How do I pick a good Duplicator?
When deciding on purchasing a duplicator, there are a number of key elements to consider when determining which unit and brand would fit your needs the best. Even though price is a strong determining factor, keep in mind what you are getting for the price; will the unit perform as needed? Will the unit grow as your needs grow? Will the company stand behind the product and provide the support you need when you need it? Is the company looking out for your best interest or their own? Most importantly, will the company be around in the future or will they disappear as soon as you need them?
Just like purchasing a computer, home appliance, or even a car, pricing varies depending on performance, reliability, brand name, and manufacturer support. So when you are selecting a duplicator, do not just consider the price, but pay particular attention to these 3 key elements:
1. Design & Component material
2. Manufacturing, Testing, and Shipping procedures
3. Customer Service and Technical Support
I) Design & Component material:
When you look at the SharkCopier duplicator from Vinpower Digital, the first thing you notice is the unique look and design. This attractive design not only differentiates itself through its appearance, but through the use of higher quality and more effective components and parts. It is those parts that ensure a better performing and longer lasting duplicator. There are a number of duplicator providers who just throw components together without taking into consideration quality or effectiveness. The SharkCopier is not assembled with the standard parts and low cost components others use; the SharkCopier is designed to answers to a higher calling, yours! The following components show the added value of the SharkCopier over the competition:
A) Casing (external case): The SharkCopier uses an aluminum casing specially designed by Vinpower Digital created to diffuse the internal heat created by the drives much faster than the standard steel casing. With the SharkCopier's advanced air flow design and aluminum casing, the internal temperature is approximately 10 ~ 15 degrees cooler than alternative cases on the market. Operating the duplicator under lower temperatures will not only allow for continuous use without a need for a cool down period, but also increases the lifetime of the unit while providing better reliability when duplicating. The less heat concentrated on the drives, the better the performance and the longer they will continue to perform.
B) Controller (operating system): The controller for the SharkCopier is specially manufactured for these units and is not available to the general public as other controller brands in alternative duplicators are. For most of the standard controller companies, their focus is more on uniformity to work the same for everyone instead of optimizing the performance and conveniences expected from users of the SharkCopier. In fact, if you took two identical duplicators with the only variables being the controllers, the SharkCopier controller will produce a better disc performance rating every time (using the PIPO scale for measuring disc quality). The controllers are calibrated to optimize the industry recognized best drivers/burners on the market. In addition to compatibility, we make a more powerful controller that ensures proper function and more reliability. The added power allows our controller to perform all the same functions as standard controllers but offers more options and capabilities which benefit the end user dramatically.
C) Drives (writer and reader drives): The SharkCopier only uses the best drives optimized for multi-drive simultaneous duplication to provide the greatest possible performance. The controller is able to manipulate many of the drives on the market directly to provide stable and quality performance that is better suited for duplicator use. Understanding and using the best drives for your particular needs and circumstances is extremely important for both your end product and your pocket book.
II) Manufacturing, Testing, and Shipping procedures
Even if you use the best components and materials to build the duplicator, if the proper care and knowledge to assemble them is not performed, then you will not have an optimized unit. The SharkCopier is assembled by the most knowledgeable and skilled technicians and every duplicator has to pass a 72 hour continuous burn-in test before it's ever released to the public. The SharkCopier is assembled under the strictest Quality Control conditions to ensure every unit sold meets the highest standards in quality and performance.
To further ensure that the SharkCopier arrives to the customer in the best condition and to prevent any possible damage caused by the shipping carrier, all of the SharkCopiers are double insulated and packed in a specially designed shipping box. No expense is spared to ensure that the duplicator reaches the customer in the same condition as when it left the show room floor. When the customer purchases new equipment, it should arrive in that manner no matter how it was shipped.
III) Customer Service and Technical Support
Our relationship with the customer does not end after the unit has been sold. The ability to speak to a technician whom is knowledgeable and available when you have questions is a key component when deciding on a duplicator to purchase. Every SharkCopier sold has the full backing and support of RunTechMedia. Our Tech Support will be available to assist you with any question or difficulty the customer may experience for the life of the product. Even though every SharkCopier has a full one year parts and labor warranty, our technicians will be available to walk you through any problem or questions you may have from the first day to the last as long as you own the SharkCopier duplicator. Our technicians work with you directly and actually have technical training and knowledge of every single duplicator to ensure you get prompt and accurate answers and service. Unlike some fly by night companies looking to make a quick buck who are never available or capable of providing answers or service, we stand behind the products we sell and the customers who buy them.
When you look at all of the facts behind what makes a duplicator stand out amongst the competition, the answer is very clear which unit ranks the best, the one that provides the highest compatibility, best performance, longest lasting, and most features. In other words the SharkCopier is what you are looking for.
If a duplicator uses the same number and brand of drives, why would I spend more for one brand of duplicator over another?
Even though the drives are an integral part of a duplicator, they are still just one determinant in a sum of parts that generate an optimal duplicated disc. Take a car for example. Two cars could use the same engine, but the mechanics to make the engine work will determine the type of performance the car will get from the engine. Those added components have varying costs and when you use better quality parts as stated above, it will slightly increase the costs. The price for some of the most important components that dramatically affect the performance of a duplicator can vary by a lot. Take the controller for instance, the price can vary from $10 to over $100. The power supply can differ between $30 ~ $80. This specially designed 500Watt** power supply provides the most reliable and stable voltage for the duplicator ensuring the unit will not die prematurely. The standard steel case compared with an aluminum case can differ between $40 ~ $80. All of these elements are necessary to get the best performance out of the duplicator.
Some vendors just purchase equipment from the drive manufactures, while others will actually WORK in conjunction with the manufactures to ensure the drives offer the best performance needed for multi-drive duplication. They also update each drive's firmware and test all of the drives before they are assembled into the duplicator ensuring the most updated software and compatibility. Many vendors simply assemble the duplicator quickly when an order is received verses a higher quality vendor which will pre-assemble the duplicator and fully test the unit for 3 days to ensure quality before the unit is sold. There are numerous reasons why the price may vary, but isn't higher quality worth a small percentage price difference? When choosing electronic equipment, it's wise to select a unit with higher standards and quality rather than a cheaper unit which will cost you more down the road.
**power supply wattage depends on the size of the duplicator and the number of drives.
Are the duplicators made by NEC/Pioneer/Plextor/Sony/TEAC?
No. Even though those companies supply the reading/writing drivers, the actual duplicator is not created by those companies.Many of the vital parts such as the controllers, chassis, power supply, etc. are created and assembled by the duplicator's manufacture.
Will two different brands of duplicator perform the same if they are using the same brand and model of drives?
The answer is No. Two separate duplicators using the same drives will not perform the same if other components differ. The part that has the most dramatic affect on the duplication quality is the controller and the internal temperature of the duplicator. A controller is like the brain of the duplicator which controls all of the signals and commands going directly to the drives. A good controller not only has a larger capacity memory, but also the type of operation system programmed inside is extremely important. While others may use cheap generic controllers, the manufacture of the SharkCopier devoted a lot of time and effort into developing their own highly optimized and advanced controller. The controller for the SharkCopier ensures a more stable duplication with dramatically enhanced compatibility for the drives used. The SharkCopier case utilizes a new airflow design which will quickly and effectively remove heat generated from the drives far better than the competition keeping the whole duplicator cool all times. This reduction in heat allows the drives to perform without interruption or becoming "burnt out". These two factors are the core factors in optimizing the performance of the drives and what would differentiate the capabilities of two duplicators using the same drives with different components.
Should you have a hard drive installed in a DVD duplicator?
Yes. An aluminum case is vastly superior to a steel case. Not only is aluminum lighter, but it gets rid of the damaging heat inside the duplicator up to 3 times faster than the standard steel casing. Duplicators generate a tremendous amount of heat during the burning process, so using an aluminum case will greatly decrease the temperature of the unit and increase the quality of the burn and expand the life of the duplicator.
How does the SharkCopier extend the lifespan of the drives/burners?
The 2 most dangerous elements for any drive are heat and dust. While the drives are in use, they generate a significant amount of heat. In order to prevent the drives from overheating and burning out, a fan is needed to pull the hot air out and suck in fresh air to cool the drives down. The fans built inside of a SharkCopier use a ball barring system, instead of the cheaper plastic solid fans used by many other duplicators, to ensure stable and continuous ventilation. The problem is, the fresh air has no means to enter the duplicator other than through the front of the unit going directly through the front of the drives. This causes the second major threat to a drive, the culmination of dust on the laser head. Unless you're working in a completely dust free environment, there will be dust particles in the air. As the air is sucked through the front of the duplicator those dust particles will collect inside the drives and cloud the laser head. The laser head is the optical nerve center of the drives and conducts the process of burning onto the discs. Just as if your eye glasses developed a built up layer of film and dust on the lenses it would be harder to see through them, the same is true for the laser head. As the dust accumulates it makes it harder for the laser to perform forcing the drive to work that much harder and reducing the lifespan of the drive. The SharkCopier is specially designed with a special "gill" venting system on each side of the case to allow the air flow into the machine without passing through the drive face. This eliminates approx. 80% of the harmful dust from entering into the drive itself and landing on the laser head. To further prevent dust from entering the drives, the SharkCopier is equipped with exterior drive door covers to block harmful dust particles. These drive covers keep the dust out and provide an attractive uniform look for the duplicator itself. In addition, since the case is made out of aluminum, it gets rid of the harmful heat up to 3 times faster than a standard steel case. By dramatically decreasing the amount of heat and dust from disrupting the capabilities of the drives, the SharkCopier can extend the life of the drives by 20% ~ 30%.
Can I burn different titles at the same time by using your duplicator?
No. The duplicator can only duplicate one title at a time.
Can I set my duplicator to copy at the different speeds?
Yes, the duplicator's speed is the maximum speed it can handle. It can be set to record at any speed lower than its maximum speed.
Can my DVD duplicator copy CDs?
Yes, all of our DVD duplicators are capable of coping CD's as well.
Can my duplicator make copies from masters created on an apple computer? / MAC?
Yes. Once you generate a master disc, the duplicator will make an exact digital duplication of the original regardless of what type of computer or program the master disc was created on.
Can the DVD Duplicator also duplicate CD+G discs?
No. Even though the DVD duplicators can duplicate the CD format, they do not have the CD+G feature. In order to duplicate CD+G, you need to purchase our special CD+G duplicator.
Can the duplicators duplicate -R only (or +R only)?
All of our duplicators are able to duplicate both formats. They can either copy DVD-R/RW to DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW to DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW to DVD+R/RW, DVD+R/RW to DVD-R/RW, Double Layer DVD+R to Double Layer DVD+R, and Dual Layer DVD-R to Dual Layer DVD-R
Do I need to use specific CD/DVD media with a specific duplicator?
No. Our duplicators work with most every brand of media on the market. However, using better quality media will result in better quality duplications.
How could I tell if the duplicated copies are accurate or if they have problems?
You can test duplicated copies for accuracy by performing our "Compare" function. This function compares the duplications to the original master disc by comparing the duplicated disc bit by bit. This process ensures the duplication is a 100% exact duplication of the original, providing optimal playback ability. If there is a recording problem, the duplicator will notify you on the display there was a failure and keep the affected disc in the machine so you can identify which one(s) are defective without disrupting the rest of the duplicating process.
I have very high fail rates on my duplication, what can I do to prevent it?
In most case, high fail rates are due to the readability of your master disc, especially for high-speed duplication. We strongly recommend re-creating your master at a low speed, such as (4x for CD Duplicators and 1x for DVD Duplicators) and using high quality blank media. Then, you can use the recreated disc to be the new master disc which should be used as the source to create duplications. This process is called Master Recreation and it will reduce the fail rate significantly.
If I buy a multi-target duplicator, can I choose to burn on less than the maximum targets available?
Yes. The number of drives on the duplicator is merely the maximum number of duplications you can produce at one time. You can make any number of duplications up to the maximum without any concerns.
If I buy an 16x DVD duplicator, can I use 1x, 4x, or 8x media to copy at 16x?
No. The DVD duplicator will determine the media's maximum certified duplication speed and cannot exceed that rate.
Is my DVD duplicator standalone?
Yes, all of our DVD duplicators are fully standalone with simple one touch buttons to duplicate. No computer knowledge is required AT ALL.
The music CD I copied has crack sounds, why?
The reason is most likely due to the condition of your master. The quality of your blank media also plays a significant part in the finished sound quality. By reducing the duplication speed to say (16x) and using higher quality blank media should resolve the problem.
What is LightScribe?
LightScribe is an innovative technology that uses a special disc drive, special media, and label-making software to burn labels directly onto CDs and DVDs. Because the labels are laser-etched-not printed-there's no ink, no smudging, and no peeling.
Your labels can be whatever you want them to be. Create one-of-a-kind designs with your own photos, text, and artwork or choose from the many free backgrounds provided using the special edition Template Labeler software included with every LightScribe capable duplicator. You may also visit LightScribe's Template Label Gallery, or the Label Gallery for free downloadable designs.
What is the benefit of LightScribe capable standalone SharkCopier LS duplicator?
The SharkCopier LS allows the user to copy data, audio or video files onto the data side of recordable CD's or DVD's, plus offers the ability to print directly onto the label side of LightScribe capable CD's and DVD's. This is all done in a single standalone manual tower duplicator where all the drives will print or duplicate simultaneously for a faster superior end product. All of this is done without the need to connect to a PC, refill ink cartridges/thermal ribbon, or a master degree in mechanical engineering. The SharkCopier LS is so easy to use that anyone can use one while offering exceptional print and duplication quality.
How does the LightScribe duplicator work?
1.Create the LightScribe label file (.LSI) using the design software that comes with the duplicator.
2.Burn the LightScribe label file(s) (.LSI) you created on your computer onto a CD.
3.Place that CD into the reader drive of the SharkCopier LS duplicator.
4.Load LightScribe capable discs with the label side down in the writer drive(s) below the reader.
5.Using the menu on the duplicator's LCD, choose and execute the "Print" function. The system will print the specified image directly onto the each disc in all of the writer drives at the same time.
6.Remember, the same drive that burns your label burns your data, too.
What are the advantages of LightScribe labeling compared to Inkjet printing?
1.Does not require extra equipment like an expensive inkjet printer.
2.No need to purchase expensive ink cartridges.
3.The label does not smear, bleed, or run and is naturally water resistant.
4.The disc can be reprinted over and over again to fill up empty space or add additional content with exact accuracy.
5.Eco-friendly, no ink means no empty ink cartridges in the landfills and no paper labels so it does not contribute to the thinning of the forests
What are the advantages of LightScribe labeling compared to mono-color thermal printer?
1.Does not require extra equipment like an expensive thermal printer.
2.No need to purchase expensive ribbons.
3.Can print full images as well as plain text and simple graphics.
4.No need to stop and replace ribbons.
5.Cost per print is far less expensive.
What are the advantages of LightScribe labeling compared to full color thermal printer?
1.Does not require extra equipment like an expensive thermal printer.
2.No need to purchase expensive ribbons.
3.No need to stop and replace ribbons.
4.Cost per print is far less expensive.
What is the difference between the SharkCopier LS (LightScribe capable) DVD duplicator and the standard SharkCopier series DVD duplicator?
The two SharCopier duplicators are very similar in design and features but the LightScribe duplicator, (hint the name), offers the added LightScribe labeling feature.
Can I make copies of an existing labeled LightScribe disc by just inserting the disc into the reader with the labeled side down?
No. The duplicator cannot read/scan the picture/label on the LightScribe disc. Therefore, it can ONLY read the raw label file (.hgo) from a disc created through the provided LightScribe software.
Can I connect the duplicator to a computer network & generate duplications from a computer on the network?
No. The duplicator can not be controlled by any external connections. However, the duplicator can be connected to an individual computer via USB/Firewire connection to allow the computer to burn data to specified burners and create a master disc to make the duplications from.
Can I hook up my camcorder/digital camera with the duplicator by USB / Firewire?
No. Even though the camcorder or digital camera has a Firewire or USB connection, you cannot directly input the data onto the duplicator. You can download the data onto a computer and use the external Firewire or USB to create a master disc from which to make your duplications on.
Can I make duplications while I am using external USB/Firewire devices?
Yes, you can make copies while you are using your external USB/Firewire devices. As long as there are drives not connected to USB/Firewire connections, they can be used to make duplications, even while you're using the USB/Firewire connections. However, if all of the drives are connected to USB/Firewire connections, then you will not be able to make duplications at the same time. If you're uncertain how many drives are connected to the USB/Firewire, you can easily determine this information as the drives are labeled with either a USB or Firewire sticker.
Can I save files from a computer hard drive to the duplicator hard drive through USB or Firewire?
No. Computer hard drives and duplicator hard drives are two separate file systems, so they cannot communicate. The USB and Firewire connections' allow the computer to use the duplicator as a CD or DVD external burner. You can use either of those devices to store the data on a disc from a specified CD or DVD drive on the duplicator. Once you create that disc, you can use it as your master disc to load into the hard drive and make your duplications.
What are USB and ESATA connections?
USB or ESATA connections are mounted inside the duplicator and allow a computer with appropriate USB/ESATA links to control one or more of the duplicator drives to use as an external recorder or access the duplicators hard drive upon your request.
What is the purpose of having USB or Firewire connection(s) installed on my duplicator?
Installing a USB/Firewire connection(s) is useful if your data is stored on a computer that does not have a burner/recorder installed.
What if my Firewire/USB connection doesn't work with my PC/Mac?
Every single PC related product has compatibility issues. Even though we have thoroughly tested the Firewire/USB connection(s) before we shipped it out, there's still a slight chance that your PC/Mac computer is not compatible with our Firewire/USB connection. If that happens, please contact your PC/Mac manufacture for possible configuration changes to make it work or try it on other PC/Mac computers.
Why do some duplicators come with USB & Firewire connections and others don't?
With higher speed duplicators, there's more of a chance for errors in transferring data when using the duplicator as an external burner from your computer. Because of this, we prefer to eliminate potential problems by not offering USB and Firewire in specific models, particularly models with speeds of 12x and higher.