Frequently Asked Questions about DVD and CD Duplication

 

Updated 5/18/2011 by SuperMediaStore Staff

Have a question about using a Duplicator to make DVDs and CDs? Here are answers to most common questions about using DVD Duplicators.

  • Can I upgrade my Duplicator?
    Frequently, Duplicators can be upgraded by the manufacturer for a minimal fee. This usually involves exchanging a few components and updating firmware to enhance speed and storage writing capability. It may be worth exploring. Software updates may be available for free. Remember, trying to upgrade or alter a duplicator yourself or using a non-authorized service provider will void the warranty.
  • Can I add drives or burners to my Duplicator?
    No. Every duplicator is specifically designed to operate with the duplicator drives assembled into a particular model. Physical and electronic constraints usually prohibit adding more drives. An alternative is to connect duplication drive towers to increase throughput.
  • Does it matter if a Duplicator has an aluminum chassis or a steel chassis?
    An aluminum chassis will be significantly lighter than a steel chassis, making it easier to handle and move. Even more importantly, an aluminum chassis will dissipate internal heat much better, allowing constant use without overheating concerns that cause performance problems, and possibly increasing overall lifespan if it is used heavily.
  • Does the type of blank media affect the quality of the copy from the Duplicator?
    Yes. The type and quality of the blank media may be the most important factor in copy quality.
  • Will certain brands of Duplicators only work with certain DVD/CD media brands?
    Just about any Duplicator will work with just about any available brand of blank DVDs or CDs. However, quality does vary, and the better the quality of blank media then the better the end result.
  • Will a 16x DVD Duplicator always duplicate at 16x, even if using 1x, 4x, or 16x media?
    No. In this case the Duplicator will operate at the maximum rate allowed by the media. No matter what the speed of Duplicator, it cannot exceed the speed capability of the blank disk. 
  • Can I copy CDs or VCDs to a DVD using a duplicator?
    No. CDs can only be duplicated to other CDs (including VCDs), and DVDs can only be duplicated to other DVDs. Duplicators can not copy from one format to another.
  • Does a DVD duplicator create fully authored and ready to play DVDs?
    Yes. The duplicator will duplicate an authored (or finalized) Master DVD into ready to play copies.
  • Can the duplicator make copies of copy protected material?
    If a manufactured disc (like a movie) uses standard manufacturer copyright protections then the disc cannot be duplicated.
  • Will the duplicated disc be exactly like the original, including chapter marks?
    All the digital information contained on the master will be copied to the original. The copy should function just as the master does, including the chapter marks. 
  • What is copy protection and how does it affect duplication?
    Copy protection is a way to ensure that only authorized parties can make duplications.  Most DVD producers of copyrighted materials like movies and games will likely use a method of copy protection on their discs. Copy protected discs can not be duplicated. 
  • Can the DVD duplicators duplicate a DVD that is bigger than 4.7 GB?
    Certain models of Duplicators can use dual layer DVDs with 8.5GB capacity. Check the Duplicator's specifications or the user guide to determine its capability. However, a duplicator that is DVD9 capable (8.5GB) can only duplicate to a DVD of the same capacity. An 8.4GB DVD cannot be duplicated to a 4.7GB DVD, or vice versa.
  • Will a multi-drive duplicator take longer to make duplications than a single drive duplicator?
    No. All the drives in the duplicator tower work simultaneously to make the duplications. A tower with three drives will make 3 copies in about the same time a single drive unit makes one.
  • Will the duplication speed affect the quality of the copied discs?
    Technically yes - but not really. With very high duplication speeds there is a slightly increased chance of an occasional dropped bit. However, this rarely occurs and usually does not ultimately affect the end quality of the disc to any noticeable degree or affect its functionality
  • Are the duplicators made by OEMs like NEC, Pioneer, Plextor, Sony, or TEAC?
    No. Even though these OEMs are the few to produce certain key components like the read-write drivers, there are many more manufacturers of Duplicators who make and/or assemble the other critical parts of a Duplicator like controllers, chassis, and power supply. 
  • Can I burn different DVDs at the same time with a Duplicator?
    No. All the drives on a Duplicator make the same copies of a DVD or CD at one time. Duplicators can not copy different DVDs simultaneously.
  • Can I duplicate business card size CD-R's or mini CD-R's with your duplicator?
    Yes. Duplicators typically handle all sizes of discs - including mini discs. 
  • Can a duplicator copy at different speeds?
    Yes. The specification on a duplicator indicates its highest capable speed. It can be set to copy at slower speeds if desired. 
  • Can my DVD duplicator copy CDs?
    Virtually all DVD duplicators will also duplicate CD's.
  • Can my duplicator make copies from the DVD Master created with either a MAC or a PC?
    The duplicator makes exact digital copies of the master. The type of computer that created the DVD Master doesn't matter. 
  • Will my DVD/CD duplicator work as a standalone?
    Yes. DVD duplicators can operate as a standalone unit with an easy to use control panel.  They do not need to be connected to a computer.
  • If I buy a multi-drive duplicator, can I still choose to duplicate one disc?
    Yes. If, for example, you have 3 drives for copying, you can duplicate using one, two, or three drives as needed. 
  • Why use a duplicator if I can burn CDs and DVDs on my computer?
    As a stand alone device, Duplicators can make duplicates quickly and easily, and they usually provide better quality than ones created by a computer CD/DVD burner. While PC burners are adequate for most home use, trying to generate a significant number of discs on a regular PC DVD burner, one at a time, would be time-consuming and frustrating. If you need to regularly create duplicate DVDs, using a Duplicator makes sense. Some basic robotics for use with a Duplicator are also commercially available, meaning DVDs can be duplicated, labeled, and sorted without an operator.  
  • What is the difference between the VideoBuster Duplicators and original format Duplicators?
    The VideoBuster model of Duplicators uses a technology called VCIT technology that makes blank discs of the DVD+R format (which has the most compatibility issues) work with virtually all DVD players. With other disc formats, the VideoBuster works the same as other Duplicators.
  • How can I tell if the duplicated copies are accurate or if they have problems?
    Duplicated copies can be tested on most Duplicators by using the Compare function. As the name implies, it compares the contents of the duplicated disc to the master disk to verify they are exactly the same. An exact duplication means the copy will work just like the master or original. If there is a problem, the drive will hold the failed duplicate with out affecting the other duplicating drives.
  • Why won't my Duplicator create copies of the DVD created on my DVD Recorder?
    DVD recorders and burners frequently require a DVD be “finalized” - meaning that it is compatible to play on all DVD players. Before being finalized, the DVD is not properly formatted for all DVD players. After a DVD recorder or DVD burner finalizes the disc, it can be used as a Master DVD for duplication.
  • Can DVD Duplicators duplicate CD+G discs?
    No. Duplicators can duplicate the CDs, but they cannot duplicate the audio with graphics format of the CD+G format. A Duplicator specifically made for CD+G is needed to duplicate CD+G discs.
  • Can I control the Duplicator by a computer or generate duplicates using files on a computer or on a network?
    A Duplicator is controlled by the control panel and functions cannot be controlled externally. However, a duplicator can be connected to an individual computer via a USB or Firewire connection in order to create a DVD Master disc or burn discs on specified duplicate drives that have available connections.
  • Can I make duplications while I am using external USB/Firewire devices?
    Yes.  Drives that are not connected to a USB or Firewire port can be used to make duplications even while you're using the USB/Firewire connections for other drives. If all of the drives have connections, then duplications cannot be made at the same time. Drives that have USB and Firewire connections are usually labeled with a sticker. 
  • What is the purpose of USB or Firewire connections on my duplicator?
    Being able to connect a Duplicator to a PC allows it to be used as a typical (or better than typical) DVD or CD burner.
  • Why do some duplicators come with USB & Firewire connections and others don't?
    Manufacturers like to offer a variety of products to meet customer's needs. Some customers may not want or need to connect to a computer. Plus, high speed duplicators may not work properly with streaming data from a computer and requires a Master DVD. Therefore, not every model (particularly a high speed model) is equipped with a USB or Firewire port. 
  • Do duplicators have a warranty? Who can service them?
    Pretty much all Duplicators come with a standard warranty that covers parts and labor. The manufacturer or designated provider will do the servicing or repair. Warranties do vary, so be informed when making a purchase decision.