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Old September 23rd, 2009, 10:49 AM   #1
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Printing DVD faces

I have been doing weddings for several years and upon delivery of my DVDS, I have been using Lightscribe for the face of the DVD. I try to get a sharp image of the couple with a digital camera and that has been working well, but I would like to make the disks look more attractive by adding color. I do not want to spend a lot on a printer and thought the Discpainter by Dymo would be just the the thing but reading the reviews on Amazon, I was discouraged to hear that the resolution was poor, showed banding rings, and generally poor quality. The Epson RX680 seemed to be a good choice until I read their reviews and the printer not recognizing their own ink cartridges seem to be a real problem. Can anyone suggest a printer in the $200.00 range that will give satisfactory results? I am much more concerned what is in the DVD rather than the cover but I would like to improve the appearance a little. Thank you…..Ron
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 11:01 AM   #2
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We have used multiple Epson RX series printers that have done a pretty good job at printing to disc. We design label templates (to go with our Pro Motion Menu Kit products) which use a full range of colors and look amazing when printed directly on the disc with the epson printer.

Even if the RX680 model is not detecting the epson ink cartridges as being genuine, it still shouldn't effect it's ability to print, nor the quality of the print. It's possible they will release a driver or firmware fix for it.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 11:19 AM   #3
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I have used several Epson printers over the years with very few problems. They do a great job of printing discs. The only annoyance that I have had is sometimes referred to as the "Epson Dance". This is when the disc caddy cycles back and forth in the input tray and then aborts the print which requires that the print be restarted. It doesn't happen often but just enough to be a minor annoyance.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 11:23 AM   #4
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Hi Ron, I use the Epson PX700 printer and it gives super results with printable DVD media. I also use Taiyo Yuden watersheild DVDs ( nothing else even close to them) and the results look as good as a professinal DVD.

In the UK these blanck DVDs cost around 50 pence each ( 35 cents) but are easily worth it.

As for ink. Don't fall into the "have to buy Epson" ink. It's extortion. I purchased the Epson then went to Ebay and purchased one of those CIS ( Continuous Ink Supply) and the results are brilliant, and the ink costs a tiny fraction of the Epson prices.

For about $60 you will have a supply of ink that will last months and months, and the refills cost next to nothing.

I tried Lightscribe but you have to wait ages for one disk with no colour, when you can get a Tayo Yuden disk printed for next to nothing.

Just my opinion of course
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 12:46 PM   #5
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HP makes a couple inexpensive printers with DVD/CD tray - their software is clunky, but easy to workaround (I just create a graphic for the full CD front, and import it into their program rather than trying to create a suitable graphic with their program). Not sure if they will continue to offer the option, Epson's sort of the "leader" in this particular technology, and HP has only offered the option on a couple models each year - the new models just released didn't have the option, so not sure what that means... maybe they will release some later, or pick up "last years model" on the cheap.

I've got a two model year old HP D5160 I'm selling (upgraded to "last years model", as it's easier on the ink for all around printing - I do a lot of straight text... 5160 used 2 "multicolor" cartridges, the new one uses 5 separate).
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 12:57 PM   #6
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I just picked this Epson Artisan 50 up a month or so ago - it's cheap and it prints beautifully on the imprintable discs, it's pretty quick, and the software works very well. Of course I haven't replaced the inks yet - I may look into the ebay CIS system.

Epson Artisan 50 Ink Jet Printer, Overview - Product Information - Epson America, Inc.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 01:21 PM   #7
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I tried the Dymo DiscPainter. I was so impressed with its lack of quality that the instant the ink ran out it was replaced by an Epson Artisan 800, which I got for just a bit over your $200 price limit. Combined with the Taiyo Yuden Watershield disks, the print/image quality is superb. Absolutely no complaints.

Last edited by Bill Koehler; September 23rd, 2009 at 01:23 PM. Reason: better phrasing
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 01:47 PM   #8
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I've got 2 Epson R200s and and Epson 1400 which prints 13X19-I haven't had any trouble with any of them other than the 200s which I have to do the Epson push/pull with but thats common with the 200 series.
I've never had a problem with any of them not seeing the ink carts.

The 14000 is about $300 but the other Epson series are a lot less and you can get Continuous Ink Flow systems for them.

Any of them combined with the TY Watershield DVDs produce and awesome product
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Old September 24th, 2009, 03:22 AM   #9
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We've used a range of Epsons, currently an R200, non-epson ink, car cellulose spray to seal. The exception is our demo disk blanks which we have printed and sealed professionally and buy by the 1000. We then burn as required, updating the demo from time to time.
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Old September 24th, 2009, 09:27 AM   #10
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I JUST trashed an Epson R260 that wouldn't recognize not one but THREE different complete ink set replacements. All six inks. All Epson, all the time.

Thanks but I'll be doing a Primera Auto Printer or HP Deskjet after my imminent move. And the "Epson Dance" also gets OLD.

To be fair, the print quality was near excellent but I would not consider at least the 2xx series to be even remotely appropriate for a professional environment (having used 4 distinct 2xx series printers at my office and my former 9-5).
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Old September 24th, 2009, 09:40 AM   #11
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I think one's reaction to the printer may also be influenced by the type of face printing you do.

We don't go in for pictures etc - it seems as waste of effort for a face that will only be visible for the few seconds the disk is en route from the case to the player. We stick to a very standard, almost corporate design. On the other hand we put a lot of effort into the library case insert but that's printed on a Xerox colour laser
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Old September 24th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #12
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I have been using Epson R280 now Artisan 50 to print on TY watersheild DVDs. The output is excellent. Read here DVD cover design and DVD label printing | L.A. Color Blog
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Old September 24th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #13
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I want to thank all for their good advice. I learn so much from this forum. It is a great place to hang out. I settled on the Epson Artisan 800 All In One. I hope it will work out OK. I plan to order some TY DVDs as many of you have mentioned. I also want to puchase a CIS system off of Ebay. I notice that there are many to choose from. Does it make much difference which to get or is there certain types that are better? Thanks again for all your advice. It is greatly appreciated.

Ron
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Old September 24th, 2009, 12:33 PM   #14
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I have tried 2 different CISS. One of them having lots of trouble for the printer to recognize and the print out was very dull. Now I'm using 3 sets of CISS from this guy. Super Smart Electronics Home Page It works well. The printer recognize the cartridges no problem and the print out is great.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 12:21 AM   #15
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Can I offer one bit of experience regarding CISS? I purchased one of these from a firm in France some years ago and had the devil's own job keeping the heads free.

Ink technology may have changed of course, so others' more recent advice should also be considered but my experience is that unless you have an extraordinarily high through put the cost savings may not be as high as the CISS suppliers claim.
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