Many people are confused about the differences in DVD duplication and DVD replication and when one is more appropriate than the other. Quite simply, if a person needs a small number of DVDs – for example 1,000 or fewer – then duplication is the better option. Anything over that, then replication will be less expensive.
Here are differences in DVD duplication and DVD replication:
DVD duplication uses DVD recorders to “burn” the data into pre-made, write-once DVD-Rs. Since the costs relating to setup costs are minimal in comparison to replication, it is a much more cost-effective method by which to reproduce the smaller numbers of discs. Not only is it much less expensive for the smaller runs, but the usual turn-around time for DVD-R duplication runs is usually only a matter of few days.
Replication uses a process of “stamping” the data into a DVD that is injection molded. To get to this point, however, the data must be first burned onto a template, known as a glass master. This process is similar to how LP’s were once pressed.
The finished stamped DVD has the same silver coloration as any DVD purchased from a retail outlet, such as a video or electronics. Replication is nearly always the preferred method for a larger number of copies because the per-disc price is kept as low as possible. The replication process ordinarily requires the client to order a minimum of 1,000 DVDs which helps offset the much higher setup costs.
The data is built into the construction of the DVD during the replication process, which is much less expensive than DVD duplication. This is only true if you need fewer DVDs, then duplication is more appropriate.