Anyone who duplicates audio, software, video or data on disks needs CD DVD printers to give a professional finish to the recorded discs. If you burn one or two discs a year, you can use special marks to write directly on the CD. Or you can use a regular inkjet printer to print a paper to stick on your disc. However, DVDs with stuck-on labels can damage DVD players or cause playback trouble. If you need to label more than one or two discs, using paper labels is also expensive and time consuming. Using CD DVD printers to print directly on discs is the best way to give an appealing, professional look to duplicated disks. This article outlines the main features of the most common types of CD DVD printers available today:
Thermal CD Printers :
Like any other printer, thermal DVD printers are connected to computers (Windows or Mac) through a USB port. They use a combination of heat and pressure to transfer solid colors from a coated ribbon (ribbons may be covered with one, two or several colors) onto the disc surface. Manufacturers supply the software needed for their CD DVD printers. Thermal CDR printers give a durable finish, but their maximum print resolutions are in the vicinity of 300 X 600 dpi (dots per inch). Also, although they produce excellent results for text or simple designs, they do not mix colors very well and the print is not photographic quality.
Thermal Retransfer Printers :
Of all the available CD DVD printers, these produce the best quality prints – first rate photo-quality printing that is durable. The difference between regular thermal CD DVD printers and printers that use thermal retransfer technology is that the retransfer printers print the color image to an interim ribbon first. The use of this extra ribbon helps to mix colors better.
Inkjet printers :
Inkjet printing technology is different from the newer thermal printing technology. It allows the transfer of high resolution color images (colors can be blended in 4800 dpi) to the CD surface, creating photographic-quality finishes. These printers use ink cartridges, not thermal printer ribbons, ejecting droplets of liquid ink from the print head onto the CD surface.
Autoloading CD Printers :
These printers are equipped with a mechanism that moves and prints the discs so you do not have to manually load CDs or DVDs. Smaller autoloading CD printers can have a 20-disc capacity and larger ones can hold as many as 300 CDS or DVDs. Autoloading CD printers may be either inkjet or thermal DVD printers.
Integrated CD DVD Printers and Duplicators :
Autoloading CD / DVD duplicators with integrated inkjet or thermal CD DVD printers provide a complete disc publishing solution and for professional CD / DVD printing in large quantity.
Some points to consider when choosing CD DVD printers are:
Thermal CD printers provide permanent (but not photographic-quality) print finishes. They are best for printing text and simple graphics on white or silver thermal printable discs. Since they do not use liquid ink, there's no drying time involved and no risk that the print will smear or peel away.
- Thermal retransfer printers produce the highest quality, durable finish.
- Autoloading CD printers (inkjet or thermal) are the best option for hands-free volume printing.
- Integrated CD DVD printers and duplicators can be used to print and / or copy CDs and DVDs at the same time.
- Inkjet CD printers produce high resolution, photographic quality print finishes, but the print may be subject to smudging, especially if humidity is a factor.
- The cost of CD DVD printing devices varies broadly. Inkjet CD printers are less expensive than thermal CD printers and thermal retransfer printers are the most expensive CD printers. Manual disc printers are significantly less expensive than autoloading CD printers. Other factors that affect the price of CD printers are disc capacity and software features.
In the final analysis, your choice of CD printing devices will depend on your budget and, most of all, on your disc printing needs.