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If your clients have not asked for DVDs yet, they will; if not today, then tomorrow. Once you get beyond needing to copy 10 discs per project, you’ll need a duplicator. And while choosing authoring software and encoding options and media can be a dizzying exercise, duplicating DVDs is as easy as watching TV. Perhaps most surprisingly, the cost is much less than you might think.
Easy as 1-to-3
You could just use your computer’s DVD burner to mass-produce the required 30 DVDs of that wedding you just finished. After setting and configuring your DVD writing software, at an hour per disc, this means that it will take 30 hours. And 30 disc swaps. And multiple mouse clicks. And your computer will be completely occupied during this time. The DVDez 1-to-3 duplicator (manufactured by Vinpower.net) could finish the job in 10 hours with 10 swaps and, in total, 10 button presses. Insert three discs, press a button and you’re back to watching television before the commercial break is over. Yes, the DVDez is a computer, and it boots just like a computer, but the simple dedicated nature of the device allows it to be controlled with front panel buttons and monitored with an LCD display.
If all this seems like a long prequel to the actual tests, there’s a reason: Our tests were really simple. The DVDez 1-to-3 just worked. Here is the complete process: We pushed the power button (booting takes about 20 seconds), put a home-burned DVD-R (burned with a Pioneer DVR-103) into the top DVD reader, put three blank 4.7GB Verbatim DVD-Rs into the three Pioneer DVR-104s and pushed one button to immediately begin copying. The simple two-line front panel LCD displays all commands, information and progress.
When it finished, we could verify and compare the original with the copies (we did, it worked). The copied DVDs were as compatible as the original, if not more so since the copies were made with newer second-generation DVD burners and quality blank media. The DVDez automatically detected and erased rewriteable media. Burning is at 1x (1.385MB/s) for DVD and means that a full 4.7GB disc will take about an hour to copy. CDs can be burned at 8x (1.2MB/s). Don’t even think about getting a parrot, an eye patch and becoming a swashbuckling DVD Pirate – Hollywood movies are almost always dual-layer discs with more than 4.7GB of data and therefore physically cannot be copied onto single-layer DVD-R/RW media (in addition to other potential copy-protection schemes).
Who Needs One?
If you typically make 10 copies once a month, you probably don’t need this device. And if you need to make 1,000 copies, you should go with a duplication house (for many reasons, including higher quality and more compatible discs). But if you are an event videographer in a small studio and typically need to make 20 copies for the wedding party, 30 copies for the cast of a play or 100 copies for a private school’s graduation, the DVDez 1-to-3 will pay for itself very quickly, likely in just one or two projects. Considering that a single DVD burner is a little over $300 (as of this writing), this machine is an excellent value.
Model:RP-3310DV 1-to-3 (Vinpower.net)
Operating System: proprietary
DVD Reader: 1 – Pioneer (16x)
DVD Burner: 3 – Pioneer DVR-104
Reads: CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW
Writes: CD-R (8x), CD-RW (4x), DVD-R (2x), DVD-RW (1x)
Includes: 50-page manual, Easy Guide CD-ROM