CD and DVD duplication offers three main printing types. The end result of the CD or DVD duplication process will rely quite heavily the one you choose.
Thermal Retransfer for CD and DVD Duplication
The best over-all printing results for CD duplication come from ‘Thermal Retransfer’. This gives an excellent image quality (comparable to off-set printing), is inexpensive and extremely durable. All modern, up-to-date CD and DVD duplication companies use this technology. The Rimage Everest 2 is a Thermal Retransfer printer and arguably the best printer you could hope to use for CD or DVD duplication.
Thermal Printing for CD and DVD Duplication
CD and DVD duplication traditionally uses ‘Thermal Printing’. Thermal printing is cheap, provides reasonably good image quality and is very durable. Most CD and DVD duplication companies that have been around for a while use thermal printing, unless they have upgraded to ‘Thermal Retransfer’ printing (see above). Inexpensive thermal printers can be purchased for CD or DVD labelling, such as the Primera Z1 and the TDK Thermal. These will print on limited areas of the CD or DVD, but will not cover the full face of the disc. For full-face printing, there’s the Rimage Prism Plus.
Inkjet Printing for CD and DVD Duplication
An option for home CD and DVD printing is ‘Inkjet Printing’. Inkjet printing, which is an expensive process (per copy), has excellent image quality but poor durability (if you wet your thumb and rub it across the print surface, it will smudge!). It is good for home use as full-face inkjet CD and DVD printers can be purchased quite cheaply. These include the Microboards Print Factory 2, Primera Bravo series and the extremely good value Epson R220.