give the best finished product available on the market. DVD’s come with direct to disc print with a choice of CMYK offset litho or up to 5 spot colour screenprint. Spot colour screenprint is great for block colours whereas offset litho gives a better finish for full colour photograph images.

Packaging for DVD starts with the simple paper or plastic sleeve, great for free giveaways, product manuals etc. For more durable packaging the clear clamshell is a great modern looking option that does not require any extra paper or card print. For orders that require paper or card printing the simplest and cheapest product is a printed wallet made from cardboard. For customers seeking a fully retail packaging solution the Amaray DVD case with a full colour inlay is still the Daddy!

Modern CD Duplication And Print Techniques

Monday, January 28th, 2013

In the early days of the CD-R reliability was sometimes an issue but with modern CD duplication and print techniques reliability is now closer to replication quality. The latest CD-R media is far more reliable with high quality surfaces specifically for colour thermal print and diamond silver underside which also gives the appearance of a replicated disc.

Modern manufacturing processes for CD-R have resulted in superior audio specific discs that have extremely low error rates if burnt suitably. Errors can occur from poor media but also from poor CD-R burning techniques. For the most reliable CD duplication it is important to use the highest quality media but also use high quality CD writers that have firmware compatible to the exact CD-R or DVD-R being used. Incompatible firmware or faulty drives can cause disc burn errors.

If high quality media and stringent duplication techniques are adhered to then these duplicated discs can perform as well as factory glass mastered and pressed discs. Also with modern full colour thermal printers a fantastic surface print can now be achieved and again this is very close to the quality of full colour offset litho or screenprinted CD’s. So in conclusion can a duplicated disc be deemed as good a quality as a replicated disc? The answer is yes short term, however a replicated (pressed) disc will in general have a longer lifespan of reliability.

CD Replication With Cardboard Sleeve For Retail Or Marketing

Monday, January 28th, 2013

A fantastic method of presenting your latest music release is using CD replication with a printed cardboard sleeve. This cardboard sleeve packaging option is suitable for marketing promo copies or for full retail release. The advantage of using this sleeve packaging is that part of the order could be used for promotional purposes and the remainder for actual release.

A replication order packed into a printed card sleeve is also a very cost effective manufacturing option. Our minimun order quantity for this product is just 300 units and our best price offer is on 1000 units from just £449+vat. This low pricing makes this type of order very attractive to artists, bands and small record labels who are working to critical budgets. Using the cardboard sleeve can be far more economical than manufacturing a set number of jewel case albums for retail and also a run of CD duplication for promotional copies.

For the retail part of the order we can even provide cellophane overwrap. For example if you are ordering 1000 units but only expect to retail 700 then we can provide 700 overwrapped and 300 without overwrap. Retailers and distributors will generally prefer the sleeves with overwrap but for promotional purposes the sleeves without overwrap is more preferable. Another option to consider for retail is a barcode, an EAN-13 number can be allocated and a barcode added to the sleeve for retail epos scanning.

Low Volume DVD Duplication

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Many of our customers require low volume DVD duplication products at short notice. It is always good business to cater for the needs of the customer and therefore Testa-Rossa is able to provide orders from just 50 discs as quickly as 24 hours. Our short run orders are available with full colour print directly to the disc and burn capacity is up to 4.7GB of data or video.

The fastest way to place an order for a low volume order is to email disc artwork and provide delivery details. The order can then be processed with pro forma invoice and artwork proofs being emailed back the same day. If the master DVD is posted royal mail special delivery then as soon as it is received the order can go into production and usually despatch the same day.

DVD duplication in low volumes is very useful for advertising or marketing purposes where large files need to be distributed to prospective clients. A duplicated DVD can hold up to 4.7GB so posting out these promotional DVD’s is usually more preferable over trying to send large data files or videos electronically. In comparison an electronic internet transfer of a 4.7GB file could easily take 2 days to transfer depending on broadband speed.

Making The Right Choice For CD Duplication

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

An important business decision is making the right choice for CD duplication products. When trusting a company to duplicate your CD or DVD the quality of the services should be the deciding factor. Some companies sell themselves by claiming to be the cheapest, but is this really a good idea with duplication? Cheap usually means using inferior discs and cutting corners in order to offer a rock bottom pricing.

The sensible approach is to use a CD duplication company that uses high quality discs and production techniques. The first thing any reputable company should check is whether a customer supplied CD or DVD master contains any errors. There are many types of disc errors but the most common are read errors. These read errors occur when a drive cannot access the digital data burnt to the master. If a master contains errors then this is inevitably going to cause errors with the duplicated discs.

At Testa-Rossa we run a comprehensive error check on every CD master we receive from customers. This error checking ensures the very best quality for the copied discs. If a master contains errors the customer is always informed and given advice on how to re-supply an error free replacement master.

The other main quality criteria is the type of CD-R used for the duplication process. There are many cheap CD-R’s on the market but in general the cheaper the disc the more prone to it is to errors during burning. When making a choice for your supplier always try to ascertain exactly what variety and brand of CD-R the duplicator uses. The combination of error checking masters and using high quality media will always result in the most reliable copies.

CD Replication UK Services Booming

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

CD replication UK services are still a booming market despite the demise of some large pressing plants over the last few years. Yes the demand for physical album sales may have declined but the number of self financed bands releasing CD albums is certainly on the increase. Replication for the larger record labels was usually in the tens of thousands of units required but more recently the average CD order has fallen to 1000 more commonly.

Although average CD replication orders in the UK are are now for 1000 units there are a lot more labels and self funded bands releasing albums so the the total number of CD’s replicated each year has not declined that much. Traditionally pressing plants had a limited number of customers but high volumes per customer. We are now seeing a lot wider range of customers albeit smaller volume orders.

Most of the replication plants in the UK regularly work to maximum capacity and therefore many CD duplication and brokerage companies choose to sub contract work out to overseas plants. By forging business links with overseas plants the customer does benefit from reduced leadtimes and often cheaper CD replication prices. In many cases it is cheaper and faster to order discs through a plant on the other side of the globe than more locally in Europe.

Band CD Duplication Requirements

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

One of the largest markets within our business is Band CD Duplication. At some stage in their career all bands will have requirements for CD duplication or replication services. This could be in the form of simple demos or a full self financed CD album release.

In the very early stages of a bands development the demo CD is an invaluable tool for obtaining gigs and interest from management companies or promoters. These demos do not need to be produced to retail standard and very often a very simple silver disc with black text print inserted into a plastic sleeve is the cheap solution. These budget demos can be handed out at gigs or posted to prospective venues, promoters and managers.

Most early band recordings will just be of rehearsals or small live gigs but sometimes the raw talent of a band can be spotted even at this stage. Sometimes the sheer talent of a band can shine through even if the demos are a little lo-fi in quality. A bands very first recording is always the starting block and from therein all focus should be on improving the sound of the band during future recordings.

The natural progression with bands is once the gig money starts coming in. With a little cash the door of opportunity widens. A couple of days in an average recording studio with a couple of hundred pounds budget may then yield a lot higher quality demo or even a CD that is good enough quality for a small self financed run of EP’s. Once these recordings are made the next question is whether a band should opt for a short run CD duplication order or proceed to a full pressing using the replication process.

DVD Replication And Packaging

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

DVD replication and packaging is a service offered by Testa-Rossa to fulfill customers requirements for DVD video manufacture. Our replication process involves taking a DDP fileset of the supplied physical master and then from this set of files a glass master is carefully created.

Once a glass master has been successfully created it is then used to manufacture metal stampers. Subsequently the final metal stamper is used on the production line to press the DVD discs. This method of pressing discs is why the factory is usually referred to as a pressing plant.

As the discs are created on the DVD replication lines they can then be automatically packed into the standard Amaray case style DVD packaging. Usually prior to the pressing stage, artwork for a DVD inlay will have been provided to the plants printers and litho printed inlays will have been produced and finished ready to add to the cases on the production line.

It is common that the automated packing of DVD disc and printed inlays into the case all happens on the same auto pack production line within the plant. Most production lines also have the capability to add booklets to the cases or even additional stickers such as the hologram stickers often seen on DVD releases. Finally the cellophane overwrap is applied over the DVD case before the final product is boxed for despatch.

CD Duplication With Barcodes

Monday, January 21st, 2013

When searching for CD duplication with barcodes it may be useful to enquire if the company can allocate an EAN-13 number for the order. Some CD duplication companies are members of GS-1 which is the UK organisation responsible for European barcode numbers. If a GS-1 member company is manufacturing and distributing a CD or DVD product they may be able to use one of their allocated EAN-13 numbers for the order.

Alternatively a customer may have a distribution deal in place with an independent distributor, in this case the distributor should be able to issue the EAN-13 number and sometimes also generate the barcode.

Testa-Rossa is a GS-1 member and we can allocate our EAN-13 numbers to a CD duplication or replication manufactured product. A 13 digit number is used to create the barcode usually in .eps vector format. One common mistake we find with customer supplied barcodes is that they are in CMYK colour and pixel information. This combination of CMYK and pixilation can cause quite severe scan reliability when using retail epos systems.

If you are unsure whether your existing barcode is to correct format our reprographic assistants and designers will always check specification. In most circumstances a new barcode can be created to correct GS-1 specification using the customers EAN-13 number.

It is normal practice to add a barcode to the rear inlay of a CD album or packaging. For customers requesting that the barcode be added to artwork during the repro stage we always suggest that the designer leaves a white rectangular box that is 15mm by 35mm in dimension.

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