DVD Printing(lightscribe/inkjet/litho) Info needed

  JConcept4 13:01 02 Apr 2010

Hi all

I'm looking to gather as much information as possible on printing/labeling up DVDs.

My company is looking at having a couple of hundred DVDs printed up, with our logo only on the disk, from a local litho printing supplier. This couple of hundred would probably last a year so the price for such a low quantity isn't that cheap.

What I want to do is put a couple more options in the mix as the litho route wouldn't allow us to personalize each disk as the disks will be pre-printed with our logo.

So . . . . please can anybody give me some decent info on printing on DVDs via an inkjet printer?
(if it helps we will probably go the epson route and the p50 ticks all the boxes)

I could do with knowing the following
• full print DVD time
• logo and title only print time (no background)
• length of time the cartridges will last DVD printing only, full prints/logo and title only
• compatibility with Macs
(the epson seems to have cd printing software that works on both Mac and PC, had a quick look, seems simple enough)
• the quality and shaprness of print
• the durability of the print
• the best media to print on
(are there special disks we will need to buy)

Sorry for all the questions but I really need to try and cover all areas. One of my bosses at work is a right pain in the backside and he will try and rubbish the idea of inkjet printing so the more info I have the more I can take it to him.

There is also the option to use lightscribe but having done a few tests I don't think this is the best way to go.

I can understand our company wanting to buy a bulk 200 printed litho, it makes sense in a way, but what is bothering me is that we should be customising our disks for each client.

Think that's about all, thanks for any help.


  hastelloy 15:51 03 Apr 2010

I think the reason you haven't had a resonse so far is that you're asking 'How long is a piece of string?'

I use an Epson R800 for CDs and DVDs the time taken and ink used will depend on what you're putting onto the disc. You will need inkjet printable discs.

  Jim Thing 17:03 03 Apr 2010

I use an EpsonStylus Photo R220 to print direct onto printable DVDs, and find the result perfectly acceptable. It's not a mass-production process (the blank disks have to be handloaded individually into a plastic jig) but the image-positioning is perfect and image quality is excellent (in my opinion). I haven't timed the process but I'd estimate that the actual print-time (excluding image preparation) is of the order of one minute per disk.

For image preparation I use Epson's Print CD software which came with the printer. It's simple, straightforward and yields excellent results.

I couldn't offer any information about duration of ink supply as I don't print to disk very often. Nor could I give an opinion about print durability. I can only say that I've had no problems in that area.

Finally, as Marvin42 advises, you'll need to buy printable disks; they have a blank white surface which has a 'tooth' similar to that of copier paper and which takes a good image.

See click here to see a quick scan of a couple of typical results.

  Jim Thing 17:05 03 Apr 2010

The heavy blue outlines on the top edge of each image is the shadow of the disk itself on the scanner platen. Image positioning on the disk itself is spot-on.

  Jim Thing 17:17 03 Apr 2010

"The [...] outlines [...] is..."
Is they indeed?
Yes, it are.

  Jim Thing 10:54 05 Apr 2010

I suppose you could consider using an outside contractor to pre-print logo and title on all 200 disks, and then overprint each personalised bit in-house via an inkjet, but that would involve very careful positioning of each preprinted disk in the inkjet's plastic jig to ensure that the personalised bit prints parallel to the logo and title. Also there seems little point in accepting the extra hassle when the whole thing could be done accurately and in one pass via an inkjet.

I have no recent experience with Lightscribe, but last time I looked at it (approx. 2-3 years ago) it was monochrome only and VERY slow. Nice quality though. It also requires special disks BTW.

I should also point out that the 'artwork' for the illustration in the second example in my link (above) was a screenshot. As such it's not high-resolution, but in this case the quality was adequate for domestic archiving.

  Technotiger 11:05 05 Apr 2010

Lightscribe disc printing is only in Monochrome, not colour - though different coloured discs are available. Printing one disc takes approximately 15-20 minutes on an Epson R300 Series.

  Jim Thing 09:47 06 Apr 2010

Monochrome text and halftone images are burnt onto special Lightscribe disks by a laser in the CD/DVD burner, and I'd certainly agree that the Lightscribe process is very slow. But I don't understand where the Epson R300 comes into it?

  Technotiger 10:03 06 Apr 2010

Hi, yeah - well spotted, I was thinking about normal direct to disc printing, it has been a while since I used LightScribe to 'print' to disc, where one just flips the disc over to burn the title.

  JConcept4 13:37 06 Apr 2010

Hi chaps

Sorry I haven't replied I was away for the weekend.

Back in the office now, could of done with another few days off though.

Thanks for all the info, I tried lightscribe over the weekend and although it's ok I don't think it is professional enough for business, would be perfect for home use though. Quite a lengthy process, a full disk taking about 18mins.

I know I asked a lot of questions on the inkjet printing and I wasn't expecting to have answers to all but I was trying to cover all areas.

Please can somebody with an inkjet printer tell me what the quality is like, is the print nice and sharp? We will be printing using hi-res imagery and text and would need the disk to be as sharp as possible.

I only noticed over the weekend that the cd/dvd printers don't seem to have network ports and can only be linked via USB. This might be a big stumbling point as we have around 8 macs which would all need to link to the printer, although I might be able to share the printer on the network or plug the printer into one of our NAS drives to give network access. (I think I may need to read up on sharing USB devices over a network).

Can any of you guys tell me how many photo prints you can get from a full set of inks? This might help me figure out how many disks we will be able to print, although I think we would only be printing a logo and a line of text on the CD/DVD faces.

Thanks again for the info

  Technotiger 13:53 06 Apr 2010

From my own experience, though not printing to discs in bulk, the quality of disc printing from my Epson R360 is great. How many to a pack of cartridges??? Hmm, how long is a p1ece of string - all I can say is, that I have printed many dozens of colour photo's from one pack, each photo probably using much more ink than printing to disc.

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