CD & DVD Duplication vs. Replication

There are two similar processes available to make a copy of a CD or DVD: duplication and replication. The duplication process involves burning the content on to a pre-manufactured blank CD-R or DVD-R, while the replication process adds the content to the disc during the actual CD or DVD manufacturing process. Understanding the difference between duplication and replication is an important part in determining which is the best process to use for your specific project.

CD & DVD Duplication

The duplication process is similar to burning a CD or DVD on your personal computer. The duplicator extracts the data from the disc to be copied and creates a disc image to use as the master. It then uses that master disc image to make exact copies on blank CD-Rs or DVD-Rs. VCS has the most advanced state-of-the-art duplication equipment, the highest quality blank media, and can burn hundreds of discs at a time while verifying each one for accuracy as they are made.

CD & DVD Replication

VCS also offers CD & DVD replication, which is a process where copies are made during the disc manufacturing process. Before replication can begin, a glass master is created from the client-supplied master. The glass master is in turn used to create a stamper, and the stamper is loaded into the molding machine that makes the physical discs. The quality of the finished disc hinges on the quality of the glass master, therefore VCS closely monitors production every step of the way, ensuring consistency and quality is never compromised.

Advantages & Disadvantages

For both CD and DVD, the duplication process offers a faster turn-around time and simpler, lower-cost set-up. While duplication can result in a higher cost per unit, it is typically less expensive overall for smaller production runs. At higher volumes the replication process can result in a lower unit cost, but typically requires a 1,000 piece minimum order, making it an impractical choice for very small runs. VCS is capable of producing CDs and DVDs using either process, and usually recommends duplication as the best choice for production runs from 1 to 1,000 copies, while reserving replication for quantities ranging from 1,000 to 1,000,000. However, there may be other considerations unique to your project that would determine which process would be best for you, so please feel free to discuss any pertinent details with your VCS representative. Either way, you can be confident that VCS will provide you with the highest quality finished product every time.