FAQ for Printing on CD DVD Discs

 
Updated 4/5/2011 by SuperMediaStore Staff

Most Asked Question about Inkjet Printable DVDs

  • What is Inkjet Printable DVD-R?

    Inkjet Printable DVD-R discs are the discs that have a special coating that is applied on the non-recording surface, allowing consumers to print onto them directly. Usually this process is done by using a special CD/DVD printer. There are two types of discs that are currently available, the White Inkjet Printable DVD media such as the Ritek White inkjet printable DVD-R and the Silver Thermal Printable DVD-R.


  • What is the differences between Thermal Printable and Inkjet Printable?

    A thermal CD printer uses pressure and heat to apply text and graphics to the CD-R printable surface. The resulting print is waterproof, scratchproof and does not require any additional coating. The major limitation of thermal print is it's inability to adequately produce photographic images. A thermal print should only be used for simple text and graphics. An inkjet CD printer works very much like a regular paper inkjet printer. The ink is sprayed from nozzles onto the inkjet printable blank CD-R media surface. After printing, the CDs are coated with a lacquer or laminate to ensure the CDs are highly waterproof and scratchproof. The print quality is also superb.


    In fact, the vibrancy and detail of an inkjet print can only be matched by an offset print (not even a screen print comes close!). Photographic images, text, logos and other graphics are all rendered superbly. The main drawback of an inkjet print is the inability to produce Pantone colors, some degrees of difficulty to precisely color match, and time. It can take up to 4 minutes to print one full coverage CD! We use an inkjet print as standard for all our short run CD and DVD runs. The quality print out and the low price makes it the best and most cost effective option for your projects with quantities below 500 units. We would always recommend an inkjet print instead of a thermal print for all short run work.


    NOTE: This Guide is assuming that you have a Printer that is able to print on top of Inkjet Printable DVD-R Media


    Here are the 4 Easy Steps to print on Inkjet Printable CD or Inkjet Printable DVD Media


    Step 1: Put The Printable CD or DVD R Disc onto the Tray
     


    Step 2: Push the Tray into Printer and align it with the Arrows
     


    Step 3: Print using the software and picture of your choice. It is safest to use the printing software included with the printer.


    Step 4: Done!


The alternative? Leave your CDs and DVDs blank and hope you will be able to remember what was on them...or mark them with a CD marker and hope everyone will be able to read your handwriting. Your options appear to be limited.


That is no longer the case. With a selection of inexpensive CD/DVD printers, you can label your media like the professionals. (If you print media frequently and copiously, you should take a look at our selection of professional DVD printers and industrial DVD publishers.) For the average consumer, Epson has models of printers that can do the job of a regular inkjet printer and print directly on to the surface of the CD/DVD blank medias, provided that the CD/DVD has the printable layer. These models include the Epson R200 / R220 / R300 / R330M / R320 / R340.

  • What are the disadvantages of traditional Adhesive CD Labels and Stickers?

    You have encountered the phenomenon before, and dedicated many coasters to getting the sticky label to fit just right. Here's a rundown of the potential problems of adhesive CD/DVD labels:

    1. The sticky labels need be centered with a labeling gadget. DVD readers read at high speeds that require sufficient balance of the media.
    2. Air bubbles can develop after a certain time. It's unattractive and dangerous to your DVD reader.
    3. Removal of the labels can remove the top layer of lacquer and/or the reflective layer.
    4. Labels that are too thick or damaged can become jammed in the DVD reader.
    5. Acids from the adhesive can ruin the DVD Disc.

  • The different surface types:


    Branded:

    Manufacturer logo is printed on the surface. Surface color varies depending on the brand and model. Surface is not printable but can be written on using most soft, felt-tipped markers. Ballpoint pens should not be used as it may damage the disc.


    Hardcoat:

    Protective layer added to make the disc more resistant to fingerprints and scratches and also to repel dirt and dust.


    Silver Matte:

    Non-reflective, lustrous silver appearance. Surface is thermal printable using monochrome thermal printers such as Rimage Prism Printer.


    Gold Lacquer:

    Reflective, lustrous gold appearance. Surface is thermal printable using monochrome thermal printers such as Rimage Prism Printer.


    LightScribe:

    Lustrous appearance, various monochromatic colors available. Graphics can be laser-etched on the surface by LightScribe-enabled burners/duplicators. No printer is required; simply flip the disc over with the recording side facing up to laser-etch your custom design directly on the disc surface.


    Shiny Silver/Silver Lacquer:

    Reflective, lustrous silver appearance. Surface is thermal printable using monochrome thermal printers such as Rimage Prism Printer. These discs are NOT compatible with thermal re-transfer printers such as Rimage Everest Printer.


    Silver Thermal Printable:

    Reflective silver appearance, similar to silver lacquer but slightly duller in reflectivity. An additional layer is added to make the surface thermal printable with high-end thermal re-transfer printers such as Rimage Everest Printer.


    Silver Inkjet Printable:

    Non-reflective, lustrous appearance. Surface is inkjet printable using inkjet disc printers or inkjet printers with disc printing trays. Surface prints have a slightly lustrous look compared to white inkjet surface prints.


    WaterShield:

    Glossy finish added to be water resistant and more resistant to wear and scratches.


    White Inkjet Printable:

    White, matte appearance. Surface is inkjet printable using inkjet disc printers or inkjet printers with disc printing trays. Surface prints appear as if printed on plain white printing paper.


    White Thermal Printable:

    White, matte surface with slight glossy look. Glossy look is due to the additional layer added to make the surface thermal printable with high-end thermal re-transfer printers such as Rimage Everest Printer.


    White Top Thermal Printable:

    White, matte surface with slight glossy look. Surface is thermal printable using monochrome thermal printers such as Rimage Prism printer. These discs are NOT compatible with thermal re-transfer printers such as Rimage Everest Printer.


    Hub Printable:

    The printable surface goes all the way through the center hub of the disk. The hub is the circular center of the CD/DVD, about 1 ½ inches in diameter. This allows the full surface of the disc to be printed on for a more attractive custom appearance.


    Hub Printable:

    There is printable surface that goes all the way to the center hub of the disk. This means you can print all the way to the center hub of the disc and personalize your CD/DVD in a more stylish and unique way.


    No Stack Ring:

    Always in conjunction with Hub Printable – No Stack Ring means that the ridge surrounding the hub is not present. For discs that are to be thermal printed, there is an advantage to not having a stacking ring. The stacking ring sticks up and interferes with the thermal printer head. When there is no stacking ring there is no restriction on the thermal printing area.