Vinpower Digital announces they have officially certified the Sony Optiarc 5280-CB Writer Drive for use within its full duplicator line.

Vinpower Digital announced that they have officially certified the specially enhanced Sony Optiarc 5280-CB drive for use within its series of duplicators and duplicator controllers. Vinpower helped Sony Optiarc develop the CB series of drives, which were created to improve the burning performance and results for mass duplication in a simultaneous multi-drive recording environment. Vinpower officially adopted the drives in 2005 and many prominent manufacturers of duplication equipment followed them over the years.

The 5280-CB drive boasts many advantages to the standard half height burner drives, including Sony Optiarc’s own standard model 7480-OB and 5280-OB burner drives in the following ways:

Better Burning Quality:
• Secure Media Speed Stability – Ensures that media duplication speed does not exceed encoded maximum rates to provide better burning control and virtually eliminates bad burns.
• Enhanced Recording Stabilization Control – Ensures all drives in a single duplication environment burn uniformly to avoid disproportionate speed fluctuations, which lead either to failed discs or less compatible completed discs.
• DVD+R DL Overburn – Can extend the listed capacity from 8.5GB up to 8.7GB* to allow the user to capture more content on a single DVD+R DL disc.
• Stable Recording Control – The drives have an extensive database of media specs and are better able to communicate and convey these details while burning the disc(s) at ultimate speed.

Greater Compatibility with blank media and media players:
• Stable burning throughout – Provides consistent and reliable burning of any file type for the duration of the duplication progress to ensure the recorded media has far greater reliability of playback or that the discs will successfully copy to begin with.
• Enhanced Compatibility for DVD+R media – Ensuring greater compatibility with DVD Players
• Enhanced CD-R Duplication – Limits potential distortion in CD-R audio duplication
• Enhanced Compatibility for CD+G media – Ensuring greater compatibility with Karaoke players
• Supports 99 minute CD-R – Allows CD-R media to be over-burned effectively to 99 minutes

Drives Last Longer:
• Built using sturdier components – Compared to alternative drives, this model was built using the true Japanese design and parts lists for a stronger and more reliable system.
• Less Wear and Tear – since there are fewer bad burns, the system is able to complete its jobs in less burns meaning a prolonged life for the drives themselves due to less use
• Industrial tray gears & pulleys – provides a more stable disc loading tray for a longer life cycle (1 cycle equals 1 tray extend from and then return into the drive)
• Enhanced Error Reporting – Provides greater details as to the cause of any potential duplication failure during the Lead-In

Works with Robotic Duplication Equipment:
• Accurate Tray Extension – Provides reliable consistent tray extension for Robotic Duplication System

The 5280-CB drive is immediately available and can be shipped anywhere in the world. Contact Vinpower for more details in regards to the benefits and capabilities of this drive.

Multi-File CopyConnect

Since the introduction of the CopyConnect feature a few years ago, customers have been clamoring for an enhanced version of this feature. Vinpower Digital listens and last year, with the release of our new 3-series controllers, we introduced Multi-File CopyConnect.

With the standard CopyConnect feature, customers can drag and drop an ISO data file from the hard drive of a computer to the hard drive of the duplicator and begin making copies, all without having to make a master disc. This is an extremely useful feature but somewhat limiting, in that the only recognized file type is an ISO 9600+Joliet formatted file. Some customers have requested a version of the CopyConnect feature that is even easier to use. In response to these requests, Vinpower Digital has introduced an enhanced version of CopyConnect, called Multi-File CopyConnect. This allows a user to drag a file folder to the hard drive of the duplicator and use this to burn discs. With the advent of this enhanced feature, users do not need to know how to make an ISO file, sometimes a difficult concept for non-technical users.

The user drags over a file folder, loads the duplicator with discs of the appropriate size, and begins making copies. If a user copies a file folder with more than 700 MB of data and attempts to burn this data to CD, they will be informed that there is a size mismatch. This is true because they need to copy this much data to a DVD. So with Multi-File CopyConnect enabled on a 3-series controller, the only thing a user needs concern themselves with is whether or not they have inserted blank media of the appropriate size in the duplicator to make copies.

Is USB Pen Drive Storage the Wave of the Future?

We’ve all seen these handy little devices that plug into the USB ports on our computers and allow us to carry around a tremendous amount of data. The current size leader is the Kingston DataTravler 300, boasting a massive 256 GB of data in the palm of your hand. This is equivalent to carrying around one of the following:

  •  365 CD’s (700 MB each)
  • 54 DVD’s (4.7 GB each)
  • 10 Blu-ray’s (25 GB each)

The majority of these units are actually in the 4 GB to 8 GB range. Which is much larger than the $100 1 GB hard drive I bought 20 years ago. I wouldn’t have been carrying that around in the palm of my hand because there wouldn’t have been anything convenient to plug it into, to extract or share the data. Plus, one static shock or a strong magnet could wipe out all my data.

More and more we are receiving calls and inquires regarding our flash duplicators. We have flash duplicators ranging in size from 3-targets to 63-targets. The Vinpower units have many desirable features such as asynchronous copy mode and an encrypted erase function. The other day a wedding photographer asked me if this was the next wave for picture sharing. I’m not certain but now that USB ports are becoming a standard feature in cars and the fact that many of us carry these devices on our key chains, I’d have to say USB  might just be the next big wave of the future.

Vinpower Digital duplicators provide top quality CD-R duplication using the special Sony Duplication drives.

Although many may think that CD duplication is dead or a dying business sector, our findings show that there’s still a very healthy market that is becoming more and more ignored. Cd duplication, in particular audio CD duplication can be tricky and is the media or the drives are not of certain quality, the recorded discs could come out with audible distortions or other issues that make the CD recordings pointless and discouraging those still working to support the customer base.

We at Vinpower care about every segment of duplication from CD to BDXL and we don’t feel that customers should compromise in their efforts to burn CD audio material.

That’s why Vinpower teamed up with Sony to source a unique DVD-RW writer drive that was made especially for the duplication market and offers exquisite CD duplication as well as DVD. Vinpower has been building these manual tower and automated duplication equipment installed with the Sony Optiarc brand of burners for many years ensuring high quality and reliability.

What a cool idea!

While speaking with a customer on the tech support line today, he described a really cool use for the Vinpower Digital Slim Micro HDD to 5 Duplicator. He was going to take it on a 10 day cruise with him. What a neat idea!

Slim Micro

Of course traveling by cruise ship, unlike airplane travel, does not come with weight penalties. Bringing along this little 12 lb wonder is almost a no brainer! Folks now have hi-def video cameras, soon to have 3D capabilities, and 12+ mega pixel cameras, storage is beginning to be a problem. By bringing along this 5 Target Blu-ray burner, this customer has the ability to instantly have multiple copies of his precious memories backed up and ready to share with new friends.

I hope our customer thoroughly enjoys his cruise. Bon Voyage!

New Version of ImgBurn Supports Vinpower RipBox

Have you ever thought it would be very cool to burn multiple copies of a data disc or Audio CD from your computer without having to feed blank discs into your burner? Well very soon, you will have this ability. Vinpower Digital is developing a new line of duplicators, based on the popular Cube series, called RipBox. These duplicators will connect to your computer and allow you to create, burn, and/or rip a stack of discs, with robotic automation.


An important step in the process of creating these new duplicators was to ensure that software was available to take full advantage of their capabilities. The development team working on ImgBurn, a powerful, lightweight freeware CD/DVD/Blu-ray burning application, has a history of working with other companies to add tools to its software. These tools enhance the functionality of ImgBurn so it can be utilized with the hardware of the other company, in this case Vinpower Digital. ImgBurn version was released this week. This new version includes new settings that support the RipBox series of autoloaders. This new line of duplicators is slated for release some time in 2011. I saw a pre-production version of the RipBox in action and I want one!

Adding Value to a Company

Vinpower Digital’s CEO, Calvin Chang, hold 1 of multiple approved patents registered to Vinpower.

The value of any company is infinitely improved when they own patents related to the products they offer or the manner in which they offer said products. As an innovative company that is very tech savvy and driven, Vinpower has a number of patents and patents pending as evidenced by our CEO, Calvin Chang holding the patent certification folio.

How do I pick a good Duplicator?

When deciding on purchasing a duplicator, there are a number of key elements to consider when determining which unit and brand would fit your needs the best. Even though price is a strong determining factor, keep in mind what you’re getting for the price; will the unit perform as needed? Will the unit grow as your needs grow? Will the company stand behind the product and provide the support you need when you need it? Is the company looking out for your best interest or their own? Most importantly, will the company be around in the future or will they disappear as soon as you need them?

Just like purchasing a computer, home appliance, or even a car, pricing varies depending on performance, reliability, brand name, and manufacturer support. So when you’re selecting a duplicator, don’t just consider the price, but pay particular attention to these 3 key elements:
1. Design & Component material
2. Manufacturing, Testing, and Shipping procedures
3. Customer Service and Technical Support

I) Design & Component material:

When you look at the Xerox Duplicator and the SharkCopier series duplicators provided by Vinpower Digital, the first thing you notice is the unique look and design. This attractive design not only differentiates itself through its appearance, but through the use of higher quality and more effective components and parts. It’s those parts that ensure a better performing and longer lasting duplicator. There are a number of duplicator providers who just throw components together without taking into consideration quality or effectiveness. The Vinpower provided lines of the Xerox and SharkCopier duplicator series are not assembled with the standard parts and low cost components others use; the Xerox Duplicator and SharkCopier series is designed to answers to a higher calling, the customers! Even though the Xerox Duplicator line offers some added value standard features compared to the SharkCopier series, they are both designed and built using the following components which show the added value of these duplicators over the competition:

A) Casing (external case): Both series use an aluminum casing specially designed by Vinpower Digital to diffuse the internal heat created by the writer drives much faster than the standard steel casing is capable of. With the casings advanced air flow design and aluminum casing, the internal temperature of the duplicator is approximately 10 ~ 15 degrees cooler than alternative cases on the market. Operating the duplicator under lower temperatures will not only allow for continuous use without the need for a cool down period, but also increases the lifetime of the unit while providing better reliability when duplicating. The less heat concentrated on the drives, the better the performance and the longer they will continue to perform optimally.

B) Controller (operating system): The controller for the Xerox Duplicator and SharkCopier series is specially manufactured for these units and is not available to the general public as other controller brands in alternative duplicators are. Other controller manufacturers do not assemble completed duplicator and do not understand the full symbiotic nature that the controller, drives and casing plays in the overall performance. Their focus is more on uniformity in design and operation to work the same for everyone instead of optimizing the performance and conveniences expected from users of the Xerox Duplicator and SharkCopier series. In fact, if you took two identical duplicators with the only variables being the controllers, the Vinpower controller will produce a better disc performance rating every time (based on the PIPO scale for measuring disc quality). The Vinpower controllers are calibrated to optimize the reading and writing drivers/burners on the market to ensure all the drives work in sync to produce a clean consistent duplication. In addition to compatibility, Vinpower utilizes a greater number of capacitors and diodes that ensures proper functionality and better reliability. The added components allows these controllers to perform all the same functions as standard controllers but offers more options and capabilities which ultimately benefits the end user.

C) Drives (writer and reader drives): The Xerox Duplicator and SharkCopier series only use the best drives optimized for multi-drive simultaneous duplication to provide the greatest possible performance. The controller is able to manipulate many of the drives on the market directly to provide stable and quality performance that is better suited for duplicator use. Understanding and using the best drives for your particular needs and circumstances is extremely important for both your end product and your pocket book.

II) Manufacturing, Testing, and Shipping procedures

Even if you use the best components and materials to build the duplicator, if the proper care and knowledge to assemble them is not performed, then you will not have an optimized unit. The Xerox Duplicator and SharkCopier series are assembled by very knowledgeable and skilled technicians and every duplicator has to pass a 72 hour continuous burn-in test before it’s ever released to the public. Both series are assembled under the strictest Quality Control conditions to ensure every unit sold meets the highest standards in quality and performance.

To further ensure that the Xerox Duplicator and SharkCopier series arrives to the customer in the best condition and to prevent any possible damage caused by the shipping carrier, all of these duplicators are double insulated and packed in a specially designed shipping box to better protect against mishandling in transit. When the customer purchases new equipment, it should arrive in that manner no matter how it was shipped.

III) Customer Service and Technical Support

Our relationship with the customer does not end after the unit has been sold. The ability to speak to a technician whom is knowledgeable and available when you have questions is a key component when deciding on a duplicator to purchase. Every Xerox Duplicator and SharkCopier series sold has the full backing and support of Vinpower Digital. Both series come standard with a full one year parts and labor warranty. In addition, our technicians will be available to walk you through any problem or question you may have from the first day to the last as long as you own the duplicator. Our technicians work with you directly and actually have technical training and knowledge of every single duplicator to ensure you get prompt and accurate answers and service. Unlike some fly by night companies looking to make a quick buck who are never available or capable of providing answers or service, we stand behind the products we sell and the customers who buy them.

When you look at all of the facts behind what makes a duplicator stand out amongst the competition, the answer is very clear which units ranks the best, the one that provides the highest compatibility, best performance, longest lasting, and most features. In other words the Xerox Duplicator and SharkCopier series are your best options for optical disc duplication equipment.

The Importance of the Memory Buffer in an Optical Disc Duplication Controller

buffer-vs-buffer.jpg buffer-vs-oldman.jpg
There are many critical components and functions on a controller that will determine the overall performance of that device. Yet there’s one element that is easy to source and rarely differentiates in capability or performance, the memory buffer. The function of the memory buffer is to temporarily hold data while it is being moved from an input device to an output device. For example, the buffer will temporarily hold data from the master source in the reader which will be copied onto blank media in the writer drives. The necessity for a memory buffer is due to the fact that often the writer drives can write faster than the reader drive can read the data to them. This is especially true with the larger bandwidth formats like Blu-ray. Additionally, in most situations, 1 or more of the writer drives will be noticeably faster than others. That means that the faster drive(s) would have to slow down or stop in order for the slower writer drive(s) to catch up due to the fact that all the data is being written simultaneously across all drives. Irregular copy speeds amongst writer drives in a single duplicator can play havoc on ones production time and efforts.


Most writer drives are built with the PC market in mind, meaning typically using 1 drive to copy 1 disc at a time. Using those drives in a duplication environment, where it could have as many as 15 drives connected making 15 copies at a time, there is far more instances where the drive burning speeds are not truly in sync. The buffer is intended to keep enough data stored so that the fastest and the slowest writers drives will not need to stop (referred to as “Burn Proof”) or error out because they cannot get the data transferred quick enough.

An important element of the memory buffer is that it must use either DDR or DDR2 memory chips. Only DDR or DDR2 memory chips are fast enough to grab large bandwidth data from the reader and relay it simultaneously to multiple writer drives in order to copy that data onto recordable media. Those using the traditional SDRAM memory chips will not be able to provide the speed necessary and will ultimately lead to Buffer Under-run or errors in the copied discs.


Another critical element for the memory buffer is its size. The larger the buffer the more data it can hold and the more tolerance it will have when the writer drives differ in their duplication speed or they are unable to keep pace with the reader itself. That means less burn proofing, so less potential for failed discs, and higher quality copies. This is especially true for the larger formats like Blu-ray where there is a great deal more data to transfer.

It has been brought to our attention that some controller manufacturers, in a cost cutting maneuver, are not using DDR or DDR2 memory and have downgraded their controllers to only 32MB of memory buffer. This will of course reduce the overall cost of the controller, but they are dramatically sacrificing quality and reliability as a trade off.

Vinpower Digital is not willing to sacrifice the integrity and quality of our products to save a little money. Ultimately the cost savings would end up costing us much more in the loss of confidence and eventually sales from our customers. That’s why we use a minimum 128MB memory buffer with DDR2 memory chips to ensure the highest quality and reliability. So when you’re looking for a duplication controller or even a complete duplicator, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting and not just what the price is. There is a difference, so it’s important to be educated so that you can make the right decision. In doing so, you’ll ultimately save money buying a better quality system which doesn’t require as much maintenance or support so that you can pay attention to more important things.

Debunking the Myth of the Native SATA Superiority!


Recently there has been some documentation related to the design method of SATA standalone duplication controllers which touts one method as being better than another. It’s important that the truth be told and I want to set the record straight so that the consumer can review the facts and decide for themselves.

The dispute centers around the method in which current SATA controllers are designed and built. One party claims to be the sole provider of the “Native SATA” (NS) chipset which they claim is faster and more reliable. The alternative application is the Individual Channel SATA (ICS) configuration.

In order to make the comparison in a more understandable concept for the masses, including myself, I will break down the differences between the two by using an analogy that is closely related and something most people can relate to, internet access.

Picture the NS concept as being akin to cable while ICS would be ADSL. In both cases, they will allow the user to access the internet, they’re both potentially really fast, both offer connections for virtually any computer, and if they exist in a territory are relatively easy to receive.

The cable access does have an advantage in that it can carry greater bandwidth and may be faster than ADSL. According to published websites ranking the downloading speed between Cable and ADSL, they’ve listed the following speeds:

Cable fluctuated between 15Mbps ~ 25Mbps of download speed depending on the carrier.

ADSL was rated as having 6Mbps download speed.

The problem comes into play when multiple locations (households) all need to access the single cable line at the same time. Even though cable can handle a higher bandwidth, it’s limited in the number of households that can access the internet at the same time. The reason being is that they are all using the same access point which will bog down the system and cause the speed to drop significantly, especially if they are viewing/transferring large files. Think about it in terms of a sandwich, if you have the option of eating an entire 12” sandwich which you have to share with 2 others or you can each a 6” sandwich that you do not have to share. The 12” seems longer until everyone else starts taking their share, which more often than not, one household inevitably will take more than their fare share. Yet, even if it were eaten equally amongst all 3 households, they will each end up with a smaller amount of the sandwich (4” each) than they would have had if they opted for the 6” they didn’t need to share.

ADSL may have limitations in the total bandwidth/speed available, but what is available is typically more than adequate for the tasks at hand for reliable fast internet access. The difference and the benefit comes into play when you understand that ADSL provides each household with their own direct access point to the internet hub which they do not have to share. It then becomes that ADSL is faster because they are not burdened or slowed down by the actions of other households who access the internet at the same time.

This holds true for NS and ICS controllers as well. The NS controller may hold an advantage in bandwidth, but the fact that all ports/connections are tied to a single bus, means that bandwidth gets diminished when each connection is utilized, especially for larger capacity formats like Blu-ray. Take for example; a 1 to 7 NS controller. If only 3 of the 7 ports are being utilized, it may be able to successfully copy a full Blu-ray master at 12x speed. However, if you utilized all 7 ports at the same time, then the added capacity and division of bandwidth will now limit the speed to 6x. Since all ports are tied to a single bus, all drives will be tied together which means any errors affecting 1 drive will ultimately create a drag on the total bandwidth and affect all the drives. So using the NS method and the more ports that are utilized the more the speed will decrease and thus so will the reliability.

For the ICS controller, since each port is connected to its own dedicated bus, the speed and drive reliability is not affected by utilizing more ports because they are all independent of each other. So if a 1 to 7 ICS controller can copy Blu-ray at 12x using only 3 ports, utilizing more ports on that same controller will not have any affect on the duplication speed or reliability. The ICS controller is more effective because all ports are connected to individual dedicated bus points that produce consistent and stable transmissions without relying on a single bus with shared bandwidth.

So even though both methods have their merits, in the end the ICS method is the most credible solution as well as the most widely used tactic for the duplication market. The general requirement of a duplicator customer is to be able to produce numerous copies quickly and the ICS method is the only way to ensure that the customer’s needs are met. So when you’re looking for what type of controller you want in your duplicator, keep in mind that just because a company touts that their Native SATA version is faster or superior, they may not discuss the true capabilities of their product when used at or near stated capacity. Don’t take our word for it – run the tests yourself and we’re certain you’ll come to the same conclusion, a shared bus connection model like the Native SATA controller will more likely create significant speed and throughput issues even for the simplest of duplication jobs.