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Duplication or Replication?
Grade A, Audio or Taiyo Yuden discs?
+R or -R DVDs?

Printing - Duplication Service
Print template - Disc
Print template - CD Booklet
Print template - CD Trayliner
Print template - DVD Cover
Printing - Replication Service
Print templates - Replication

Sending your artwork

 
  Duplication or Replication?
Duplication
is the process of recording data - which may be pure data, audio or video information, or even a mixture - onto a blank recordable disc. The disc is placed into a CD or DVD recorder and then a laser "burns" a series of pits in a spiral "groove", working from the centre outwards. If a recordable disc (CD-R, DVD-R or DVD+R) is used, this recording cannot be overwritten; if a rewriteable disc is used (CD-R/W, DVD-R/W or DVD+R/W) then the disc can be "wiped" and more data recorded in place of the original. This operation can be carried out in a home computer, but when several copies are required it is more practical to use a dedicated duplicator. The process is usually carried out faster than real time; CD burners can operate up to 52x speed or more, while DVD burners have so far reached 16x and will no doubt go faster still. With an efficient automated duplicating and printing system, it's possible to turn around an order for several hundred discs in just a few hours.

Replication is the process of creating a "glass master" from which all the copies are "pressed". It is an industrial process requiring the use of a "clean room" and some very expensive plant. Virtually all CD and DVD duplicating companies send their replication work to one of the few dedicated pressing plants. The process of producing a glass master is expensive, so it is only economic to use this process for runs of at least 500 discs. It also takes time to pass through all the production stages, so even a short run of just 500 discs might take a couple of weeks to complete.

Pressed CDs and DVDs have one advantage over duplicated discs - compatibility. CD and DVD players were originally designed to play pressed discs. In the early days, duplicated discs would not play in ordinary players. However, it was soon realised that this was a bad idea, so manufacturers quickly improved their products so that they would play both replicated and duplicated discs. As a result, duplicated discs may not play in a few of the very early players. This was particularly true of DVDs. However, there has been such a boom in buying new DVD players that the vast majority now in use will play all four types of recordable DVD.

The compatibility issue with the older machines can be largely addressed by careful selection of blank discs. It has been shown that high quality media produced by some of the major manufacturers will be more likely to play without problem in older machines. Taiyo Yuden in particular produce some of the most compatible discs on the market. Our Audio discs, with a Taiyo Yuden recording surface, have also proved to have very low error rates. So for audio or video CDs and video DVDs, we always recommend the use of either our Audio grade or Taiyo Yuden discs.

Finally, there is sometimes a difference in the colour of the recording surface between duplicated and replicated discs. Pressed discs, whether CD or DVD, almost always have a silver (possibly a gold) surface. CD-Rs usually have a silver surface, but sometimes another colour is used, whether for cosmetic or technical reasons. For instance, Taiyo Yuden have discovered that the pale blue/green surface they use is more effective in creating recordings with very low error rates. DVD-Rs and +Rs, on the other hand, almost universally have a purple recording surface.
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Grade A, Audio or Taiyo Yuden discs?
Some duplication companies go for low prices ... some stress that they use only top quality blank discs, and charge accordingly. We weren't convinced by either approach - and decided to let our customers choose. So what are the differences between the three types of blank disc?

The Grade A discs we use are always from quality blank manufacturers, but we don't publish names as we occasionally change suppliers according to availability. For general computer use (ie. CD and DVD data files - or audio and video files that are to be used only on computers), Grade A discs are perfectly satisfactory and we would recommend them where your costs need to be kept low.

We recommend that you use Sony audio discs when you are producing audio CDs that are to be played on an audio CD player.. Some of these machines can be quite fussy about which types of disc they will or will not play, and we have established that our Sony discs have low error rates and high reliability. We are confident that CDs recorded on Sony blanks will play in virtually all CD players. If you really do need to keep costs as low as possible, then please order Grade A discs.

Taiyo Yuden have the enviable reputation of producing the highest quality blank discs available, and some companies who demand the ultimate in reliability specify Taiyo Yuden by name. So we recommend that you use Taiyo Yuden for your highest quality projects and for archival purposes, where reliability and longevity are more important than price.
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+R or -R DVDs?
We normally duplicate onto DVD-Rs. There has been much discussion about which format is better for compatibility with most DVD players. In our experience, there is little difference between the tow formats but DVD-R discs are more common and this is the format requested by the majority of our customers. If you specifically require DVD+R discs, we can do this but there will be an extra charge and turnround will be a few days longer.
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Printing - Duplication Service
Please note that printing, by its very nature, is not colour-accurate. It can usually achieve a close approximation to the original, but as it is a CMYK process, colour matching is never going to be as accurate as with litho or screen printing. In particular, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any special 'corporate' colours that are usually printed using the Pantone spot colour process. Please ensure that any colour artwork is supplied as a CMYK image, not RGB.

Laser printing is used for all paper parts, using our Xerox Docucolor 242 printer, which can print both sides of a sheet in one pass at 1200 dpi.

Thermal on-disc printing produces high resolution images at 600dpi. The printer is the Rimage Everest 600. The images produced are glossy, permanent, scratchproof, UV-protected and water repellent. The Everest requires discs with a special thermal printable surface, rather than the usual inket printable discs.  Thermal printable discs are generally more expensive than inkjet printable discs; moreover colour thermal printing is more expensive than inkjet printing. Colour thermal produces a much better and more professional result than inkjet printing, but at a premium price. So if you compare our print prices against inkjet prices quoted by other companies, please remember that you are not comparing like with like.
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Print template - Disc - Duplication
On-disc printing will be cropped into a circle by the duplication software, so you do not need to provide artwork specially trimmed to fit the disc. In particular, do not cut out a central hole for the hub.  Simply make sure that no part of the design that you wish to print falls outside the outer rim or inside the hub area. In the case of black text/logo on a silver or white disc, the outer limit is a circle of 110mm diameter and the inner limit is a circle of 40mm diameter.
In the case of colour print, the outer limit is a circle of 120mm diameter and the inner limit is a circle of approximately 23mm diameter (the exact size varies according to disc type).
In all cases the overall dimensions of the artwork should be 120mm x 120mm. Do not add any crop marks or registration marks, The canvas should be the same size as the design - 120mm x 120mm - do not provide any white space beyond that.
The preferred format is high resolution PDF, though we can also accept images in JPEG, EPS, TIFF and BMP formats, as well as native files created in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop. Artwork should preferably be at 600dpi, but at least 300dpi.
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Print template - CD Booklet - Duplication
The dimensions of a standard 4-page booklet (ie. single sheet folded in half) for inserting into the front of a CD jewel case are 242mm x 120mm. If you require any part of the image or background to extend right to the edge of the paper, please add a bleed area around the edge of 3mm on all sides; this will make the total area 246mm x 126mm.
For a single sheet front insert, the finished size is 121mm x 120mm and the full bleed size is 127mm x 126mm.
Do not add any crop marks or registration marks, The canvas should be the same size as the design - including the bleed if required - do not provide any white space beyond that.
Please leave a safe area around the edges, such that any text or graphic is at least 5mm from the edge.
The preferred format is high resolution PDF, though we can also accept images in JPEG, EPS, TIFF and BMP formats, as well as native files created in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop. Artwork should preferably be at 600dpi, but at least 300dpi.
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Print template - CD Trayliner - Duplication
The trayliner or inlay (the sheet which is inserted into the back of the CD jewel case) has a finished size of 151mm x 118mm. The spine areas on the left and right hand sides are 6.5mm wide and the main central area is 138mm wide. Text on the spine should run from bottom to top on the left-hand side and from top to bottom on the right-hand side. If you require any part of the image or background to extend right to the edge of the paper, please add a bleed area around the edge of 3mm on all sides; this will make the total area 157mm x 124mm.
Do not add any crop marks or registration marks, The canvas should be the same size as the design - including the bleed if required - do not provide any white space beyond that.
Please leave a safe area around the edges, such that any text or graphic is at least 5mm from the edge. On the spine, we suggest you try and keep the text at least 1mm and preferably 2mm from both the edge and the fold.
The preferred format is high resolution PDF, though we can also accept images in JPEG, EPS, TIFF and BMP formats, as well as native files created in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop. Artwork should preferably be at 600dpi, but at least 300dpi.
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Print template - DVD Cover - Duplication
The dimensions of a cover for inserting into the outer pocket of a standard DVD case are 273mm x 183mm. The central spine area is 14mm wide and text should read from top to bottom. In the case of a slimline DVD case, the cover size is 266mm x 183mm and the spine is 7mm wide. If you require any part of the image or background to extend right to the edge of the paper, please add a bleed area around the edge of 3mm on all sides; this will make the total area 279mm x 189mm (or 272mm x 189mm for a slimline case).
Do not add any crop marks or registration marks, The canvas should be the same size as the design - do not provide any white space beyond that.
Please leave a safe area around the edges, such that any text or graphic is at least 5mm from the edge.
The preferred format is high resolution PDF, though we can also accept images in JPEG, EPS, TIFF and BMP formats, as well as native files created in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop. Artwork should preferably be at 600dpi, but at least 300dpi.
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Printing - Replication Service
The printing technique used in the replication process is either silk screen or litho, depending on the artwork and the actual pressing plant used. Silk screen is usually employed when there are areas of solid colour; litho is recommended where the image includes subtle gradations of colour or photographic images. We can usually handle Pantone colours. Please ensure that any colour artwork is supplied as a CMYK image, not RGB. If you have any special requirements, please contact us.

Print templates - Replication
The templates will be similar to those for duplication, but will differ slightly depending on which pressing plant is used, so please contact Downstream for advice.
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Sending your artwork
You should email your artwork files to artwork@downstream.co.uk. If you have problems sending large files by email, you can use the free service provided by www.yousendit.com. Simply go to the website, enter sender and recipient email addresses and locate the file(s) on your computer (up to 100MB) and press the SEND IT button.
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Contact Info
Downstream Ltd
44 Marsh Lane, Nantwich
Cheshire, CW5 5LH
Tel. : 01270 625125
Fax : 07006 077212
Email : info@downstream.co.uk