Archive for February, 2013

Our CD replication just got better!

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

The CD replication services that Testa-Rossa offer have just got better. We are now in a position to offer our replication services for as little as 300 units. In the past if you were looking for smaller order of around 300 discs then duplication was the only option. However with new reduced glass mastering costs we have been able to reduce the minimum order to just 300 for replicated discs.

This new minimum order quantity gives self financed labels and artists a chance to have their album manufactured to exactly the same quality as the biggest selling bands. At 300 units we can now provide a genuine glass mastered, pressed CD with fantastic quality full colour litho print or spot pantone screen print. These new prices include the glass mastering, production of stampers, artwork set up and any required packaging fulfilment.

CD replication is widely known as being the manufacturing method of choice for retail music albums. This manufacturing process is now even more readily available for even the tightest production budgets. Only a few years ago most artists and bands had to rely on signing their records to labels but nowadays self funded releases are very commonplace in the industry. Most distributors and high street retailers now accept self funded release for sale if the full replication process has been used for the manufacture.

How do I Place a DVD duplication order.

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Customers that have never undertaken a DVD copying project often ask How do I place a DVD duplication order? The simplest way is to consider the 3 main components required, for most DVD projects this consists of:

1, DVD master
2, DVD artwork
3, Purchase order or completed order form

The next question usually asked is how to deliver these components. For the vast majority of DVD duplication orders the master needs to be supplied as a physical DVD master in the post. This master should be burnt onto a high quality DVD-R disc at a low burn speed. Once the master has been prepared check that it performs as intended and plays back in the required devices. The duplicated discs will always be a true digital copy of the master. If the master does not perform correctly neither will the copies.

The second component is the artwork. If you are seeking just the DVD duplication with no packaging then the only artwork required is for the surface of the DVD. There is a choice of printing the disc full colour or in a greyscale format. Templates for preparation of the disc artwork are readily available from your chosen duplication company. Artwork is best supplied as a PDF file and can often be emailed or transferred using “yousendit”

The third component is the purchase order or a completed form that should include all delivery details, invoice address, contact telephone number and order specifications. Always state exact quantity required and the choice of print or packaging required. It is normal practice to send the order form together with the master in the post. Alternatively the order can be supplied together with artwork via email.

Reliable internet based DVD duplication services

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Reliability is a key issue when browsing the internet for DVD duplication services. There are hundreds of companies offering duplication of CD and DVD so how do you decide on what company to go with? For some end customers price may be the important factor but increasingly we find that reliability is a more important influence for business customers.

For most business customers paying a few pence more per disc for high end duplication makes common sense. If you are risking the reputation of your company then the most reliable DVD’s are imperative. Using companies that offer cheapest prices on budget discs can lead to disaster. Usually the price of a recordable DVD-R is governed by the quality of the manufacturing process. Cheap manufacturing yields a cheap disc that is probably fine for home office back up but higher quality DVD-R products mean a slightly more stringent manufacturing process and hence higher costs.

A recordable DVD is a very delicate piece of precision manufacture, for it to work reliably a clinical environment is essential. Basically the disc is a thin layer of photosensitive dye and reflective substance layered between 2 pieces of polycarbonate plastic. The slightest amount of dust or air pollutants can harm this sensitive dye layer so strict manufacturing procedures are essential.

Once you have produced the highest quality reliable DVD-R’s it is then also up to the duplication company to carry out the duplication process correctly. Some companies choose to burn discs at the highest speeds possible but this can result in record and read errors within the disc. A far more reliable method is to burn the disc at a lower speed or the speed recommended by the disc producer. The combination of highest quality DVD media and strict duplication methods will always result in the most reliable DVD duplication services available.

Why is CD replication more cost effective for large orders?

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

When providing quotes for orders the question is sometimes asked, why is CD replication more cost effective than duplication for large orders? The main answer is because replicated CD’s or DVD’s are mass produced from raw polycarbonate material and printed very economically using offset litho print. Some set up up costs are quite high but these costs are usually absorbed by the manufacturer or pressing plant.

Initial set up costs for CD replication include the creation of a DDP fileset, glass mastering, metalwork stampers and of course the print plates. All of this work is quite lengthy and expensive but on large runs of 1000 or more discs these costs become negligible compared to the unit cost per CD or DVD. Once the order is ready to run on the production lines the process is very fast and in-expensive.

In most cases a CD replication order will include litho print to the disc face and probably some kind of litho printed booklet or inlay. Again on larger orders the use of offset litho print keeps the overall cost of the job to a minimum. Litho print for 1000 or higher is far more cost effective than using digital print and of course much higher quality of print.

So in essence CD replication is a no brainer for larger orders of around 500 discs and above. Yes CD duplication can work out cheaper for very small runs but it always worth comparing prices between duplication and replication to work out if the option to replicate is financially more cost effective.

Should I use CD duplication or DVD duplication for data presentations?

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

A popular question asked by potential customers is should I use CD duplication or DVD duplication for data presentations? Well the answer to this is either, it just depends on the size of your files. CD-R or DVD-R can be used for data duplication the only difference being the capacity each format. A CD will hold up to 700 megabytes of data compared to a DVD that will hold up to 4.7 gigabytes of data.

In comparison a DVD can hold as much data as almost 7 CD’s. 4,7 gigabytes is equivalent to 4700 megabytes of data. 4700 Mb gives an easier to understand comparison to the 700 Mb of CD. If your presentation contains large files such as high resolution photos or artwork then 700 Mb capacity can very quickly be filled. For these larger high resolution files DVD duplication is usually going to be required over CD duplication.

Even though a DVD can hold nearly the same information as 7 CDs the great advantage is that DVD does not cost 7 times the price of CD. In general a fully duplicated and printed DVD only costs around 10 pence more than a duplicated and printed CD. Therefore if you are ever in doubt over the large size of your presentation the best option may always be DVD duplication.

Whether you opt for CD or DVD duplication the quality of the disc and error rate is very similar. DVD does not give any better quality, just increased capacity. Also the print quality of each format is going to be identical. With duplicated discs always look for a company that using a colour thermal print method rather than inkjet print.

The music industry still thrives on CD duplication products.

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Despite MP3, digital downloads and music streaming sites the fact is the music industry still thrives on CD duplication products for distribution of recordings. The humble sound recording as always been carried by physical means, whether it be vinyl, tape or CD. Digital distribution of recordings has become increasingly important but for many the good old physical format will always be here to stay.

For bands and artists who record their works there will always be a requirement for physical distribution of their music. One of the main means of distribution will always be the Compact Disc format usually produced by way of CD duplication or CD replication manufacturing processes. The term “record” will always lean more towards the physical format however considering a “record” as a digital data file will always seem a little hard to grasp even in this modern age of digital formats.

CD duplication will surely always be required as long as the end user still shows demand for the physical CD format. Companies offering CD duplication services will also still exist whilst the physical CD format is still in circulation. In years to come the digital distribution of music will undoubtedly grow enormously but the good old reliable CD will always have its place in the market.

Always seek a specialist CD replication company.

Monday, February 4th, 2013

So, you have spend years of band rehearsals, weeks on the road playing gigs for free and then blown all your parents life savings recording your first album. Obviously after all that hard work, sweat and tears you need a company you can trust to press up your first album. It is always advisable to seek a specialist CD replication company to handle the pressing of your precious recordings.

When searching for a reputable specialist replicator always consider how stringent the company is on accepting masters. The master is the most critical part of the disc pressing process and reliable discs depend on a perfect error free master CD. If you are using a professional mastering house then there is always the option to supply a DDP fileset direct to the CD replication company. A DDP fileset totally cuts out the need to burn to CD-R and then to rip the audio to DDP at the pre-mastering stage. Most errors can be traced back to inappropriate burning of a master or a faulty CD-R.

So you have your DDP fileset or CD master, how should you then supply these to the replicator?
Well with a physical CD master the only option is to send by post or by courier, always be sure to use durable packaging such as a DVD case or jewel case. Never post out a master CD in a paper or plastic sleeve as it is often for damage to occur to the disc during transit. If you have a DDP fileset then the options are to either submit electronically over the internet or to burn the fileset to DVD-R.

Most specialist replicators will always check your DDP or CD master for errors before proceeding to glass masters. If in doubt ask the company to provide a print out of an error check showing the master is clean and error free. The next stage of the process is to produce a glass master from DDP files, subsequently the metal stampers are manufactured and then used to press the CD’s. All a very complex manufacturing process so always essential that you choose a reputable company for your CD replication services.

CD Duplication Products Suitable For Retail Sale

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Many of our customers ask the question what CD duplication products are suitable for retail? The truthful answer to this question is that duplication products are not really suitable for retail in high street stores. Most large music stores and distributors would usually insist on a pressed/replicated CD for retail sale. Pressed discs do tend to have a longer lifespan than duplicated CD’s and in general are less prone to damage hence why retailers prefer this format.

Having said the above some CD duplication products may be suitable for smaller shops or online sales especially when total sales are only expected to be a few hundred units. As long as rigorous production techniques and high quality media is used then a duplicated CD-R will give the same quality playback. Also if professional colour thermal print is used then the surface print of the disc will be as durable and good looking as a screenprinted or offset litho printed disc.

Another important factor is the packaging, if high quality cases are used together with offset printed inlays then the result can be a product that looks as good as a factory manufactured release. There are many on line packaging companies that sell cheap unreliable cases to the public but avoid these at all costs. Look for high quality cases and particular cases advertised as machine packable, this usually means they are high enough quality for pressing plants to use on production lines.

If you are using a short run of duplicated discs for retail then also be sure to seek print from a reputable printer, offset litho printed inlays and booklets are always preferable over digital. This print method will give an inlay that will be identical to the full major label releases seen in your high street store. The combination of high quality machine pack cases and offset litho printed booklet/inlays will yield a retail product of high presentation standard even when a duplicated disc is used.

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