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StorDigital Systems and associates have compiled this document to outline the principles to be considered when buying a CD or DVD/CD Duplicator.:
When deciding on purchasing a duplicator, there are a number of key elements to consider when determining which unit and brand would fit your needs the best. Even though price is a strong determining factor, keep in mind what you're getting for the price; will the unit perform as needed? Will the unit grow as your needs grow? Will the company stand behind the product and provide the support you need when you need it? Is the company looking out for your best interest or their own? Most importantly, will the company be around in the future or will they disappear as soon as you need them?
Just like purchasing a computer, home appliance, or even a car, pricing varies depending on performance, reliability, brand name, and manufacturer support. So when you're selecting a duplicator, don't just consider the price, but pay particular attention to these 3 key elements:
I) Design & Component material:
When you look at the ProBurner duplicator from StorDigital, the first thing you notice is the unique look and design. This attractive design not only differentiates itself through its appearance, but through the use of higher quality and more effective components and parts. It's those parts that ensure a better performing and longer lasting duplicator. There are a number of duplicator providers who just throw components together without taking into consideration quality or effectiveness. The ProBurner is not assembled with the standard parts and low cost components others use; the ProBurner is designed to answers to a higher calling, yours! The following components show the added value of the ProBurner over the competition:
A) Casing (external case): The ProBurner uses an aluminum casing specially designed by StorDigital created to diffuse the internal heat created by the drives much faster than the standard steel casing. With the ProBurner's advanced air flow design and aluminum casing, the internal temperature is approximately 10 ~ 15 degrees cooler than alternative cases on the market. Operating the duplicator under lower temperatures will not only allow for continuous use without a need for a cool down period, but also increases the lifetime of the unit while providing better reliability when duplicating. The less heat concentrated on the drives, the better the performance and the longer they will continue to perform.
B) Controller (operating system): The controller for the ProBurner is specially manufactured for these units and is not available to the general public as other controller brands in alternative duplicators are. For most of the standard controller companies, their focus is more on uniformity to work the same for everyone instead of optimizing the performance and conveniences expected from users of the ProBurner. In fact, if you took two identical duplicators with the only variables being the controllers, the SahrkCopier controller will produce a better disc performance rating every time (using the PIPO scale for measuring disc quality). The controllers are calibrated to optimize the industry recognized best drivers/burners on the market. In addition to compatibility, we make a more powerful controller that ensures proper function and more reliability. The added power allows our controller to perform all the same functions as standard controllers but offers more options and capabilities which benefit the end user dramatically.
C) Drives (writer and reader drives): The ProBurner only uses the best drives optimized for multi-drive simultaneous duplication to provide the greatest possible performance. The controller is able to manipulate many of the drives on the market directly to provide stable and quality performance that is better suited for duplicator use. Understanding and using the best drives for your particular needs and circumstances is extremely important for both your end product and your pocket book.
II) Manufacturing, Testing, and Shipping procedures
Even if you use the best components and materials to build the duplicator, if the proper care and knowledge to assemble them is not performed, then you will not have an optimized unit. The ProBurner is assembled by the most knowledgeable and skilled technicians and every duplicator has to pass a 72 hour continuous burn-in test before it's ever released to the public. The ProBurner is assembled under the strictest Quality Control conditions to ensure every unit sold meets the highest standards in quality and performance.
To further ensure that the ProBurner arrives to the customer in the best condition and to prevent any possible damage caused by the shipping carrier, all of the ProBurners are double insulated and packed in a specially designed shipping box. No expense is spared to ensure that the duplicator reaches the customer in the same condition as when it left the show room floor. When the customer purchases new equipment, it should arrive in that manner no matter how it was shipped.
III) Customer Service and Technical Support
Our relationship with the customer does not end after the unit has been sold. The ability to speak to a technician whom is knowledgeable and available when you have questions is a key component when deciding on a duplicator to purchase. Every ProBurner sold has the full backing and support of StorDigital. Our Tech Support will be available to assist you with any question or difficulty the customer may experience for the life of the product. Even though every ProBurner has a full one year parts and labor warranty, our technicians will be available to walk you through any problem or questions you may have from the first day to the last as long as you own the ProBurner duplicator. Our technicians work with you directly and actually have technical training and knowledge of every single duplicator to ensure you get prompt and accurate answers and service. Unlike some fly by night companies looking to make a quick buck who are never available or capable of providing answers or service, we stand behind the products we sell and the customers who buy them.
When you look at all of the facts behind what makes a duplicator stand out amongst the competition, the answer is very clear which unit ranks the best, the one that provides the highest compatibility, best performance, longest lasting, and most features. In other words the ProBurner is what you're looking for.
If a duplicator uses the same number and brand of drives, why would I spend more for one brand of duplicator over another?
Even though the drives are an integral part of a duplicator, they are still just one determinant in a sum of parts that generate an optimal duplicated disc. Take a car for example. Two cars could use the same engine, but the mechanics to make the engine work will determine the type of performance the car will get from the engine. Those added components have varying costs and when you use better quality parts as stated above, it will slightly increase the costs. The price for some of the most important components that dramatically affect the performance of a duplicator can vary by a lot. Take the controller for instance, the price can vary from $10 to over $100. The power supply can differ between $30 ~ $80. This specially designed 500Watt** power supply provides the most reliable and stable voltage for the duplicator ensuring the unit will not die prematurely. The standard steel case compared with an aluminum case can differ between $40 ~ $80. All of these elements are necessary to get the best performance out of the duplicator.
Some vendors just purchase equipment from the drive manufactures, while others will actually WORK in conjunction with the manufactures to ensure the drives offer the best performance needed for multi-drive duplication. They also update each drive's firmware and test all of the drives before they are assembled into the duplicator ensuring the most updated software and compatibility. Many vendors simply assemble the duplicator quickly when an order is received verses a higher quality vendor which will pre-assemble the duplicator and fully test the unit for 3 days to ensure quality before the unit is sold. There are numerous reasons why the price may vary, but isn't higher quality worth a small percentage price difference? When choosing electronic equipment, it's wise to select a unit with higher standards and quality rather than a cheaper unit which will cost you more down the road.
**power supply wattage depends on the size of the duplicator and the number of drives.
The answer is No. Two separate duplicators using the same drives will not perform the same if other components differ. The part that has the most dramatic affect on the duplication quality is the controller and the internal temperature of the duplicator. A controller is like the brain of the duplicator which controls all of the signals and commands going directly to the drives. A good controller not only has a larger capacity memory, but also the type of operation system programmed inside is extremely important. While others may use cheap generic controllers, the manufacture of the ProBurner devoted a lot of time and effort into developing their own highly optimized and advanced controller. The controller for the ProBurner ensures a more stable duplication with dramatically enhanced compatibility for the drives used. The ProBurner case utilizes a new airflow design which will quickly and effectively remove heat generated from the drives far better than the competition keeping the whole duplicator cool all times. This reduction in heat allows the drives to perform without interruption or becoming "burnt out". These two factors are the core factors in optimizing the performance of the drives and what would differentiate the capabilities of two duplicators using the same drives with different components.
How does the ProBurner extend the lifespan of the drives/burners?
The 2 most dangerous elements for any drive are heat and dust. While the drives are in use, they generate a significant amount of heat. In order to prevent the drives from overheating and burning out, a fan is needed to pull the hot air out and suck in fresh air to cool the drives down. The fans built inside of a ProBurner use a ball barring system, instead of the cheaper plastic solid fans used by many other duplicators, to ensure stable and continuous ventilation. The problem is, the fresh air has no means to enter the duplicator other than through the front of the unit going directly through the front of the drives. This causes the second major threat to a drive, the culmination of dust on the laser head. Unless you're working in a completely dust free environment, there will be dust particles in the air. As the air is sucked through the front of the duplicator those dust particles will collect inside the drives and cloud the laser head. The laser head is the optical nerve center of the drives and conducts the process of burning onto the discs. Just as if your eye glasses developed a built up layer of film and dust on the lenses it would be harder to see through them, the same is true for the laser head. As the dust accumulates it makes it harder for the laser to perform forcing the drive to work that much harder and reducing the lifespan of the drive. The ProBurner is specially designed with a special "gill" venting system on each side of the case to allow the air flow into the machine without passing through the drive face. This eliminates approx. 80% of the harmful dust from entering into the drive itself and landing on the laser head. To further prevent dust from entering the drives, the ProBurner is equipped with exterior drive door covers to block harmful dust particles. These drive covers keep the dust out and provide an attractive uniform look for the duplicator itself. In addition, since the case is made out of aluminum, it gets rid of the harmful heat up to 3 times faster than a standard steel case. By dramatically decreasing the amount of heat and dust from disrupting the capabilities of the drives, the ProBurner can extend the life of the drives by 20% ~ 30%.
Should you have a hard drive installed in a DVD duplicator?
A hard drive is highly recommended for any DVD duplicator. Even though a DVD has the same physical dimensions as a CD, DVD's contain 6 times more information within the disc compared to CDs. That means the density of a DVD disc is significantly higher than a CD. Thus, the requirement for high speed DVD reading and writing is dramatically higher than a CD. Taking these facts into consideration, it would provide a far more stable and controlled duplication process if the source DVD disc can be loaded into a hard drive instead of reading directly disc to disc. Plus, loading the master into the hard drive will allow you to easily recall the data quickly and easily for future duplication.
What affect does blank media have on the quality of the copy from the duplicator?
The type and quality of the blank media is one of the most important factors concerning the duplication quality. The better the quality of media you can use the better the duplication results will be.
If you use the same blank media, will you get the same results no matter which duplicator you use?
No. Even if you use the same media, the duplicator itself will have far different outcomes depending on the brand used. In order to prove this, there is a scale called P.I.P.O which is used for testing the burn/copy quality of a duplicated disc. The quality is determined by the compatibility between the drive and the disc. Using this analyzing procedure, even using the same disc, when you duplicate with different burners the P.I.P.O will come out different. The ProBurner utilizes special software in the controller to run the drives which are specially designed specifically for multi-drive duplication. This controller, manufactured by StorDigital, also includes an extensive media list inside the operation system to detect specific kind of media and changes the writing strategy to generate the best possible quality for that media. So, when using a ProBurner with the recommended drives, compared to an alternative duplicator with the same kind of drive, you will find the quality from the ProBurner to be far superior.
Is an aluminum case better than a steel case for a duplicator?
Yes. An aluminum case is vastly superior to a steel case. Not only is aluminum lighter, but it gets rid of the damaging heat inside the duplicator up to 3 times faster than the standard steel casing. Duplicators generate a tremendous amount of heat during the burning process, so using an aluminum case will greatly decrease the temperature of the unit and increase the quality of the burn and expand the life of the duplicator.