Although the two words essentially have the same meaning, in the optical disc industry, there is a big distinction in the terms, and how they refer to the manufacture process of the final discs.
Duplication: Manufacture of discs using blank CD-R, DVD-R, Blu-ray-R (BD-R).
Replication: Manufacture of the discs from stamper and glass-master, pressed from polycarbonate granules.
For duplication we use blank media such as mentioned above and copy the data or audio onto the disc. The discs are then printed. In the CD replication or DVD replication process we make a glass-master and stamper of your content, this is like a master copy. From this stamper, the discs are ‘pressed’, similar to an injection moulding process, where the disc starts off in it’s raw form as poly carbonate granules.
Advantages: Duplication is cost effective on 1-400 copies, or when a fast turnaround is required. Replication is cheaper to manufacture once the quantity is 500 or more, and the final discs are considered professionally manufactured discs.
There is no difference in the sound quality of audio CD, or any difference in the quality of the data copied on the discs between duplicated and replicated discs.
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