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Archive for October, 2018

Ultraviolet will preserve the market for physical media.

Monday, October 29th, 2018

The movie industry’s worst nightmare is not just that sales of high-margin discs will continue to fall – it is that, as digital services grow, new players (notably Apple) will come to dominate sales, just as it has taken the lead in music with iTunes.

Record labels let the computer industry corner the market. First, illegal file-sharing sites such as Napster became music distributors. Then, legal ones took over – iTunes has racked up almost 10 billion sales putting money into the pocket of Apple boss Steve Jobs, not the music industry.

Ultraviolet is a grand plan for Hollywood to get right everything that the music industry has got wrong.

Movies have one big advantage over music – digital film files are so big that they are hard to stream and download quickly. The new-generation 3D films are even bigger. That makes it more likely that consumers will continue to buy discs.
Moreover, physical discs are more user-friendly than downloads – you can take a disc to a friend’s house; pop it in any portable player or even play it in your car. None of these are possible easily with a digital download.

The idea behind Ultraviolet, or UV, is simple – consumers would buy a new type of Blu-ray disc with UV technology built in. The discs work on existing Blu-ray machines, and will cost about the same as normal Blu-ray discs. What is new, however, is that the UV discs are bundled with a licence to view anywhere, anytime, on any device for ever. As well as watching the disc instantly at home, we will be able to watch it by downloading it from the web and saving it so that we can watch it on a laptop, smartphone, tablet or games console. Also, we would be able to stream it live to a computer or TV while away from home, as well as legally make a single copy onto a disc.

All the big studios (except Disney) are members of the consortium behind UV, and Sainsbury’s will be the first big retailer to sell UV discs from next year.
UV is being launched in Britain first, as new figures reveal that we spend more on home entertainment than anyone else on the planet – and we make more digital copies of the movies we buy than anyone else.

When it comes to films, people like physical discs, but they also want to enjoy film in new digital ways. UV is a dead-easy way allowing them to do both. You buy it once but you can enjoy it everywhere – for ever. It’s user-friendly and future-proof!

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The digipak

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

When looking at packaging DVD’s and CD’s you could consider the Digipak as an attractive modern alternative to jewel box packing.

CD DigiPaks are especially popular in the music industry for CD albums as well as multiple CD disc sets. Digipak-style packaging is often used for CD singles or special editions of CD albums and the tall DVD Digipaks are often used as a premium package for DVDs and DVD sets. CD Digipaks were originally only seen as limited edition or specialist CD products. However improvements in CD production and CD packaging printing techniques has meant that this sleek CD packaging solution is now available at much lower quantities and at much lower prices.

What are digipaks and why are they special?

Digipaks are a custom printed card packaging that can hold one or more CDs which are held in place with plastic trays. These CD flexitrays are glued into the digipak packaging. As it is made mostly from thick card, the digi-pack is practically shatterproof as well as allowing for a fantastic graphic display.

The most common CD Digipaks is the 4 panel which opens like a book. However 6 panel CD Digipaks are also very popular, providing a larger canvas for CD artwork and text information about the CD. The 8 panel digiPaks is ideal when you have a lot to say about your music, with a total of 8 panels of print available, you can be sure there is lots of space to print your photos, band information and lyrics of your tracks. Many UK companies do not have the facilities to manufacture digiPaks, however Replication Centre can offer 4,6,8 and DVD Digipaks.

The DVD Digipak is a popular alternative to the DVD box. It is now widely used for feature film DVD releases which are special editions because it increases the value and creates a premium product.

Digipak-style packaging is made mainly from cardboard which can be considered the more eco-friendly packing solution however it can also be seen as less resistant to wear than CD jewel cases. Replication Centre solves this issue by applying a protective gloss or matt varnish to CD/DVD Digipak packaging.  As an extra plastic coating either matt lamination or glossy lamination gives the Digipack even more rigidity, providing not only increased durability but also making the surfaces more water resistant.

In all, Digipaks give a product an expensive professional look and feel – especially when combined with, well designed CD artwork, for an affordable price.

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Recycling: the security-driven market

Monday, October 15th, 2018

The amount of the disc returns and wastage is growing every year

The amount of the disc returns and wastage is growing every year

With billions of CDs and DVDs being released every year, the demand for dealing with returns and confiscated pirated discs is still bigger than supply. This branch of industry has a promising future since it seems like there is a market for everything: recycled shrinkwrap, paper, cardboard, the plastic case and the disc itself. And the most valuable and desired in the whole process is its security. Recycled material is later used in the automotive industry and in household utilities.

Every single stage of the disc recycling is an extra secure procedure – mainly because of the intellectual copyrights of the returned material and data sensitivity, but also to ensure that the discs coming from raided pirated facilities will be removed from the market forever. The returns from replicators and distributors are delivered on pallets and wrapped in a black plastic film to make any attempt of tampering easy to detect. All employees are vetted before being allowed to work at the facility premises. Destruction takes place in a separate containers and is closely monitored by CCTV cameras. Discs are dismantled automatically, there is almost no manual job involved in the recycling process. Recycling plants have dedicated granulators for each kind of polymer processed, so basically there is no ‘waste’. The higher percentage of plastic contained in the final product, the more valuable the mix. The amount of plastic should exceed 96%.

Not only CDs and DVDs are subject to recycling. Specialised plants can deal also with tape, VHS and even vinyl, which is enyoing the renewal of its popularity, to extract the plastic.

Although recycling is already a green business there are attempts to make it even more green and efficient and thus more profitable. In order to optimise the chain destruction, companies are moving away from storing loads of packaged material to be manufactured and set up destruction facilities on site. They provide the necessary equipment, the qualified staff and bags for the destroyed discs. Replicators’ job consists only in feeding discs into the machine. Everything else is fully automated and secure, because nothing ever even leaves the site. It allows to get rid of the transportation issues and as a result – cuts down the carbon dioxide emission.

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Archiving and storage – still a promising market for CDs and BDs

Monday, October 8th, 2018
traditional archive and modern cd archive

Traditional archive and modern cd archive

Optical disc media is maintaining its strong position in the archive and storage industry. It seems like it has almost battled paper, microfiche and tape and is ready to face new challenges from hard drives, flash media and cloud – based systems. The global recordable and re-recordable optical disc production reached 18,6 billion disc in 2009 which holds nearly 50 % of global (re-)recordable optical disc production.

The secret of its ongoing success lies in three factors. It has the lowest cost- per-gigabyte compared to solid state and hard disc drives. It’s fully portable and easy to use. In addition, there are a plethora of compatible CD writers and burners available.

The future for optical disc media looks bright, especially that BD and DVD format are joining the game while new markets like video archiving, surveillance, law enforcement and medical services are emerging. The multilayer capability of BD – R provides large data capacity, up to 100 gigabytes on a single disc. It’s perfect for passing archiving, where there is no need for regular updates. The main drawback is its increased instability caused by its multi-layer capability. But there are solutions developed to guarantee the durability and reliability of the discs used by the archive industry. One of them is using 24-carat gold reflective layer, which prevents corrosion and oxidation.

No matter how sophisticated the solutions are, it is still recommended to test the archiving media at least once in two years to assure the data is still readable.

Another opportunity is a newly launched low-reflective M-Disc which uses DVD+R specifications. It allows for permanent storage and the DVD+RW reflectivity makes its production more economical, because less power is required to get enough power absorbed for recording the data.

In order to burn M-disc you need a special M- Writer which can be configured to act like a standard DVD-recordable drive.

However, if you want to be sure that your archives will survive as long as you want, the best option is still to use combined solutions as no media is perfect.

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Replicate or Duplicate?

Monday, October 1st, 2018

There are two distinct technologies available for producing Optical Discs, whether CD, DVD or Blu-ray, and the choice of which to use for any given project is not always immediately obvious.

In order to help with that decision, it is important to understand the differences and the effects that those differences can have:

The first thing to remember is that whatever process is used, the data at the beginning and end are exactly the same, though there will be slight differences in the appearance and performance of the finished product.

Duplication is the name given to the process whereby the data are written to individual blank recordable discs using banks of high-speed writers.  Artwork is then typically thermal printed or paper labeled.

Replication is a much more involved process in which a glass master is first created from the original data. This master is used to make metal stamping discs which are used in presses to press the data wholesale onto polycarbonate blanks.  A reflective aluminium layer is then applied, and the discs are then lacquered, sealed and artwork typically silk-screened or offset printed.

All retail discs are replicated.

Replicated discs have no compatibility issues – they will play in all players and drives, whereas duplicated discs will sometimes not play on older stand-alone players or set-top boxes.  Recordable media are also more vulnerable to damage by prolonged exposure to sunlight.

The big advantage of Duplication is very quick turnaround time, and digital printing with no prepress charges, BUT the unit cost is higher than for replication, and duplicates can only have one layer of information, meaning their data capacity is up to 4 times less.

With Replication, the unit costs are lower (after mastering and other setup costs are taken into account), and multilayering is possible so the data capacity is much greater.

Because of the need for mastering etc., however, the turnaround time is longer, and the setup costs make it uneconomical for runs less than 500.

So, the ultimate decision is yours: is a lower price or time more important to you?

In general, though, up to 500, discs will be duplicated; over 10,000, discs will be replicated.  In between, the decision is yours!

Please do not hesitate to call Replicationcentre where our knowledgeable staff will be pleased to advise based on your individual requirements.

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Address: Replication Centre, Gleniffer House, 2 Hall Road, Rochford, Essex, SS4 1NN.    Tel: 01702 530 357    Email: info@replicationcentre.co.uk