Understanding the difference between replication and duplication will allow you to choose the best method for your project. The two processes differ mainly in the amount of time required to complete each method and actual desired quantity.
Replicated media, or pressed media, surfaced in about 1982. All movie DVD’s are examples of replicated media produced by film companies. However, this doesn’t mean you can go to a store and buy DVD’s to replicate on your own, retail DVD’s cannot be replicated. Replication services are usually done on a large scale, with projects starting from 500+ pieces. The actual replication process begins the same as DVD duplication but instead of duplicating DVD’s in duplication towers on blank DVDr’s, an E-jet machine creates a mirror image of your master DVD disc and is used in a press that takes plastic, metals and bonding agents to actually stamp and exact a copy of your original master DVD disc. This option is ideal if you need a large quantity of copies but keep in mind that it is a longer process and can take up to two weeks to complete.
The duplication process starts with a master DVD-r that the client provides; this can be a personal project, a home movie, or a wedding video. A tower that consists of multiple burners is used to duplicate the original master and transfer the contents to multiple blank media DVD’s. The master copy is placed in the source drive of the tower and the blank DVD-r’s are placed in the slave drives. The original content on the master copy will be duplicated to the blank DVD’s. Once the blank discs are copied with the master data they can be labeled with a high quality label. This is a great option for lower quantity orders as it is simple, has a faster turnaround time, and no minimum quantity necessary.
Determining which method is best for your project is really a question of quantity and quality. While replication ensures the highest quality, it isn’t really practical to place a low replication order. Reserve replication for high quantity orders of 500 or more if you don’t have a strict deadline. For smaller orders, duplication will satisfy your needs and provide a quick turnaround.