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.

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