A Personal Experience at Vinpower

I feel very fortunate to be a member of the Vinpower Digital team since 2006. It’s not just because I think Vinpower is a great company, but I also have the opportunity to work with some of my closest friends as part of IBM. What does “IBM” stand for? A worldwide famous computer company? International Big Mouth? Although these could be true, the reality is that it stands for Irene, Betty, & Mandy who are the trio that came to Vinpower together at the same time.

Mandy/Betty/Irene at the Beach in Taiwan.

Coming to Vinpower Digital allowed me not only work with people I enjoy but also have many great experiences in many different countries. Most of this traveling was courtesy of various trade shows that I was fortunate to work at and attend. I was so excited to have the opportunity to attend 3 of the largest consumer electronic trade shows in the world:

Trade Show Month Show Takes Place Location Year I Attended
CeBIT March Hanover, Germany 2007
Computex June Taipei, Taiwn 2007
CES January Las Vegas, NV USA 2008

Mandy and Ryan at 2007 Cebit

Mandy being a tourist guide for an European customer at 2007 Computex Taiwan.

Mandy at Blu ray booth at 2008 CES.

I was also able to attend the 2007 DSE Show which took place in Japan. I was very nervous to go the DSE show in Japan because; it was my first time being the only Vinpower representative at a show. I was solely responsible for conducting meetings with both our distributor in Japan and our ODM customer who is a major drive manufacture, Plextor Corporation. Fortunately all went very well and I gained a lot of confidence from the experience.

Mandy at “kaminarimon”,a famous scenic spot in Japan, at the 2007 DSE show

Plus I was so fortunate to attend the 2007 Gitex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. While there, I was able to do some touristy activities, visiting some of the famous landmarks in Dubai. I can’t believe that I was really inside the Burj Al Arab, one of the world best hotels, eating dinner. I never thought I would go to a Middle East country in my lifetime and here I was meeting great people, making valuable contacts and having a great time.

Mandy in front of Burj Al Arab

On top of my travels for trade shows, I had an opportunity to go to our head office in Los Angeles for 2 months. My time at the corporate office was for training, but I was able to have fun and experience a different lifestyle in USA from what I’m in Taiwan.

Mandy and Irene Su at Big Bear in USA.

The fact that I enjoy my job and the people I work with is an added bonus, but the most important thing is that the Vinpower family gets stronger both in the USA and Taiwan. Our mission is to do our best to satisfy our customer through quality products and friendly and knowledgeable staff.

The members of Vinpower in Taiwan and USA.

Why the Color on the Recordable Side of Blank Media Matters

When looking at a duplicator, it’s easy to concentrate on the obvious important components such as the controller and casing. However there are two other very important components that are just as critical to the quality of the duplicated discs; the drives and the media. For the purpose of this posting we’ll focus on the media aspect which is largely ignored for its importance in the duplication process.

It’s obvious that there are lots of blank CD & DVD discs in the market today, and another fact that may have been overlooked is that many of them have a different color on the recording surface. Why the differences? Do the manufacturers just want to make the discs more colorful to make them more attractive or differentiate them on the market? The reality is that the color of the recording surface has a lot to do with the capability and quality of the “burn” or duplication. Below we will detail more about the purpose of these different visible colors on various blank media:

Water blue – uses the latest technology of Data Lost Prevention and could decrease the occurrence of buffer under run. Therefore it’s more stable for one to one or one to multi target burning mode. The best recording format is DATA.

Omega black – due to the pure black material, it should provide a stronger defense against light which could damage the organic dyes in the disc. As well as extend the life of CD-R media and preserve the data longer. The best recording formats are GAMES, DATA, and MP3.

Purple – similar to the black discs, it should provide a stronger defense against light which could damage the organic dyes in the disc. As well as extend the life of CD-R media and preserve the data longer. The best recording formats are GAMES and DATA.

Apple green – with the lighter organic dyes of the disc, it is more sensitive to allow for the player to pick up a weaker signal. That feature allows for better pick-up of recorded music. It could be said that this specific color is designed for digital music storage. The best recording formats are DIGITAL AUDIO, AUDIO CD and DATA.

Metal red and Copper mine – these colors will let the laser pass through the disc completely so that the signal from CD-R media can be read better. The best recording formats are MUSIC, CD and DATA.

Orange – same concept as the above colors, will let the laser pass through the disc completely so that the signal from CD-R media can be read better. The best recording formats are MUSIC, CD and DATA.

Diamond – this color matches with the replicated VCD format so the crosstalk-frequency is very low. Therefore it should decrease the marks and blacked out data that appears on the screen (often referred to as Mosaic errors) when playing the disc. The best burning formats are VCD, MPEG and FILE.

The better understanding you have about the recordable dye on the disc and its optimal compatibility, the better prepared you’ll be to choose the correct blank media for your particular format. Next time you purchase media, don’t just ask about the price and the brand, but ask about the color of the recordable side of the disc and you’ll be sure to that at least your media is the right choice for your needs.

Worldwide Optical Drive Analysis

In an informal analysis of the worldwide optical drive market, the market share between compatible drives, as shown below, mark trends in the industry:

1) ROM versus RW – Most of us have noticed that the COMBO-RW already occupies 90% of the drive market share compared to the ROM market. Hardly anyone will purchase a ROM unless they intend to use it as a pure-reader. This is traditionally found only in the duplication industry.

2) COMBO (CD/DVD) versus BD (Blu-ray) – “DVD burners will remain the bread-and-butter business for ODD vendors. Despite Blu-ray’s win over HDD in the format war, BD drive adoption will be limited in 2008,” said Wolfgang Schlichting, research director, Removable Storage, at IDC.

3) Half-Height (HH) versus Slim – In Japan the slim drive for the notebook series shares a bigger market because of its space-saving concept. However, half-height drives are stilling leading the market share due to its lower price offer.

4) PATA/IDE versus SATA – In 2008, we see a dramatic change in the demand and supply of PATA versus SATA drives. Understandably many consumers are confused by which format to choose. In the meantime, PATA is fine and SATA is fine. The consumer should focus their choice based on the subsystem, not the drive interface. If the drives are sold inside the SharkCopier and the SharkCopier is performing well at the right affordable price with PATA, then the drive choice no longer becomes a factor.

When shopping for electronics in Taiwan, there’s one place where you can find everything you need!

When an electronic company contemplates; where in Taiwan is a good place to launch, promote, and/or conduct a satisfaction survey for new products? There is always one answer that is obvious, that place is the Guanghua Market, a storehouse of information. The Guanghua Market is one of the most popular tourists destinations in Taiwan, and has been around since 1971. At first, it was occupied by second hand book stores and antique sellers. Eventually the Guanghua Market morphed into a pioneer for stereo and electronic equipment. With the growth of the personal computer as a consumer product, Guanghua Market again evolved into what it is now, the prime marketplace for communications equipment, electronic games, computers, and consumer electronic goods.

When you enter the Guanghua Market, you will see many famous brands of computer showing the range of products being offered. In fact, more and more big name companies value Guanghua Market as a retail channel. Why? Because it attracts tons of customers from nearly every income bracket and social level to shop in one place. Therefore bigger corporate companies are willing to assist the retail stores inside Guahghua Market with marketing funds for product placement, promotional signs and interior design space.

Guanghua Market is a very competitive market as well. Therefore only good, high quality, popular items can survive amongst the selective nature of the many customers that frequent this shopping mecca regularly. So of course Vinpower Digital’s products are not only sold in Guanghua Market, but in demand. The full line of Vinpower Digital’s duplication products are available within this competitive market. The reason is because all of Vinpower Digital’s products have a strong reputation for being high quality, reliable and the most popular. Next time you come to Taipei, Taiwan, don’t forget to visit the Guanghua Market and see Vinpower Digital’s products.

Old Guanghua Market – located under Guanghua Bridge between Bade Road and Civic Boulevard in Taipei.


Temporary Guanghua Market—located in No.77, Jinshan N. Rd., Jhongjheng District, Taipei City


Future Guanghua Market—located at the Intersection of Jinshan N. Rd. and Citizen’s Blvd


Global Warming, an Issue not to be Ignore and how digital media can help

Arctic sea ice reflects about 80% of the sun’s heat, stabilizing the colder temperature of the ocean. In a press release from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the Arctic Sea ice shatters all previous record lows. NASA climate scientist, Jay Zwally – predicts that nearly all the ice could be gone from the Artic Ocean by the end of summer 2012.


 Arctic sea ice during the 2007 melt season plummeted to the lowest levels since satellite measurements began in 1979.
 If ship and aircraft records from before the satellite era are taken into account, sea ice may have fallen by as much as 50% from the 1950s
“We have passed tipping points. We have not passed a point of no return. We can still roll things back, but it is going to require quick turn in direction” – NASA’s top scientist James Hansen.
The aim to stop global warming is to emit less CO2 into the atmosphere. Mother Nature has already allowed green plants and trees its role to live up with us. However, the role of humans in the deforestation of the world’s forests has already caused considerable and extensive damage, plus an increasing impact rate on global warming. Globally, about 42% of industrial wood harvests are devoted to paper production.

Deforestation is a major issue affecting our ecology and the damaging affects of global warming. More specific, fresh paper, made from tree pulp and even recycled paper can have a devastating affect on our planet and the environment. That is why digital media such as optical discs and the internet, can help stem the tide in this global crisis.

On the other hand, we are still blessed with another writing media option from hi-end technology. Cited from an abstract listed in iacis.org, Volume VIII, No. 2, 2007 86 Issues in Information Systems, a survey taken shows the following:


The study exhibit that CD/DVD/Blu-Ray based writing media already has its real and meaningful contribution, not only in storage, entertainment, advertisement etc., but also in contributing its part to combat global warming. Vinpower Digital has contributed our portion to save our planet to make it a better place to live in. How about you?

How Vinpower Digital Celebrated the Chinese New Year in Taiwan.

The Chinese New Year differs from the Western New Year as to when it is observed, but is equally celebrated and enjoyed. The date is based on the Chinese calendar, typically occurring in early February. It is a tradition in Taiwan that the entire workforce at a company gathers together to have a feast at the end of every lunar year (New Year). Many new colleagues have joined Vinpower this year, so we would like to do something fun during the dinner. So we played a game called ‘Crazy Dice’ and it does drive people crazy! Everyone require to take turns to guess a number inside the dice box, whenever a person guesses the correct number, s/he has to be “punished harshly” with lipstick, Love Palm or must drink glasses of wine. Everyone was so exciting and nervous, that we forgot to enjoy all the delicious food on the table. It’s a great bonding experience and I look forward to next years company dinner!


Gina got a dollar sign on her face from Calvin because she got a bingo! However, she won the first prize – received lots of $$$! How lucky!


Calvin drew a masterpiece on Patricia’s face because we were so lucky that day and he insisted somehow we have to get punished


Finally, we toasted for the success of new coming year for Vinpower Digital.

Duplicating Kiosks create a greater need for reliable robotic autoloaders.

From my previous blog I discussed how DVD kiosks will be the future for movie purchases and rentals. It was mentioned that this process has become more of a reality because the method by which the content protection encoded in the discs has been relaxed to incorporate newer technology. What I didn’t mention was the most important feature in this whole process, the robotic duplicator “autoloader” which controls the entire process.

If you’re reading this blog, chances are that you’ve burned a disc at least once through your computer or a dedicated duplicator like the Vinpower Digital SharkCopier or TITAN series. The basic principal is simple enough, load a blank disc into a writer drive and information from an alternative source (HDD or reader) is burned onto the blank disc. This is a simplified explanation, but gives one the basic principal of how a duplicated disc is created. However, to build a kiosk, you can’t count on a user loading and unloading the blank disc that is meant to be duplicated. That’s where the autoloader comes in.

An autoloader is a duplicator with a robotic arm that can be programmed to pick up blank discs from a specified stack, load them into the corresponding writer drives and or printer and then remove the finished disc and place them in a specific location. It all sounds so very simple, there are so many variables that come into play that it’s actually far more complicated than one may imagine.

That’s why the number of autoloaders on the market is dwarfed compared to the number of manual towers available. Manual towers are easy to build given the right parts, but autoloaders are extremely complicated to build if you don’t have the knowledge and experience to do so. If done right, the autoloader is extremely easy to operate and runs flawlessly 24/7 as intended. If not, the user ends up working harder to get the unit to work than if they had just made the copies manually on a tower. The whole purpose of an autoloader is to make duplication easier and capable of producing higher volumes than humans who need to eat, sleep, and take bathroom breaks.

So when you see one of these DVD kiosks in the future, now that inside there’s an autoloader like a Vinpower Digital TITAN working hard and tirelessly to provide you with the content you want.

DVD Kiosks the future of DVD rentals and another notch of support for duplication products

With discussions being tossed about as to the future of optical media as a viable medium, an announcement was released recently that I feel is a strong advocate for the longevity of the optical disc and duplication products. Walgreens issued a statement that they will soon adopt a line of DVD kiosks that will duplicate movies on demand for the consumer. The DVD Copy Control Association, made up of a group of movie studios and hardware manufacturers that govern the copy protection systems for DVD’s known as Content Scramble System (CSS), helped spur this project on by broadening their standards for licensing their software.

In doing so, the CSS software no longer is relegated solely to the replication market and can be used under controlled circumstances in the duplication market. Thus retail stores and online retailers can now store thousands of movie titles on hard drives which can be burned onto a physical disc at the customer’s request. This not only frees up the retailer from keeping inventory of the titles on physical disc, but also encourages retailers to offer a broader selection of titles. Walgreens may be the flag ship superstore to adopt this technology, but it’s certain to catch on with heavyweights in the retail and video rental market such as Wal-Mart and Blockbuster as an example.

These kiosks not only enhance the DVD market but also further qualify duplication equipment as a valid consumer electronic product for the future. For years replication was able to keep duplication as a second class citizen in the world of reproduction for data on discs by trumpeting their stronger playback compatibility. When that no longer became a factor as DVD recordable discs (DVD-R or DVD+R) now boast playback compatibility nearly equal to replicated discs, replication held on to the fact they had the ability to insert the CSS copy protection onto discs scarring content producers into foregoing duplication for higher run replication projects. Now that duplication will be able to offer CSS or alternative forms of copy protection, the duplicator is becoming more and more a viable solution for content providers of any size.

Considering a duplicator is drastically less expensive than the equipment needed for replication, not to mention dramatically smaller, duplication equipment is gaining ground in all avenues of life where companies or individuals need to store content on discs. In addition the duplicator has a much smaller learning curve and widely available to the masses. Duplicators of today will allow the retailers of tomorrow to become more fiscally responsible and innovative in offering a wider selection of content for product stored on optical discs!

Media Compatibility

I see DVD duplicators being used more and more these days. Businesses are investing in duplicators and using them to provide duplication services or getting DVDs out to customers as a marketing technique. If you’re using a duplicator, whatever your plans are, you’ll most likely run into the same problem; media burn failure.

I know it’s the last thing you want to run into and the last thing you might hear a manufacturer talk about, but it is a common issue. I talked to many clients and I have asked them to tell me about their experiences with our duplicators. Many of them are very happy and usually recommend us to their partners. Every now and then I run into a customer having a problem with high failure rates. Naturally I got interested and talked to them more in-depth to see what they all have in common.

I saw a pattern and noticed that in their haste to blame the duplicator, the media was being overlooked as a possible culprit. There are hundreds of different brands in the market right now, and many of the brands just don’t hold up when it comes to being burned in a multi drive duplicator. I’ve had this discussion with different partners and thought it might be easier if I just posted a blog on the topic.

Working with Vinpower Digital I learned about duplicators, media, and other industry insights. Over the time, along with hard lessons learned, I became a media specialist (at least for the sake of this blog).

When it comes to media you want a good disc that you can rely on time and time again. There are hundreds of brands to choose from, but only about 10 companies making them. You might think that if one brand coming out of a factory is good then another brand coming out of the same factory should be just as great, right? No. There are different grades of media being produced and the companies willing to pay the highest prices get the best quality. Companies like Sony, Verbatim, TDK and others even have workers in the factories checking the quality and making sure that the products stays consistent.

So what about the rest of the brands? Well the rest of the media that gets manufactured is made at a high volume while some lower grade DVD’s go through less and less quality control. The dye used to produce DVD’s can even become diluted and thinner, reducing the disc quality. This media in turn gets gathered together and sold at a very low price. The distributors will then pass on the lower price to the retailers. The problem is that you might get a few discs that burn good and then you’ll get a few that fail. Over time the failed discs can be just as high as the successful ones. If you are in the duplication business then those failed discs could mean loss in inventory, sales, and even customers.

When you first consider the price of the cheaper discs it seems like a great choice, but think about the failed discs, loss in time or even worse loss of customers and you’ll realize the more reputable brands are always best. With todays technological advances in producing media the price difference between the good brands and poor brands amounts to only a few cents per disc. A few cents doesn’t seem like much, while happy customers are worth a lot more in the long run.

Adventure in Dubai

Recently members of the Vinpower Digital staff (both USA and Taiwan staff) visited Dubai in the United Arab Eremites to exhibit at the Gitex electronics convention which took place from September 8th ~ 12th, 2007. When you travel that far, even though they were there for work, you have to take some time out for pleasure. Dubai is a wondrous place where the leaders of the city have invested a lot of money to attract foreign tourist from all over the world. From picturesque sand dunes to an indoor ski village to the worlds most famous 7 star hotel and so much more, Dubai has a lot for both the adventure seeker and the pampered traveler. The following images show some of the touristy activities that our co-workers enjoyed during their stay.

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The above images show the desert excursion the staff went on where they experienced many wonderful experiences and some not so fun moments when the tire blew on one of the cars in their group.

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The above photo’s show the 7 star Burj Al Arab as well as the downtown skyline where they are building the world’s largest structure and the improbable Ski Dubai where they have an indoor ski resort.