Online Ordering of CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

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Digital Copycat recently released our new Online Quoting System. Consumers and businesses alike have become more comfortable with the security of paying for goods and services online. We recognize this trend and have developed a new online product browsing and ordering system.

Our goal was to make it easier and more convenient for customers and potential new clients to find the style or type of DVD, CD or Blu-ray product and to purchase it online. We still offer the same great customer service when you need us, however, if it’s off hours or you just know what you want, you can now place your order without the help of an account manager with ease.

Please take a look at our new Quote System and let us know how you like it.  Your feedback is greatly appreciated as we are always looking for ways to make your experience easier.

If you cannot find what you need on our web site and have a need for any CD, DVD, or Blu-ray products, please contact us here or just call us at 1-866-210-8768.

USB KEY Flash Drive – What is it?

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The term “USB Key” or “USB Flash Drive Key” has different commercial meaning and applications.  This can be confusing when trying to figure out if a USB Key is what you are looking for.

Below are three common definitions that are commonly used when the terms USB Key.

Key Shaped USB Flash Drives

– Its just the shape of the drive: Many flash drive manufacturers provide a physical flash drive that is in the shape of a key. Its sole purpose is to function as a standard, un-protected flash drive that looks like a key. These can often be used as a promotional flash drive item that has data on it, say for example, software for a game. Once you have the key in your hand, you plug it into your computer, and commence to play the game. Hence, a clever delivery device to give you the “key” to fun playing the game. Of course there are many other examples where this could be a clever marketing or promotional idea, car companies, software companies, etc.  When most are searching for a USB Key, this is typically not what they are looking for.

USB Key Dongle

002– The flash drive provides security or encryption to protect or allow access to data, software, games or the drive itself. Here the usb flash drive or similar USB device may or may not look like a key, however, it does function as an electronic “key” of sorts. When plugged into a computer, the flash drive interfaces with installed software or cloud based software to give copy protection and provide authentication for use of software. Without the dongle, the software may only run in a limited fashion or not at all. Since it is harder to replicate the dongle that the actual software, it can provide significant protection for Intellectual Property for companies that wish to securely distribute software, data and games.

Encrypted USB Flash Drive

EF-PL012a– Here a USB Flash Key is is a flash drive with content protection provided to secure the data on the flash drive. In some cases the design of the drive is made to fit on a key ring so the user can keep better track of it. To access data on the drive a password is used. When inserting the flash drive into a computer, you must have a password to see and use the data on the drive. This is one of the most widely used functions for USB Key flash drives. It has significant consumer appeal as many people use flash drives to move personal data around, and may loose the drive. If an unknown party finds the drive, they will not be able to gain access to the data on the drive without the proper password.

Digital Copycat provides products and support for all three versions of USB Key Flash Drive products mentioned above.   For more information on how to purchase, please take a look at our USB Key Flash Drive pages or contact us.  We are always eager to help connect clients with solutions.

DVD-R & CD-R Printing in the San Francisco Bay Area

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If you have a need for CD-R or DVD-R products but your content that is constantly changing, we have a very popular solution for you. In many cases a very cost effective solution is to buy bulk printed DVD-Rs or CD-Rs.
We provide an extremely high quality print onto the surface of our premium or standard DVD-Rs or CD-Rs. When you want to change your content, you can just burn your own disc and still have a provisionally printed result.
This solution is best for data, or any other type of CD or DVD product that will change rapidly.

Movie directors and producers who are doing final edits.
Data that is periodically updated and distributed.
Medical CD-Rs and Medical DVD-Rs that are distributed to patients.
“Screeners” for movies where you can change your edit and content to tailor to your audience.

All of these uses are very common and cost effective for printed blank DVD-Rs and CD-Rs.

If you have a need for any CD, DVD, or Blu-ray products, please contact us here or just call us at 1-866-210-8768.

If you need help with your DVD or Blu-ray Authoring or Design Work we do that too!

How to Choose the right Grade of Memory for your Custom Printed Flash Drives

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Sourcing and buying Flash Drive Memory can be a difficult task. When it comes to manufacturing flash memory, there are many different grades, manufacturers and products. Most first time buyers, and even some experienced buyers, will not even realize that there is such a disparity in the quality of these different flash memory items. Some buyers even get duped into buying counterfeit flash drives.

The easiest way to help sort through the facts about flash drives is to think about flash memory in these layman’s terms.

In general I like to lump flash memory into 4 categories.

Category 1. – Grade A Flash Memory

– (Used in our Premium Line of Flash Drives.)
In general this is the best memory on the market. The chip-set used it typically made by a premier memory maker like Samsung, Toshiba or Intel. Similar memory is used in the Apple Iphone and other quality smart phones. None of the components inside the drive are generic or recycled, and the speed of these drives are typically the fastest and this product comes with a Lifetime Warranty. The benefits of this memory are for application like critical data or memory that must be 100% reliable for the long run. I myself am a Premium Grade promoter, because its the most trouble free and reliable memory that comes with no headaches or hassles. Typically this memory is about 10% more expensive than our Standard Grade Memory. Our Grade A memory memory is manufactured in an ISO 9001:2008 certified factory.

Category 2. – Grade B Flash memory

-(Used in our Standard Grade Memory Line.)
This again is a very reliable product, however, it is a step down from the Premium Grade Flash Drives.   The chip-set present in this memory will typically be manufactured from a lower tier manufacturer and is often comprised of some generic or recycled components. You will see a reduction in speed on these drives and the memory is backed by a 1 year warranty. This memory is absolutely perfect for the marketing person or advertising agency that wants to use flash drives as a promotional item with a lower budget in mind. This memory to last and run well, but it does not have the exceptional speed and lifespan of the Premium Grade Flash Memory. Our Grade B memory is also manufactured in an ISO-9001:2008 certified factory.

Category 3. – Grade C Flash memory

– which we do not sell, but you will see this memory on the market from other suppliers. Grade C memory is often made with generic and recycled components and typically offers no warranty. I am not even sure why this product is purchased anywhere, but if you are on a very tight budget and are feeling risky, this might be the memory for you.

Category 4. – Counterfeit Flash Memory

– Here is where you can get in some hot water. Buyer Beware! If the price seems to be to good to be true, it probably is. It is not uncommon to run into this memory in the marketplace sold by un-scrupulous or un-savvy companies. Here is how the scam works – typically the larger the capacity the drive, the more costly the drive. So a 32GB Premium Grade drive may cost $55/unit where a 2GB Drive of the same quality may be $6-$8. A common counterfeiting practice is to manufacture a lower capacity drive, say a 2GB drive, but manipulate the label info on the drive to indicate that it is 32GB. Upon first glance when putting this drive into a computer, you will see 32GB of space, however, when you actually try to load more than the 2GB of data, the drive will show full or fail.

Unfortunately I have heard of this practice many times, so buyer beware. If the price you have received for your Custom Printed Flash Drives seems too good to be true, it probably is.

I hope this has been helpful for anyone who is deciding on buying flash memory. It’s really not that complicated once it is clearly explained.

If you need more information and want to purchase some custom printed flash drives or need data loads for your previously purchased drives, just contact us here and we will have a flash drive expert answer your questions and take your order.

Blu-ray Adoption and Duplication needs continue to rise

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To Bluray or not to Bluray? That is the question.

Since 2008 both the entertainment industry and the data industry have been watching the general trends of blu-ray disc sales. The consistent question is how fast is the adoption of bluray progressing.

Commercial Blu-ray Disc Movies adoption rate :
Here there are a few things to consider. Back in the VHS days, the quality jump to DVD was a slam dunk to make DVD the next video format of choice. It was clear that this smaller disc with higher quality and no quality degradation was a superior product to magnetic tape, hence the rapid adoption of DVD and the rapid decline of VHS.

DVD to Blu-ray adoption is a little different but still showing surprising statistics: Read the rest of this entry »

Data Verified DVD and CD Duplication and copying

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A little know fact about cd and dvd duplication is that when a duplicator burns copies of your disc, they normally do not verify that the data has been properly burned onto the disc.
The normal procedure is to check that the master disc or data is correct, then the data is burned onto the disc. For most applications this usually suffices, as the dropout rate for poorly burned discs is usually less than 1/10 of a percent. As long as your duplicator uses good blank media, your project should be trouble free.

However, for software or data critical discs, the need for a much higher degree of accuracy is required. For these applications and clients we typically run a verify on every disc. What does this mean? When we run a verify on every disc, our equipment is set to record the master data, then write the data to the disc. Normally this is the end of the process, however, for a verify, our equipment keeps an image of the data being burned on a hard drive, then instructs the burners to read the data that has just been burned on the disc. It then does a low level bit for bit comparison of every disc sector against the hard drive data image to ensure that the data has been accurately burned onto the disc.

For clients who need 100% confidence that their delivered discs will be accurate, this data verify process is unbeatable. Always keep in mind that burned discs use an organic dye to store the data and that it will degrade in time. So if your duplicator uses cheap discs that are out of spec, the initial burn may be ok, but 6 months or a year later, the dye can degrade to the point of making the data unreadable. So make sure your duplicator can provide evidence that they are using high quality blanks along with there data verification process.

Custom Flash Drives | Pros and Cons v. Optical Media

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Custom Printed Flash Drives have become a more widely used physical media for distributing digital content.   When you want to pysically deliver your digital content, we are seeing a small percentage of clients move away from DVDs and CDs.  When deciding whether or not Custom USB Flash Drives are right for you, there are  some common pros and cons to consider which we have outlined below.

Pros:

Compact and Faster:  Flash Drives are small and compact.  They are easy to distribute and also have a data transfer rate faster than the conventional CD or DVD counterpart. They are also perceived as a more elegant and simple delivery solution.

Larger Capacity: USB Flash drives can typically store anywhere from 512K to 32GB.  If the data you are distributing is more than 4.4 GB(the data storage capacity of a single layer DVD) the Flash Drive is an ideal solution.  We have clients who regularly distribute 16GB or more data, which would previously been done on a 4 DVD set.

Re-usable: Flash Drives are reusable and can be rewritten to and erased.  The data can also be locked so it cannot be erased, but the remainder of the drive capacity can be formated to be re-used.  This way, your distributed content is always present on the drive as the end user uses the drive for other data and storage needs.

Cons:

Cost:  In general, Flash Drives are a more costly solution than optical media.  Particularly when distributing 500 units or more, the cost of a typical CD might be $1 per unit, where a 512MB custom printed flash drive with the data pre-loaded would be around $4 per unit.   This cost differential becomes very wide when you are at quantities of 5K or more.  There the price differential can be 40-50 cents per CD vs. $3.50 per unit for Flash Drives.  As the quantity needed, however, decreases, and say for example 100 CDs were needed vs. the flash drives, 100 CDs would be approx $3.00 per unit, where a comparable flash drive might be around $5.00 unit.

 

Overall Comparison Summary : Overall, USB Flash Drive costs have been steadily decreasing and with this continuing trend they will continue to gain in popularity for data storage and distribution. Cost is really the main determining factor against chosing flash drives. We do not see costs being equal for larger runs, 500 units or more, but at lower quantities, at some point, flash drives will be a more economical solution while also providing a more compact, flexible and reusable solution for physical data delivery.

DVD Copycat provides and extensive selection of over 200 styles of custom flash drives and also provides data loading services if you already have the drives and just need data loads.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding Custom Printed USB Flash Drives, CDs, DVD or Bluray discs.  We are always here to help our client get the best product delivered on time.

 


	  

Dual Layer DVD Duplication | DVD-DL

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A standard DVD-R holds approximately 4.4GB of data.  When there is an need for a larger capacity DVD at low quantities, clients typically choose DVD-DL.  DVD-DL is a dual layer burnable DVD that can hold approximately 8.5GB of data or video content.  DL discs have continually been used more and more widely.  We see many clients using this disc when they need quantities of 25-400 units.  Short run software applications, data updates, and full length movies with run times past 2 hours are most of the clients we see ordering DVD-DL.  Once we get to 500 units, we can justify the cost to replicate, or “press” these discs.  These discs are called DVD9.

Cost and Compatibility of DVD-DL: DVD-DL is that the cost is typically about $2 more expensive per disc than standard DVD-R and in some instances, the compatibility of DVD-DL with players can be finicky for video.  This higher cost is typically lower than the cost of making 2 standard DVD so in that circumstance, the DL disc will provide you with some cost saving.

Compatibility for Data application has become less of an issue as most DVD drives now are designed to recognize this format.  Set top DVD Video players also are designed to recognize this format, but the manufactures were slower to adopt, and this why DVD-DL will not play in some older players.

Overall, though, DVD-DL has its niche and fills a void when more data is needed, but quantity is low.  It is a good solution when you do not want to split up a project and put it on 2 standard DVD-Rs.

At DVD Copycat we only source the very best blank DVD-DL media we can find so the quality and compatibility is maximized.

If you have more questions about Dual Layer DVD Duplication, DVD-DL, or would like to place an order, just contact us and we would be happy to quote you and get to work for you and deliver a great product.

DVD Copy Protection and CSS Encryption Explained

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With piracy and video downloads becoming ever more prevalent in the basic fabric of the Video Industry, Copy protection for DVD Video Content has become more and more important to may clients.

The process of getting copy protection on your Video DVD, however, can be confusing and frustrating if you do not understand the basics.

Below we have detailed some basics to help you understand copy protection as it applies to your DVD project.

Basic 1: The DVD must be replicated, not duplicated to apply CSS Encryption – CSS Encryption only works with Replicated DVDs.  Replicated DVDs are “pressed” DVDs that use a “Glass Master” and “Stamper”, to actually stamp out DVDs in poly carbonate.  Duplicated discs are “burned” discs using DVD burners like the one you have in your computer.  Typically the process of Replication starts at a minimum quantity of 500 DVDs(some companies will do 300, but the overall total cost for the project is about the same).  So the first thing you should be aware of is if you need less than 500 units you may not be able to get CSS encryption applied to your DVD unless your DVD manufacturer can replicated the discs at the quantity you need.

Basic # 2: How to Submit the Master for CSS Encryption – Most masters submitted for DVD Replication are submitted as DVD+/-R.  However, when we apply the CSS algorithm to the DVD, the master is required to be a DLT or DDP master.  The confusion often comes into play when authoring the DVD.  On many authoring systems, there is a check box to set the flag for CSS encryption on your master.  However, if you just export your master to DVDR, the extra information required to transmit the CSS Flag gets stripped away before getting on the master.  The only two masters that will hold the CSS Flag information is a DLT master or a DDP master.

What if you dont have the option to output to DLT or DDP? – At DVD Copycat we provide a service where we can convert your DVDR master to DDP for a one time fee.  This fee ranges from $300-450 depending on the number of layers on the master.  So if you do not have the hardware to output to DLT or DDP, we can provide a solution for you.

Basic #3: Extra Charges for Royalties – There is a one time fee of $150 for DVD Copycat to have the CSS encryption applied to your project.

There are also a few misconceptions when applying CSS that you will may hear from other replicators or DVD brokers.  Often they state that CSS is applied at the factory so there is no need to do any CSS master preparation.  It is true that CSS is applied at the factory, however, the only way to apply the CSS is to have a properly authored master with the CSS Check flag set.  There are no legal work-arounds to this requirement.

Overseas suppliers: In China there are very few factories that have CSS capability.  It is speculated that the cost to have this option is not justified in those factories.  We have seen different work-arounds from overseas suppliers, but if you want to do this legally, be sure to know your factory and make sure they hold an agreement with the controlling body of CSS.

If you have any other questions about DVD Copy protection and CSS Encryption, just give us a call at 866-210-8768 or email us at contact@dvdcopycat.com.

We are always eager to earn new clients and would like to help you finish off your project by providing you a super solid, high quality DVD.

This content is written by Brian Fisher of DVD Copycat.

 

Bluray Duplication Quality varies with Cheap Blanks

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As the bluray market continues to develop and become more mainstream, we have seen prices drop for bluray disc duplication. Some of our competitors are offering very low prices.
As with all of our products, DVD Copycat provides a higher quality disc that will ensure better playback and longevity of your Bluray Discs.
The cost of our blank Bluray media is approximately double that of the low cost, low quality blanks often sourced and used by our competitors. We deliberately choose this higher quality media as we want to ensure that at this “finicky” stage of bluray disc compatibility and performance, we are delivering the very best bluray disc that is available in the market.
Problems will be dramatically reduced and you will have much more solid experience with our discs.
Within the next 3 years, we anticipate releasing a “Standard” line of bluray discs for duplication which come at a lower cost, however, we do not feel the quality standards can be met to make this product available at this current time.

Ultimately, we believe that making the choice to pay more for a higher quality disc, will pay off in the long run with less complaints and less problems.
If you have any questions about our Bluray Duplication or Authoring services, please feel free to call us at: 1-866-210-8768.

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