The optical disc has become a ubiquitous medium for distribution of data, music and video. The low cost of the discs, coupled with the high data storage capabilities and the nearly universal availability of CD/DVD drives on desktop and notebook computers make CD and DVD the medium of choice for distributing data and audio.
The rapid emergence of Blu-ray players in home entertainment makes it a medium of choice for high-definition video. Blu-ray readers – and Blu-ray writers – installed into computers, are establishing recordable Blu-ray an important medium for distribution of up to 50 GB of data on a single disc.
Because of their importance to businesses and organizations, the need to rapidly make multiple copies of the same discs has become quite high. A variety of optical disc duplicators are offered by Aleratec. In this short series of blogs, I’ll sort through the various types and features available.
Standalone Duplicators / Publishers
Aleratec’s standalone duplicators, available in a range of capacities ranging from 1:1 to 1:15 disc versions are actually still capable of connecting to a computer. However, the standalones don’t require connection to a computer in order to copy a DVD, for instance. All of the duplicators’ functions are available without any computer connection. These recorders are equipped with one or more disc writers that are used as targets for these recording devices.
At their most basic, a disc drive at the top of the duplicator acts as a disc reader, reading the image of a source disc that is copied to the other drives for standalone recording. DVD to DVD copying (or CD to CD or Blu-ray to Blu-ray) without connection to a computer is as simple as putting a source disc into the top drive, putting blank discs into the other drives in the duplicator, and pressing a few buttons. In a few minutes, you’ll have a set of duplicate discs.
The capabilities of the standalones offered by Aleratec go beyond this basic functionality. Many Aleratec standalone duplicators/publishers are equipped with a removable hard drive that stores disc ‘images’ and label graphics for use in duplicating a large number of discs. A disc ‘image’ is a digital file that can be expanded by the duplicator to create an exact copy of a disc.
By selecting the image to be written from a menu on the duplicator, multiple discs can be recorded from these standard images. For organizations that use a variety of standard discs for distribution, being able to select a disc image and automatically create multiple discs at once can be a tremendous time and cost saver.
Even better, this can be done with multiple units (such as Aleratec’s Standalone 1:15 DVD/CD Tower Publisher SLS Duplicator Part 260178) that can create as many as 15 discs at a time. Conceivably, an organization that needs to make hundreds of discs in a few hours can use a few of these towers, standalone, to produce discs.
In Part Two, I’ll look at Computer Connected Duplicators and explore some of the additional capabilities that are common to Aleratec’s drive Duplicators and Publishers