Home Manfacturing DVD's
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Low-Budget DVD Manufacturing
Less than $200 for equipment

DO NOT EVER USE A PASTE-ON LABEL FOR A DVD!  They ruin the DVD's.  Marker is better if you don't have injet printable DVD's and a printer.

     That said the Epson R200, R220 will print on injet printable DVD's. (the R200 will work on older macs)  The print quality is good.  The process is tedious to the extreme.  You would not want to use this system if you are selling a lot of DVD's. 

     The software for designing labels that comes with the Epson isn't half bad.

     If you make a mistake you can scratch your DVD--i.e. the printer will.  YOU MUST ALIGN the DVD carrier tray perfectly.  (the tray moves into the printer and comes out the back if it hits anything the printing will stop make sure you printer is clear both front and back.) 

     You do need to learn what the lights mean if there is a problem. (i.e. the lights blink differently for different problems.)

    If you plan on saving by refilling ink tanks NEVER EVER let an Epson R-series run out of ink.  It may never work again.  You do need a chip resetter to refill and R series ink tank.

     Burn the DVD first then print.  Always.  Never put a wet (freshly printed DVD in a DVD player--you know that artwork you do at fairs where you spray paint on a spinning paper plate: take the hint.)  Wait 24 hours if you need to test the DVD.


    Pray for the day you can afford an auto printer like the Primera Bravo II Disc Publisher.

    Always use -R's if you can, and make sure you buy the right speed for your burner.

     If your PC doesn't burn -R's consider a LiteOn Lighscribe or Memorex Double-Layer Recorder.  These will make your dvds more compatible over all.

   An alternative to the epson is Primera Signature thermal DVD printer.  You'll never get the colors an inkjet printable DVD will give you.  And you can't refill the ink cheaply.  But they will do if you have a very specialized market

Total initial Cost less than $200 to use this method.

How does this compare with DVD Duplication?

The question becomes can you sell the 1000 discs or whatever from the duplication service? Our main output is an instructional DVD that is the bestseller on Amazon.com in it's category. (You do need a UPC label to sell Amazon, approximately $800 and then $150 per year there after) And we, of course, sell in other markets. Overall, we will sell about 500 copies of this instructional DVD in this our first year. [My one feature film, on the other hand, will sell about 20 copies.] 500 isn't enough to justify having a chicago printer doing the covers for us. 4,000 printed and cut insertable covers would run in the neighborhood of 4 cents each. (and we wouldn't have to cut and trim our own covers) but it might take years to sell 4000. All in all, make sure you have distribution before investing in 1000 or more DVD's. Otherwise replication can be a great way to keep costs down and manufacture what you need.



Another low budget option is the thermal printer










Waterproof DVD's.  I had one customer in just about 1000 complain when they touched a label with sweaty fingers and the ink came off.  So I don't know if these are necessary.


Higher Budget DVD Manufacturing
$2000-$3000 for equipment

    My DVD's are homemade.  That means I replicate them.  I use an older model Bravo Disk Publisher II burner/printer ($1750 for a 8X) that I bought new.  This machine will burn both -R and +R (but you should always use -R) and print on injet printable DVD's so they look as good as any Hollywood disc.

With the Bravo you put 25 or 50 blank inkjetprintable disc in and it burns and prints them. 

An alternative is to buy a high quality disc burner or tower, and then use a Bravo Auto Printer to print the labels on stacks of DVD's at a time. 

The plastic cases run (with shipping on 100) about 40 cents each.

The blank injet printable DVD's (with shipping) in quanities of  500 willl run about 41 cents each FOR QUALITY DISCS.  DO NOT TRY TO SAVE WITH CHEAP DISCS.

    If you plan on saving by refilling ink tanks NEVER EVER let a Bravo ink well run out of ink.  It may never work again. 

     Burn the DVD first then print.  Always.  Never put a wet (freshly printed DVD in a DVD player--you know that artwork you do at fairs where you spray paint on a spinning paper plate: take the hint.)  Wait 24 hours if you need to test the DVD.

    Use -R's if you can, and make sure you buy the right speed for your burner.  Older models are slower than the newer ones.

The plastic Amray cases have clear flaps that take cover art. I print mine on a color laser printer for about 12 cents apiece.

I don't use inserts in the Amray cases simply because they increase weight and mailing costs and we don't need them. (They seem to knock it over from $1.06 for first class mail to $1.29. )  We use brown paper, tape and paste on labels for shipping.  

P.S. the Bravo SE (printer only) can be found for less than $1000




DVD +R VS. DVD -R

We had two customer complaints while using +R DVD discs. We switched to -R and have had only one problem with a customer being able to play it in 500 sales. (By the way, the Bravo II can test, burn, and then verify every DVD so the ones that it passes you can be sure are pretty good. For small runs burning your own DVD's makes sense. This method will get your 300 DVD's for around $400. Do check out http://www.videohelp.com/dvd So you know why you should only use DVD-R's and NOT the +R's. Selling 600+ DVD's over the last year and a half I have had only 3 people have trouble with my burned DVD-R's. And they had old DVD players.

SHRINKWRAP
Avoid it if you can.  A little scotch tape will make a DVD case less prone to tampering or theft.  With our first shrink wrap machine we melted some cases and DVDs. A visit to a national print shop chain store resulted in the same problem.  Most of our  customers don't care.  If you sell to stores and they ask for it, then buy a machine (around $250) and learn to use it.











  This External DVD Burner will work with older macs or pc.
   You will need to get the online driver update for the mac if you have
    OS 10.3.2 or above.