LightScribe, More Affordable than You Thought

When LightScribe first launched in 2004 (according to Wikipedia), it really did not take off as a viable solution in the duplication market right away. In fact it wasn’t until 2008 when LightScribe became truly adopted into the duplication market. Much of that has to do with the development of larger standalone tower duplicators developed by Vinpower Digital, but also due to a major reduction in media costs.

The new standalone towers from Vinpower Digital were a vehicle which made the technology more relevant in the duplication market because printing one off discs were too time consuming. By enabling up to 15 drives to print simultaneously, time became less of a factor allowing the technology to became a more excepted method of labeling CD’s and DVD’s.

Now that the hardware mitigated one barrier to entry, the second barrier, high prices, was a tough nut to crack. Fortunately the division behind the LightScribe technology was committed to its success and realized that the media pricing had to be within an acceptable price of inkjet or thermal printable discs. So they encouraged LightScribe disc manufacturers and sellers to bring the price within a range more palatable with the consumer.

Where LightScribe discs once costed upwards of $1 a disc initially, they are now available for less than $0.30 a disc which is well within range of standard printable media, especially when you factor in the cost of ink or thermal ribbon. In fact LightScribe has become the most cost effective publishing system if comparing the cost of hardware and consumables. If you factor in that an inkjet publishing system is upwards of $2,000 ~ $3,000 and a thermal publishing system is even higher, a few hundred dollar LightScribe tower saves a significant amount of money just from the initial purchase. Then you take into account the cost of ink or thermal ribbon and you have a huge cost savings going with LightScribe compared to more traditional disc printing.

So the choice is clear, especially in financially difficult times, duplicating and printing your disc titles using LightScribe is a far more viable and cost effective method.

LightScribe – The Future of Disc Printing

For years there were only two options for personal disc printing, inkjet or thermal. Since inkjet printing was a cheaper printing option, it quickly became the more popular method. However thermal printing was able to find a lucrative niche in the market due better reliability. Thermal printing does not suffer the same drawbacks as inkjet printing which can bleed or smear when in contact with liquid plus the printed matter can be scratched easier than thermal. Both methods have controlled their respective realms in the market for quite some time with little to no competition, until now.

With the invention of LightScribe technology, a user can now print directly onto the label side of LightScribe capable discs using a laser. The benefits of this technology is that not only can a user create custom labels directly onto a disc, but the printed image will not smear, run, scratch and does not require any additional equipment to operate. All printing is performed through the same drive that performs the duplication process, so the overall expense of this printing method is far cheaper than the alternative methods.

Initially this technology was hampered by the fact that the drive needed to be tied to a computer in order to work. Typically a computer can only operate maximum 4 independent drives at a time. Since LightScribe printing is not as fast as the other methods, printing a single disc at a time was too time consuming and not suitable for a duplication market. With the help of Vinpower Digital, the LightScribe consortium was able to overcome this detriment by creating a fully standalone LightScribe version of the multi-drive tower. With standalone manual towers as large as 15 drives able to copy and/or print on LightScribe capable media simultaneously, the once inhibiting speed factor compared to other printing methods is no longer valid. Instead of waiting 5 ~ 15 minutes for a single printed LightScribe disc, the Vinpower Digital 15 drive LS duplicator can print 15 discs in the same amount of time averaging between 20 seconds to 2 minutes per disc.

If you combine the cost savings, negligible time difference and ease of use for LightScribe compared to the alternative, the choice is clear, LightScribe printing technology is the future!