Blu-ray vs DVD

Since winning the high definition war Blu-ray is champion of the new era video distribution.  Or has that truly been the case?  We as a disc replicator haven’t seen a big demand for Blu-ray yet, at least not at the indie level.  Hollywood movies have moved to Blu-ray or simul-release blu-ray’s and DVD’s. But for the indies, I think the license fees are still too high.  For low volume production the total of the license fees is even higher than the cost of replicating the disc.  I do have suggestions for the indies who want to distribute high definition videos.

  1. Use blu-ray duplication instead of replication.  Burning blu-ray movies on BD-R does not require AACS.
  2. Use dual layer DVD, or even single layer DVD is your video is short, and encode the video in AVCHD format. The replicated disc is still a DVD but it won’t play on DVD players.  Instead, it will play on blu-ray players. Believe it or not, AVCHD can still attain the full HD resolutions of 1920 x 1080.  The play time will be dependent on the resolutions of course.

Please feel free to contact us at New Cyberian if you need to know about any high definition video solutions.

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DVD-9 layer break point

I cannot emphasize more the importance of setting the correct layer break point for dual layer DVDs, the so called DVD-9.

Most software, including the famous ones such as DVD Studio Pro and Encore sometimes set the layer break point at the wrong place.  But your question is: It works though.  Yes, it may work on your DVD player but may not work on other players.  There is a very funny phenomenon in the DVD player market; i.e. the cheaper the DVD player, the more compatible it is.  Why?  Because cheap DVD players are created to play the cheap bootleg discs and if the requirement is too tight they may fail to play.  On the other hand, brand name players such as Pioneer, Sony, Philips, etc. confirm to the DVD forum standard so they will reject bad discs, including dual layer discs with a bad break point.

When you have a dual-layer order please make sure to hire a company that knows how to set the correct layer break point.  If the layer break point is set incorrectly a knowledgeable replicator such as New Cyberian should be able to fix it without the need for re-authoring.

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Is digipak replacing jewel case as the mainstream music cd packaging?

A very common comment from our customers is that “Everyone is going digi now.” I think it’s debatable though.  I am sure some people still prefer the good old jewel cases.  Campers on the digipak side claim that digipaks are less susceptible to broken plastic, look more elegant, and cost less to ship.  On the jewel case camp, old fashioners claim that jewel cases are more durable while the cardboard on digipak tends to wrinkle up and gets decolorized.  I think both sides have their valid claims; it’s just matter of taste and preference.  What do you think?  Do you prefer the good old jewel cases or the new style digipaks?  Please vote on this.

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Knocking out a CD artwork for silver exposure

A common technique used by CD artwork designer is to expose the silver background of the disc to give the silver foil effect.  The technical term is knocking out.  When you knock an area on the artwork essentially you don’t print anything on it.  To communicate such idea you should have a separate layer on the artwork to represent the knock out.  Another term you may want to know is called white flood.  By white flooding the silver CD will be cover with a white background first.  Doing so will make the later printing as if it is printed on a piece of white paper.

Showing below are examples of knocking out, disc with white flood, and disc without white flood.

Cd artwork knock out

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Duplication de CD ou DVD

Bonjour tout le monde,

Ce message est pour nos clients en France et au Canada. Si vous avez besoinde CD services de duplication, nous pouvons vous garantir que nous sommes la meilleure compagnie avec la meilleure qualité et prix les plus compétitifs.

Bien que je peux pas parler très bien le français, je vais essayer de mon mieux pour vous aider.

Je suis impatient de vous servir.

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How to evaluate the quality of a replicated compact disc?

Data on compact disc, be the disc a CD, DVD, or Blu-ray are binary in nature. Unfortunately the quality of a compact disc is not binary in the sense of working and not working.  A lot of badly replicated discs are in between these two quality extremes, i.e. they work sometimes and do not work sometimes, they work on certain disc players and do not work on other players.  How do you assess whether a compact disc is good or bad?

Common sense tells you that the printing side of a disc has nothing to do with playability.  It’s the silver data side that the disc is being read. The information is read from the reflection of the laser beam. When the reflected ray is weak then the data might be skipped rendering the disc unreadable.  Poorly fabricated stamper and inconsistent sputtering process will give rise to sputtering smear.  A perfect disc should look smoothly shiny as a mirror.  When silver side becomes smeary as a carnival mirror then there is big quality problem. Never buy the argument that the smear won’t affect the readability.  It will, especially on older CD or DVD players.

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DDP or Redbook for CD replication?

This question is occasionally raised by mastering houses whether it is better to submit the master in DDP format or in Redbook CD format.  The answer is: either way, the result will be the same.

DDP is the acronym for Disc Description Protocol.  It is the native format used by many equipment in the disc replication industry.  According to Wikipedia, DDP is a format for specifying the content of optical discs, including CD’s and DVD’s.  It is commonly used for delivery of disc permasters for duplication.

Some replicators, especially many brokers, will refuse to accept DDP format because they don’t have the equipment to reverse the DDP to a physical copy.  These replicators will only accept Redbook CD as master.  Well, there is nothing wrong with that because by it’s digital nature a copy of a Redbook CD should be exactly the same as the master. There is one catch though.  The equipment used to make the copy has to be compatible with the Redbook standard.  Otherwise not all the information will be carried over to the new copy.  For example, some CD-ROM drive cannot copy CD-Text and CD+G information.  In that case, supplying a DDP image will be safer.  So to eliminate such possibility, we encourage the submission of DDP if all possible.

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Is CSS copy protection worth having?

It depends.  Almost all Hollywood DVD’s have CSS copy protection on them. The DVD’s you get from NetFlix also have CSS copy protection.  The intention is to deter normal users from making copies.  When one tries to copy a DVD with CSS copy protection the software will inform the users that the DVD cannot be copied.  But this only applies to reputable software such as NERO, ImgBurn, etc.  Since the algorithm of CSS has long been cracked, there are hacker software that can make DVD copies with just few mouse clicks.

So CSS copy protection is meant for the gentlemen and not for the villains. Ask yourself how valuable your content is before making the decision on adding CSS.  The cost of having CSS is very minimum; $150 per title if you purchase your DVD replication from New Cyberian. If you are selling your DVD for couple of hundreds dollars, then CSS is worth the money.  If you are only selling at $10 to $20, ask one more question whether your prospect buyers will tend to make copies for archiving or distributing.  If just for archiving then not having CSS probably will not hurt your sales.  Otherwise add it anyway.

If you need to add CSS on your DVD you can just send your master as if there is no need for CSS.  New Cyberian is among the very few companies that can add CSS to an already  authored DVD.  If your current replicator request you to have DDP or DLT then tell them to send the master to New Cyberian instead.  We don’t have all these updated requirements.

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