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Old November 19th, 2010, 12:52 PM   #1
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Duplicating DVDs for sale: recommendations for printers/DVD duplicators/suppliers?

I'm going to do some relatively short runs of DVDs for two film projects; I'll be selling DVDs of both off Amazon/Filmbaby/Ebay through my own store front. I don't want to publish "on demand" via CreateSpace/Amazon since the commission/replication/closing fees are high and Amazon has the reputation of wrecking price points if I'm selling through other pathways. At this point, getting them replicated via discmakers.com isn't financially viable (their base prives are OK but their hidden shipping fees are very high).

Does anyone have recommendations for low cost DVD duplication box and disc label printers. Also is anyone using u-line for their disc/case supplies?

Thanks
Greg
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Old November 19th, 2010, 06:53 PM   #2
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Hi Greg,

If these are standard definition DVDs, you might think about a supplier like "kunaki dot com". I have used them for short run items (in the hundreds). They are an upload "robot". You create the art work according to their specs and create a DVD just as you want it to be delivered. The usual art work specifications apply (300dpi) for the disc, the case cover, and the one page insert. They do state that because no one is there to help you, you need to be at least capable of doing the art work and producing an error-free DVD and managing an extended upload. But if that is OK, you upload to their site using a free download-able program. You can order as few as one or as many as you like. The current cost starts $1.00 for 10 or fewer and a variable price (up to $1.75 each) for longer runs) any number of packages that include a cellophane wrapped, full colour disc, case cover, and insert as well as the DVD itself. They will drop ship to anywhere you like and if you ask for it will insert a unique bar code so Amazon Ebay and retail stores can sell it easily.

By the way I have absolutely no affiliation with them and I imagine there are others offering similar deals, I just happen to know this one. They do not negotiate. Your first DVD can act as a proof. They are quick and if you do a good job on the art and DVD, it looks completely professional -- check it out.

They are not interested in BluRay at this stage.

Alan

Last edited by Alan Emery; November 19th, 2010 at 06:55 PM. Reason: error in text
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Old November 19th, 2010, 08:02 PM   #3
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Fantastic, thanks Alan. I'll check them out.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 11:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Quinn View Post
Does anyone have recommendations for low cost DVD duplication box and disc label printers. Also is anyone using u-line for their disc/case supplies?

Thanks
Greg
I started off with one of these Disc Makers Forte CD / DVD Duplicator units from Discmakers. It has a built-in hard drive (mine is 160GB) that will store as many CD/DVD/DVD-DL images you can stuff on it. I like that it is automated. The amount of time you save by not having to change out discs manually is HUGE. The downside to this unit is that it only holds 25 discs at a time and is a little slow when it comes to cranking out duplicates. It also has no printing capability, but at $600, it is a pretty good deal.

For disc labels, I bought a Dymo DiscPainter CD/DVD Printer because I couldn't afford a better option. This model is barely adequate for producing plain text, and does a sub par job with anything using photos, solid fields of color, gradients, or anything graphic related in general. Ink cartridges aren't separated by color, so ink consumption is very high and wasteful- especially so with replacement cartridges costing $40 each. Banding is visible on nearly every disc I printed with it. Full coverage printing can be done for about 65-70 discs (as opposed to the 100 discs claimed in advertisements). This is because of the fact that if you want a barely acceptable image, you must crank the quality sliders to "full", which means you're guzzling ink. It also only prints one disc at time and must be loaded manually. It takes approximately 1-1.5 minutes to print a single disc, so be prepared to sit there for a while.

I've since upgraded to an Epson Discproducer PP-100 and I could not be happier with it. I can load it up with 50+ discs at a time, I can control it all from my PC, and the images I can print on discs are absolutely amazing. I've had experience with several other disc duplicator/printer combo machines before, but this Epson is worth every penny. Yes, it will cost you about $200 to fill up all the ink reservoirs, but with 8 separate cartridges, you can squeeze 850-1000 discs out of it without needing to replace all the cartridges at once.

So, if you're looking for quality, I'd recommend looking at the Epson. However, if you really need something cheap and you need it right now, give one of those Forte models a look-over. I'd think twice about those Dymo printers though. I'm sure there is something in that price range that can do better. Hope this helps!
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Old November 21st, 2010, 05:47 PM   #5
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I have a Primera Bravo II which is a robot burner and printer in one small unit and it works good.
Now here is the big but, when you figure the cost of materials, wear and tear (the cost of the equipment), and a bit of labor to assemble the package - I figure they cost about $4.50 or so per DVD. The cost of the ink is a good portion of the price. Have a couple scew-ups and your costs go up some more. Don't get me wrong, this thing is great for making professional looking short runs but if you want to keep you're profits up use Alan's suggestion and have one of these DVD shops make them for. They'll look great and no hassle or investment in equipment.

Stay away from stick on labels, everyone will tell you that they will cause the disk to be out of balance and reduce the life of the bearings in the player - a good way to make unhappy clients.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 06:03 PM   #6
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Thanks Shawn and Kevin, your information is much appreciated.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 06:54 PM   #7
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I have a Discmakers ElitePro2 which is a high capacity robotic duplicator/printer. It's a battleship and will run 24/7 for weeks on end (yes, I've done those kinds of quantities.) It uses regular old HP ink cartridges and will do up to 500 disks with a $60 pair of ink cartridges.

Unfortunately, Discmakers no longer sells and supports them, and the original manufacturer (Amtren) has announced that they will no longer be produced. They are closing out the remaining inventory, but I'd be squeamish about buying an already obsolete product.

Anyway, if you're interested in a robotic duplicator, I'd highly recommend getting one that takes off-the-shelf cheap ink cartridges. Don't get locked into buying super-expensive Primera or Dymo ink.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #8
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Any experience with Microboards brand

Anyone have any experience with using Microboards 5 target copier? I am looking at getting this unit from B&H. Seems to be very fast and not too expensive. I will be doing several jobs for winter concerts, etc where we will be burning 40 to 50 copies each.
I use my "old" Epson R1900 to print discs one at a time, but cannot yet afford to invest more than about $500 to $600 at this point.
Any suggestions/advice would certainly be appreciated.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 10:54 PM   #9
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An FYI; I just got back some samples from Kunaki and am blown away by the quality of the packing; would recommend (and no, I don't have shares in them..!). From upload to delivery of five DVDs took exactly seven days, even during Christmas and cost 12 bucks.

Last edited by Greg Quinn; December 23rd, 2010 at 11:46 PM.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 08:42 AM   #10
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Thanks for the recommendation, Alan ad Greg. Sounds like the kind of vendor I need to keep in mind.
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