Wholesale CD duplication, CD replication, DVD duplication, DVD replication, USB flash drives by New Cyberian

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DVD Duplicator FAQ


Only few years ago a DVD Duplicator could cost over thousands of dollars for a fraction of the performance we have now but for much less. Moving at the same speed as most hardware technology during the dot com boom, duplicator towers are becoming much more affordable, more reliable, more user friendly, and much faster. Despite all these, buying a DVD duplication tower has not been as straight forward as buying a desktop computer. The purpose of this FAQ is to help you as a consumer make the correct decision when purchasing a DVD Duplicator unit.

Q1 What is a duplicator or duplication tower?
Q2. What attributes of a duplicator I would need to concern when buying a duplicator.
Q3. What's the major difference between CD and DVD duplicators.
Q4. What are the common configurations of the duplication towers?
Q5. What are the common speeds for CD and DVD duplicators?
Q6. What is the internal cache drive and what does it do?
Q7. How many images can I store on the internal cache drive?
Q8. When we mention the speed of the writes, we usually say how many X'es, but what do the X'es stand for?
Q9. Can the duplicators copy copyright protected CDs or DVD's?
Q10. Can the CD duplicator copy CD master in hybrid format to be read by both PC and Mac?
Q 11. I search eBay and found a lot of duplicators listed, can I buy from them?
   
   
Q1. What is a duplicator or duplication tower?
Ans. By definition if your desktop computer equipped with a CD or DVD writer is a 1-to-1 duplicator already. But when we say duplicator we usually mean the stacking of CD or DVD writers in one unit. When they are stacked vertically the unit looks like a tower hence the name duplication tower is sometimes used. The main difference between a duplication tower and a PC equipped with a writer is that a duplication tower is usually a standalone unit that does not require any software to make it work. On a PC you would probably have to install CD or DVD burning software such as Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator, Nero, Discjuggler, or other software. With a duplicator or tower you would not have such requirement because the software is embedded into the chip that drives the duplicator.
   
Q2. What attributes of a duplicator I would need to concern when buying a duplicator.
Ans. Simply put, what media you need to burn? How many CD or DVD to be duplicated each run? How fast? and do you need an internal caching disc? We will try to explain these one by one.
   
Q3. What's the major difference between CD and DVD duplicators.
Ans. A CD duplicator can only burn CD recordable (CD-R) or CD-RW media. A DVD duplicator can burn either CD-R or DVD-R. But don't let this fact lure you into buying a DVD duplicator unless you absolutely have the needs to burn both CD and DVD. The reason being: Although a DVD duplicator can be used to burn CD-R, the speed is usually slower than a dedicated CD duplicator. The maximum speed of a DVD duplicator to burn CD-R is about 24X. A dedicated CD duplicator can burn CD-R up to 52X., more than twice times faster. Of course this will change due to newer technology.
   
Q4. What are the common configurations of the duplication towers?
Ans. The most common configurations are 1-to-3, 1-to-7, and 1-to-14. You would occasionally see some 1-to-5 units which are actually a 1-to-7 unit put into a smaller case. No need to say the price to value ratio for the 1-to-5 won't be impressive.
   
Q5. What are the common speeds for CD and DVD duplicators?
Ans. At the time of writing, the most common speeds are 52X for CD writers and 8X for DVD writers.
   
Q6. What is the internal cache drive and what does it do?
Ans. Although all duplicators available on the market can do direct reader to writers duplication, there are disadvantages of doing so, namely, the reader will wear out faster and the data transfer is less reliable. Imaging if you had to burn 500 CDs from a 1-to-7 duplicator, the reader will have to read 72 times. The more the reader reads, the faster the optical head ages. As the laser head ages, it will be more difficult for the reader to read data from the CD master. One common problem found on desktop PC is that for the same CD it could be read on one computer but not on other. That is probably caused by the aging laser head that fails to read data. Although a CD-ROM reader is very inexpensive now but changing one can be a daunting job for non-technical personnel. The solution to this is to store the CD masters on an internal hard drive. This way the reader will only need to read once and the data transfer from a hard drive to the writer is much more reliable.
   
Q7. How many images can I store on the internal cache drive?
Ans. That really depends on the capacity of the hard drive and what kind of image you are storing. For CD, the hard drive will be partitioned into 1GB partitions so the number of images you can store will be the same as how many GB the hard drive is. A 80GB hard drive will be able to store 80 images, 120GB 120 images and so on and so forth. For DVD, the hard drive will be partitioned into 5GB slots so the number of images will be the hard disk capacity in GB divided by five. So an 80GB drive would store 16 images, a 120GB drive stores 24 images.
   
Q8. When we mention the speed of the writes, we usually say how many X'es, but what do the X'es stand for?
Ans. One X for CD is 150KB per second. So for a fully loaded CD-ROM with 650MB, it will take about 87 seconds for a 52X writer to complete the burning. The formula is 650 x 1024 ÷ 150 ÷ 52 = 87. As far as DVD, one X represents 1380KB/sec. With this rate, a fully-loaded DVD master with 4.7GB will require about 893 seconds (about 15 minutes) for a 4X writer to complete the burning. Again, the formula is 4.7 x 1024 x 1024 ÷ 1380 ÷ 4 = 892.8. The actual time will be longer because of the lead-in and lead-out. On the other hand, most of the time the master is not fully loaded so the numbers above are the extreme cases. Your burning time will be the function of how full the master is and what type of media you are using. Some media, although advertised for certain speed, may not be able to attain the rates it was advertised and the duplicator will try to burn at lower speed to ensure the integrity.
   
Q9. Can the duplicators copy copyright protected CDs or DVD's ?
Ans. Although making a duplicator to crack the copyright protection scheme isn't really difficult from the technical point of view, most duplicator manufacturers, including New Cyberian Systems, Inc. do respect the hard work of the content authors or owners. If you try to copy copyright protected CDs or DVD's, the duplicator will most likely complain. Even there is no copyright protection on most masters, you should be aware of the consequence of potentially breaking the copyright laws.
   
Q10. Can the CD duplicator copy CD master in hybrid format to be read by both PC and Mac?
Ans. Yes, a CD duplicator will preserve the original file format. That means there is no difference between the CD master and the CDs spawn from the copying process. The file format, the volume label will be the same. This applies not only to hybrid CDs but all kind of CDs, be them audio, data, ISO, etc.
   
Q 11. I search eBay and found a lot of duplicators listed, can I buy from them?
Ans. Absolutely! As a wholesaler New Cyberian Systems does supply duplicators to other resellers who may auction the duplicators on eBay. By and large it's pretty safe to buy from eBay sellers. There are few things you should watch out though. Since duplicator can be used and there is not way to tell whether a unit is new or old unless you are the expert, make sure to buy from reputable sellers. High positive feedback is one way but that should not be the only criterion as most likely problems won't surface right after the eBay transaction when feedbacks are put. Also make sure to ask the sellers about their warranty policy. You really don't want to end up buying from a seller who will disappear in 3 month or selling organ enlargement pill later. You may also want to know where the seller is as the shipping cost can be substantial for a heavy 1-to-7 unit. Make sure they are not gouging you on S&H. Last but not least, make sure you are not buying a stolen unit as there are a lot of crooks out there who would buy from legitimate sources with stolen credit cards and then sell the goods on eBay. Contact us for a list of eBay duplicator sellers in your area.
   
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