There are a number of companies who specialise in the duplication and replication of your CD, DVD or Blu-Ray, promising the use of technical processes to give you quality disk copies. But the difference between duplication and replication isn’t always fully explained, leading many to ask themselves, how do I know which service is best for me? The explanation below should settle this question, giving you the confidence to choose the best company to suit your project’s needs.
Let’s start with the definitions of both words:
Duplication – "The act or process of duplicating something. A copy.
Synonyms: reproduction – doubling – repetition – reduplication”
Replication – "The action of copying or reproducing something. A copy.
Synonyms: reply – rejoinder – answer – response – replica – copy”
Both definitions are explained very clearly on a basic level, but any DVD/CD copying novice would still be hard-pressed to tell the difference!
You could describe the process in simple terms: "CD and DVD duplication is the process of writing or transferring information onto a CD or DVD, or duplicating this information onto the CD or DVD”.
On the other hand, replication produces higher quality and greater consistency in comparison. In the modern day world where there is more demand in the media industry for the best technology and capacity, replication is often favoured over duplication.
To understand each process in MORE detail, here is a break-down of the technologies and processes used:
Duplication – using the original disk provided, the duplicator extracts the data and copies/transfers it onto a blank disc (a lot like a printer). During duplication, commonly known as burning, data is etched onto the CD/DVD with a small laser. Duplicating CDs and DVDs reduces the cost of writeable media and produces high quality, low cost results from smaller orders. CD/DVD burners are also convenient, easily transported and economic, although you will notice the best results on short or promo runs under 1000 disks. To duplicate hundreds of CDs or DVDs simultaneously, banks of duplication towers would have to be used. Businesses use duplication processes to "burn” parts lists, manuals, training videos etc, and duplicated disks hold up to 4.7GB per side.
Replication – replication clones the exact data from the original disk onto a blank disc (a lot like a photocopier). The exact matching results are why it is favoured as the higher quality option. Using the master copy, a "glass master” is created, then a moulding machine creates blank CDs/DVDs moulded from the original. These are 120mm plastic disks which are stamped with the glass master; imprinting the information from the master copy.
This process is designed to make professional CDs
for mass production. The silver finish is achieved by coating a thin, reflective layer of aluminium, then a protective lacquer which is hardened using ultraviolet light.
Replication offers the best resolution and the lowest cost per disk, for projects requiring 1000 disks or more. They hold up to 19GB.
Regardless of the great differences in processes, duplication and replication both produce equal audio quality and data integrity for your personal or commercial CDs and DVDs.