Do It Yourself Disc Duplication Technology

It’s all about getting your material out -- quickly, efficiently and effectively. Today’s technology let’s you create an in-house publishing department using your own equipment, supplies and staff.

There are a variety of duplication, printing, and publishing options out there for you. You just need to find the right one.

Christmas CD Image

Lots of discs made…FAST.

If speed is critical, then a tower duplicator is your best bet. They take a file from a built-in hard drive, a master optical-disc, or network connection and make numerous copies simultaneously.

Disc duplicators accomplish their task through the brute force of multiple hard drives connected together. For example, Microboards sells a disc duplicator with 20 drives that can burn 180 DVDs an hour or 400 CDs an hour. Some even have auto-loaders for unattended duplication.

For even more capacity, many of the tower duplicators can be connected together or “daisy-chained”. The towers are typically chained together through high-speed eSATA connections to prevent data flow bottlenecks between devices.

Media choices have expanded from plain old CDs and DVDs to Blu-ray discs for high-definition video footage. There are even duplicators that write files to USB thumb drives.

Microboards Duplicator

Printing - Making a good impression:

We all know it’s what’s inside that really counts. But, an attractive package sure makes it easier to get noticed. And, something that looks good makes users more open to your message.

More ministries are moving away from sticky labels and the time-consuming hassle
of applying them. Printing directly onto discs is the way to go. It’s easier, more economical, and greener than ever before.

Direct to disc printing generally falls into three categories: Inkjet, thermal transfer, and thermal re-transfer.

Inkjet Print Technology
Inkjet printers are the most common way to print on discs and have the lowest
upfront cost. Just like a home office printer, inkjet printers spray liquid ink from a
print head onto the surface of an "inkjet-printable" disc. These discs have an
additional coating on them called the Ink Absorption Layer (IAL), which receives the ink and allows it to stay in place long enough to dry properly. The IAL also prevents
ink from contaminating the data layer of the disc, something that is particularly important with CDs. But, because the ink isn't bonded to the disc, the image doesn’t hold up very well to liquids or scratches.

To counter this problem, JVC developed the WaterShield disc. Watershield discs have a specially formulated layer that reacts with ink to create a highly water-resistant surface. While more expensive, this can be a good option if there’s a need for a more durable product. Falcon Media and JVC both also have a "Water Resistant" line of discs.

Thermal Transfer Print Technology
Thermal transfer, often called “Prism printing”, utilizes a thermal ink ribbon. A high-resolution print head heats the ribbon positioned on the surface of the disc to create a permanent ink-to-disc bond.

Typically, thermal transfer printers are used for single or spot color labels, such as titles, dates and other descriptive information. They are not intended for photographic quality and process color printing.

Where the thermal transfer printers shine is sheer speed. Some of these printers can produce up to 200 discs per hour depending on print quality and ink coverage.

Thermal Re-transfer Print Technology
Re-transfer technology, found in some TEAC printers at TapeOnline and Everest printers, uses a two ribbon process to create beautiful, magazine-quality discs. The image is heat bonded to the disc to create a surface that’s virtually indistinguishable from the screen-printed discs you’d see from a major record label or video distributor.

CMY Ribbon

The first ribbon contains the color, either CMY (cyan, magenta, yellow) for full-color imagery or a monochrome ribbon for black and white printing. The second ribbon is called the “transfer ribbon”. The printer applies the color image to the transfer ribbon. Heat and pressure then bond the combined ribbons to the surface of the disc.

The end result is a stunning, four-color process printed disc. The surface is scratch resistant, impervious to water, and will last as long as the disc itself.

Publishing Systems - Printing and Duplicating Combined:

An automated disc publishing system has both the printing and duplication functions along with software to manage and coordinate the two. Robotics are used to shuffle discs from disc duplicator to the printer, which are either thermal or thermal re-transfer.

Publishers are higher-end systems capable of handling multiple jobs simultaneously. Most are network ready allowing remote users to submit jobs for duplication, printing and collation. And, they can run unattended for hours. All you have to do is make sure the discs and printer supplies are loaded.

So, what do you need? It all depends on your needs and budget. Keep in mind that while some systems have lower entry costs, the long-term cost can actually be higher.

Below are some common applications and the equipment needed to accomplish them:


Please get in touch with us at TapeOnline at or at 877-893-8273. We’d love to discuss all different printer, duplicator, and publisher options with you.