What is a DVD CD Duplicator?

Jessica Saras

Also known as a copy tower, a DVD CD duplicator is a type of scanning equipment that uses laser technology to transfer information from one CD or DVD to another. Similar to a computer's DVD or CD burner, duplicators can create several copies of a disc at once, thereby providing a more efficient solution for copying large amounts of data. As a result, a duplicator is most commonly used to create bulk copies of a CD or DVD. Many businesses also purchase a DVD CD duplicator in order to store and backup their data.

The content on a DVD can be copied to multiple DVDs.
The content on a DVD can be copied to multiple DVDs.

Most duplicators are standalone devices that plug directly into an existing computer and do not require any type of software to work. To create copies of a CD or DVD, the DVD CD duplicator first scans the original information from the master CD or DVD. It then saves this content—be it audio, data, or video material—into its memory and transfers that information onto a new blank CD or DVD. Depending on the number of disc drives located on the DVD CD duplicator, anywhere from three to 20 discs can be copied at one time. The speed of the DVD duplication tower depends on the type of media being copied, but on average, it takes about 5 to 8 minutes to copy a DVD and 2 to 4 minutes to copy a CD.

Performing a data backup using a DVD CD duplicator guards against losing information in the event of a hard drive malfunction.
Performing a data backup using a DVD CD duplicator guards against losing information in the event of a hard drive malfunction.

The most successful DVD CD duplicators use a glass-mastering manufacturing process to provide the most accurate duplication services. This technique not only creates an exact replica of the master CD or DVD, but also helps protect the discs from contaminants such as dust, pollen, and hair. In addition, the glass mastering process also makes the disc less susceptible to scratches, thereby ensuring easier handling. Some duplicators even imprint the title of the CD or DVD directly on the disc.

When selecting a CD or DVD duplicator, it is important to consider the number of recorders on the duplicator as well as the record speed, disc capacity, and source. Although most CD DVD duplication towers can make copies of DVD-R, DVD+R, and Blu-ray material, the duplicated discs are often incompatible with DVD players that were manufactured before 2000. Additionally, due to laws prohibiting the duplication of copyrighted material, most duplicators will not copy any type of copyrighted material. Therefore, before attempting to copy a DVD or CD, users are advised to check their DVD player's compatibility and verify that the material they are copying is not protected by copyright laws.

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Discussion Comments


@Vincenzo -- there are times when a DVD or CD is the most efficient means possible. Assuming that you are authorized to duplicate the information you want to transfer, imagine how clumsy it can be to transfer an entire album or movie in an uncompressed format.

Musicians, film producers and even programmers can generate files that are simply too large to be transferred efficiently. For those professionals, a DVD/CD copying unit is a must.


Aren't these largely obsolete? Think about it -- with high speed Internet, digital information can be transferred very quickly. The recipient can then choose to burn that information to a disc or DVD if necessary. It might be more cost effective to simply make the files available through digital download and do them that way.

Of course, there's a stigma attached to delivering information in that manner because that's what people who are stealing media tend to do. If you own the information you are transferring or have the rights to do so, why not use the most efficient means possible?

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