CD Duplication & Replication FAQ's
DVD Duplication & Replication FAQ's
Encode, Author, Menu Design FAQ
Audio Mastering FAQ's
Audio & Video Transfer FAQ's
Artwork/Template Support FAQ's
Account Support FAQ's
Package Design & Printing FAQ's
Disc Printing FAQ's
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There are a number of differences between the duplication and replication processes and the client should decide which best suits their needs. The final product from both processes result in a bit for bit copy that is identical to the original master. The decision to choose one process over the other is a function of time, quantity, playability and price.
Price - Duplication jobs by their very nature require lower up front fees because set up time is negligible. Replication on the other hand requires a glass master or stamper to be produced, incurring time and money. These charges typically are amortized in the per unit price of the discs once a certain minimum quantity is ordered. So replication becomes more feasible as the number of units ordered increases.
Time - Industry standard turn times for duplication orders is 1 to 5 days, depending on the quantity ordered. Replication requires 7 to 14 business days from approval. Standard turn times for Imperial Media are 24 to 48 hours for duplication and 72 hours for retail ready duplication jobs. Imperial's replication jobs require 5 to 10 business days to ship. Rush charges may be incurred for shorter guaranteed turn times.
Quantity - Replication, due to its industrial nature, requires a minimum of one 1,000 units to be economically feasible. Duplication is better suited for shorter runs accommodating as few as 10 units. Duplication runs in the thousands become feasible as time constraints become more urgent or pressing.
Playability - Playability differences between duplication and replication have everything to do with the quality of the blank media when talking about duplication and age of the equipment used to play the disc. Duplicated discs will play on almost all stereos and computers manufactured in the last few years. Replication ensures playability on 99% of all players presently on the market.
Duplication is a purely digital process, meaning that it is entirely done through a computer interface. A pre-manufactured write once CD-R or DVD-R is placed into a CD/DVD recorder. The Master is placed into Imperial's computer and transferred to a hard drive. Then, the data residing on the hard drive is 'burned', meaning it is transferred bit for bit to a write once disc. Imperial Media burns the disc then closes the session and data can no longer be added. This process takes approximately 3 to 7 minutes. The disc is now ready to be printed.
Replication is an industrial process. CDs and DVDs are produced in 2 steps:
Step one is mastering. A glass master is created from a digital file. The glass master is used to create a metal stamper, which contains the digital information.
Step two is the injection molding of the discs from the metal stamper. Molten plastic is injected into the target mold containing the stamper. Seconds later a clear disc containing the digital information is ejected. The clear disc then has a reflective and a lacquer layer applied. This process takes approximately 3 to 5 seconds per disc and the disc is then ready for printing.
Standard CD - A round disc with a 120mm diameter and a capacity of 650 to 700 megabytes. That means approximately 74 to 80 minutes of audio or the data equivalent. It can be read on any standard computer's CD-ROM drive and is compatible with most up to date CD players.
Mini- CD - Primarily used for projects that contain a small amount of data. The Mini-CD is a miniature version of the Standard CD. It is 80mm in diameter. It can hold anywhere from 150 to 210 megabytes of data. Or approximately 18 to 24 minutes. Mini-CDs will work in any standard desktop computer's CD-ROM drive.
Hockey Rink CD - Similar to mini-CDs in size and capacity, but with a slightly different shape. Hockey rink CDs are an excellent way to present portfolios, demo tracks, trade show giveaways, software demos, multi-media presentations, and more. This small size CD has a capacity of 50 to 80 megabytes. Hockey Rink CDs fit any standard desktop computer's CD drive.
Business Card CD - Frequently used to replace standard business cards, but they pack a lot more information. A business card CD has a capacity of 30 to 40 megabytes of data. It is great for multi-media presentations and a great way to get your business noticed. This CD will only fit into the inner tray of a desktop computer's CD-ROM drive.
But remember, if your file size is greater than the storage capacity of the disc you choose, you can always add more CDs to a set.
The number of discs in a set will depend upon the disc chosen for your project. If the file size of a project is larger than the capacity of a single disc, then 2 or more discs may be necessary. If for instance you have an audio CD that is over 800 megabytes, that you wish to put on a standard CD, you will need 2 CDs in your set. If you use Mini-CDs, Hockey Rink CDs or Business Card CDs, the capacity varies and so will the number of CDs needed.
At Imperial Media, we have the fastest turn times in the business. From the point of artwork approval, we can have your duplication project ready for pick up or shipping in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
Industry standard turn times are normally 10 to 15 business days. Imperial Media can have your replication job done in 7 to 10 business days. With a rush order, the time can even be reduced to 3 to 5 business days.
Over runs and under runs are only applicable to replication orders. Due to the industrial nature of the replication process and our high quality control standards, replicating the precise number of the order is not always possible. Hence, we maintain a 10% over run and under run cushion. But no matter whether it is an over run or an under run, you pay only for the number of discs actually delivered.
ISRC codes are free. There are no service charges. The individual artists can download the ISRC Application Form from Imperial Media and submit the completed form to the RIAA for registration themselves.
CD-Text is an extension of the Red Book Compact Disc specifications standard for audio CDs. It allows for storage of additional information (e.g. album name, song name, and artist) on a standards-compliant audio CD.
In order to add CD-text to your master, the proper software is necessary. ITunes 7 and WinAmp are two commonly used programs that work in both the Mac and Windows environment. Within these programs the CD Text option must be enabled while burning your master.
There are many variations on the DVD theme. Discs come in two physical sizes: 12 cm (4.7 inches) and 8 cm (3.1 inches), both 1.2 mm thick, made of two 0.6mm substrates glued together. These are the same form factors as a CD. A DVD can be single-sided or double-sided. Each side can have one or two layers of data. The amount of video a disc can hold depends on how much audio accompanies it and how heavily the video and audio are compressed. The oft-quoted figure of 133 minutes is apocryphal: a DVD with only one audio track easily holds over 160 minutes, and a single layer can actually hold up to 9 hours of video and audio if it's compressed to VHS quality.
DVD-5 - 4.7 Gigabytes capacity. It is single layer and single sided with up to 133 minutes of video.
DVD-9 - 8.54 Gigabytes capacity. It is dual layer and single sided with up to 240 minutes of video.
DVD-10 - 9.4 Gigabytes capacity. It is single layer and two sided. Conventional DVD printing is not an option for DVD-10s because both sides of the disc must be readable. This means only printing on the hub of the disc is available.
The number of discs in a set will depend upon the disc chosen for your project. If the file size of a project is larger than the capacity of a single disc, then two or more discs may be necessary. DVDs can have multiple disc sets depending upon whether using DVD-5, DVD-9, or DVD-10 and the megabytes of the project.
Imperial Media Services accepts media in the following formats for DVD authoring:
A DVD menu is the display that appears at the beginning of a DVD listing all the features and functions available for selection by the user. The menu consists of buttons related to the features and may include scene selection, trailers, director's commentaries, subtitle options, and alternate audio tracks. A motion menu is a DVD menu where the background is a video stream (hence motion) instead of a still menu, which consists of a background image without any movement. Motion menus have the same functionality as static menus, but with the added aesthetic appeal of employing motion graphics as the background. You can also add sound to a DVD menu as background audio, which may or may not match the video.
DVD-Video players (and software DVD-Video navigators for computers) support a command set that provides rudimentary interactivity. The main feature is menus, which are present on almost all discs to allow content selection and feature control. Each menu has a still or motion background and up to 36 highlighted, rectangular "buttons" (only 12 if widescreen, letterbox, and pan & scan modes are used). Commands can also control player settings, jump to different parts of the disc, and control presentation of audio, video, sub-picture, camera angles, and so on. The command set enables relatively sophisticated discs, such as games or interactive educational programs.
Yes, Imperial Media can author a new DVD master with menus. We would use the video from your DVD that we would otherwise encode from tape. This will work best if you have locked picture and you are satisfied with the quality of the video on your DVD. Imperial can also go from the original tape source and encode everything for you.
Imperial Media can add web links, email links and links to files that are included on your DVD during the authoring process. However, these links will only be active when the DVD is viewed on a computer.
Yes, Imperial Media can provide you with surround sound for your DVD project. Multi-channel or surround audio is supported via Dolby Digital in several configurations, most commonly 5.1. The 5.1 configuration consists of left, center, and right speakers in front, and left surround and right surround speakers placed on the sides of the listener. Imperial Media accepts WAV or AIFF files for authoring DVDs with surround audio.
Alternate audio tracks are audio channels included in DVDs that are separate from the primary dialogue and sound tracks. Directors, cast and crew frequently use alternate audio tracks for commentaries to supplement the primary audio. Also, foreign language dubs can be featured as alternative audio tracks.
For purposes of subtitling, Imperial Media supports files that conform to the following formats:
STL: The Spruce Technologies subtitle format
SON: The Sonic Solutions bitmap-based format
TXT: A plain text file
SCR: The Daiken-Comtec Laboratories Scenarist bitmap-based format
Files in these formats should all contain multiple subtitle text or graphics images tied to time code values, ensuring they are placed properly within the timeline.
A 'Slide show' is a compilation of still photos and graphic images complete with transitions, music and text. A slideshow can have it's own button on the DVD menu which launches the presentation. You can choose to add professional "Pan & Zoom" effects to your slides, as well as touch up, crop and add text to the photos in your slide shows.
There's not yet a feature in PowerPoint to export directly to video on DVD, but you can convert a PowerPoint presentation to stills or video for import into a DVD authoring program. Recent versions of PowerPoint allow you to save your slides as graphic images (JPEG or PNG files) that can be imported into a DVD authoring program that supports slideshows. The advantage of using the slideshow feature is that you can have the DVD player pause indefinitely on each still until you press the Enter or Play key on the remote control. The disadvantage of using stills is that you won't get animations and other fancy PowerPoint effects. Alternatively you can record the PowerPoint presentation as a video file and import the video file into the DVD authoring program. This preserves the full visual effect but locks you into the timing you used when recording the presentation.
Closed captions are a text version of the spoken part of a video, movie, or computer presentation. Closed captioning was developed to aid hearing-impaired people, but it's useful for a variety of situations. For example, captions can be read when audio can't be heard, either because of a noisy environment, such as an airport, or because of an environment that must be kept quiet, such as a hospital.
Closed captioning information is encoded within the video signal. The text only becomes visible with the use of a decoder, which may be built into a television set or available as a set-top box. In general, an onscreen menu on newer televisions allows you to turn closed captioning on or off.
Video compression refers to reducing the quantity of data used to represent video images and is a straightforward combination of image compression and motion compensation. Video Compression algorithms take advantage of the fact that there is minimal difference from "one" frame to the next. The first frame is encoded and then the sequence of differences between frames. This is also known as "inter-frame" coding. For DVDs, the original video is compressed and rendered in the MPEG-2 format that is the industry standard.
MPEG stands for "Motion Picture Experts Group", which is named after the standards committee that established the compression algorithm. MPEG-2 is the standard compression technology used for DVD video. Video must be highly compressed so longer programs can fit on a single disc. The longer the program, the greater the amount of compression required to fit the material on a disc. Higher compression rates result in poorer video quality. At Imperial Media we always use the optimal compression rate to provide the highest quality end product.
If the picture on your screen appears squished, you are watching an anamorphic picture intended for display only on a widescreen TV. You need to go into the player's setup menu and tell it you have a standard 4:3 TV, not a widescreen 16:9 TV. It will then automatically letterbox the picture so you can see the full width at the proper proportions. Some discs are labeled with widescreen on one side and standard on the other. In order to watch the full-screen version you must flip the disc over.
Most DVD-Video discs contain Dolby Digital soundtracks. However, it's not required. Some discs, especially those containing only audio, have PCM tracks. Don't assume that the Dolby Digital label is a guarantee of 5.1 channels. A Dolby Digital soundtrack can be mono, dual mono, stereo, Dolby Surround stereo, etc.
A hybrid DVD is a broad category that encompasses all of the following:
In some DVDs released by the major studios today, there may be both a full-screen and widescreen version of the movie on the same disc. Full-screen has an aspect ratio of 4:3 and widescreen has an aspect ration of 16:9. Letterbox means the video is presented in its theatrical aspect ratio, which is wider than standard or widescreen TV. Black bars, called mattes, are used to cover the gaps at the top and bottom. DVD was designed to make movies look as good as possible on TV. Since most movies are wider than standard TVs, letterboxing preserves the format of the theatrical presentation. (Nobody seems to complain that the top and bottom of the picture are cut off in theaters.) DVD is ready for TVs of the future, which are widescreen. For these and other reasons, many movies on DVD are only available in widescreen format.
DVD includes parental management features for blocking playback and for providing multiple versions of a movie on a single disc. Players (including software players on PCs) can be set to a specific parental level using the onscreen settings. If a disc with a rating above that level is put in the player, it won't play. In some cases, different programs on the disc have different ratings. The level setting can be protected with a password.
A dual-layer disc has two layers of data, one of them semi-transparent so that the laser can focus through it and read the second layer. Since both layers are read from the same side, a dual-layer disc can hold almost twice as much as a single-layer disc, typically 4 hours of video. Many discs use dual layers. The advantage of two layers is that long movies can use higher data rates for better quality than with a single layer.
Motion picture studios want to control the home release of movies in different countries because theater releases aren't simultaneous. Therefore they required that the DVD standard include codes to prevent playback of certain discs in certain geographical regions. Each player is given a code for the region in which it's sold. The player will refuse to play discs that are not coded for its region. This means that a disc bought in one country may not play on a player bought in another country.
Regional codes are entirely optional for the maker of a disc. Discs without region locks will play on any player in any country. It's not an encryption system, it's just one byte of information on the disc that the player checks. Region codes don't apply to DVD-Audio, DVD-ROM, or recordable DVD.
Seven regions (also called locales or zones) have been defined, and each one is assigned a number, 1 -7, plus 8 for airlines & cruise ships. Technically there is no such thing as a region zero disc or a region zero player. There is such thing as an all-region disc. There are also all-region players. Imperial Media Services can code your DVD for specific zone codes or create all-region discs. It is just a matter of the customer's specific needs.
DVD-Music isn't actually an official DVD format, but it has become a commonly used name for a DVD-Video disc that contains primarily music. A DVD-Music disc plays in any standard DVD player with video or still pictures that accompany the audio. As DVD-Audio disc contains special high-fidelity audio tracks that can only be played in DVD-Audio players.
Some people claim that animation, especially hand-drawn cell animation such as cartoons and anime, does not compress well with MPEG-2 or even ends up larger than the original. Other people claim that animation is simple so it compresses better. Neither is true.
Because of the way MPEG-2 breaks a picture into blocks and transforms them into frequency information it can have a problem with the sharp edges common in animation. This loss of high-frequency information can show up as "ringing" or blurry spots along edges. However, at the data rates commonly used for DVDs this problem does not usually occur. By employing optimal data rates, Imperial Media can assure our clients of the highest quality DVD authoring for their animation projects.
Even though DVD's dual-layer technology allows over four hours of continuous playback from a single side, some movies are split over two sides of a disc, requiring that the disc be flipped partway through. Most "flipper" discs exist because of producers who are too lazy to optimize the compression or make a dual-layer disc. Better picture quality is a cheap excuse for increasing the data rate; in many cases the video will look better if carefully encoded at a lower bit rate. Very few players can automatically switch sides, but it's not needed since most movies less than 4 hours long can easily fit on one dual-layer (RSDL) side.
DVD includes parental management features for blocking playback and for providing multiple versions of a movie on a single disc. Players (including software players on PCs) can be set to a specific parental level using the onscreen settings. If a disc with a rating above that level is put in the player, it won't play. In some cases, different programs on the disc have different ratings. The level setting can be protected with a password.
MPEG-4 is a video encoding standard designed primarily for low-data rate streaming video, although it's actually more efficient than MPEG-2 at DVD and HDTV data rates. DVD uses MPEG-2 video encoding. Standard DVD players don't recognize the MPEG-4 video format. MPEG-4 files can be stored on DVD-ROM for use on computers.
Web DVD is the simple but powerful concept of combining DVD content with Internet technology. It combines the best of DVD (fast access to high-quality video, audio, and data) with the best of the Internet (interactivity, dynamic updates, and communication). In general, Web DVD refers to enhancing a DVD with HTML pages, links and scripting, or enhancing a Web site with content from a local DVD drive. It's not a new idea --it's been done with CD-ROM for years-- but the differences with DVD are that the quality of the audio and video are finally better than TV, and the discs can be played in low-cost set top players.
Almost every DVD contains audio in the Dolby Digital (AC-3) format. DTS is an optional audio format that can be added to a disc in addition to Dolby Digital audio. Dolby Digital and DTS can store mono, stereo, and multi-channel audio (usually 5.1 channels).
Every DVD player in the world has an internal Dolby Digital decoder. The built-in 2-channel decoder turns Dolby Digital into stereo audio, which can be fed to almost any type of audio equipment (receiver, TV, etc.) as a standard analog stereo signal using a pair of stereo audio cables or as a digital PCM audio signal using a coax or optical cable.
A standard audio mixing technique, called Dolby Surround, "piggybacks" a rear channel and a center channel onto a 2-channel signal. A Dolby Surround signal can be played on any stereo system, in which case the rear- and center-channel sounds remain mixed in with the left and right channels.
The improved decoding technique, Dolby Pro Logic, also extracts the center channel. A brand new decoding technology, Dolby Pro Logic II, extracts both the center channel and the rear channel and also processes the signals to create more of a 3D audio environment.
Unlike Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital encodes each channel independently. Dolby Digital can carry up to 5 channels (left, center, right, left surround, right surround) plus an omni-directional low-frequency channel.
There are basically two ways to display video: interlaced scan or progressive scan. Progressive scan, used in computer monitors and digital televisions, displays all the horizontal lines of a picture at one time as a single frame. Interlaced scan, used in standard television formats (NTSC, PAL, and SECAM), displays only half of the horizontal lines at a time. Interlacing relies on phosphor persistence of the TV tube to blend the fields together over a fraction of a second into a seemingly single picture. The advantage of interlaced video is that a high refresh rate (50 or 60 Hz) can be achieved with only half the bandwidth. The disadvantage is that the vertical resolution is essentially cut in half, and the video is often filtered to avoid flicker and other artifacts.
DVDs are specifically designed to be displayed on interlaced-scan displays, which represent 99.9 percent of the more than one billion TVs worldwide. However, most DVD content comes from film, which is inherently progressive. To make film content work in interlaced form, the video from each film frame is split into two video fields 240 lines in one field, and 240 lines in the other and encoded as separate fields in the MPEG-2 stream. A complication is that film runs at 24 frames per second, whereas TV runs at 30 frames (60 fields) per second for NTSC, or 25 frames (50 fields) per second for PAL and SECAM. For PAL/SECAM display, the simple solution is to show the film frames at 25 per second, which is a 4 percent speed increase, and to speed up the audio to match. For NTSC display, the solution is to spread 24 frames across 60 fields by alternating the display of the first film frame for 2 video fields and the next film frame for 3 video fields. This is called 2-3 pull-down.
When films are transferred to video in preparation for DVD encoding, they are commonly run through digital processes that attempt to clean up the picture. These processes include digital video noise reduction (DVNR) and image enhancement. Enhancement increases contrast but can tend to overdo areas of transition between light and dark or different colors, causing a "chiseled" look or a ringing effect. Video noise reduction is a good thing, when done well, since it can remove scratches, spots, and other defects from the original film.
Next-generation DVD was actually under development before DVD came out but didn't begin to emerge until 2003, and the formats were not used for movies until 2006. Some high-definition versions of DVD use the original DVD physical format but depend on new video encoding technology such as H.264 and VC-1 to fit high-definition video in the space that used to hold only standard-definition video. High-density formats use blue or violet lasers to read smaller pits, increasing data capacity to around 15 to 30 GB per layer. High-density formats use high-definition MPEG-2 video and also use advanced encoding formats, supporting 720p and 1080p video. Originally, there were a number of different competing formats. The winning format of this 'competition' (and now the industry standard) is Blu-Ray. Blu-Ray Disc has a data depth of 0.1mm, handles video in MPEG-2, H.264, & VC-1, and audio in PCM, Dolby Digital+, & DTS HD.
Blu-ray is the new industry standard High Definition DVD format. It is a high-density physical format that holds 25 GB per layer and up to 2 layers per disc for a total possible capacity of 50GB. Recording capacity on a single layer is about 2 hours of HD video (at 28 Mbps) or about 10 hours of standard-definition video (at 4.5 Mbps).
Yes, if your computer has the right stuff. Almost all Windows and Mac OS computers with DVD drives come with software to play DVDs.
The computer operating system or playback software must support regional codes and be licensed to descramble copy-protected movies.
Usually not. DVD-ROM drives can read DVD-Audio discs, but as of 2005 only the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 card includes the software needed to play DVD-Audio on a computer. Part of the reason for general lack of support is that very few computers provide the high quality audio environment needed to take advantage of DVD-Audio fidelity.
It's possible that Microsoft could add DVD-Audio playback to a future version of Windows, in which case you would only need to download some inexpensive decoding software to get DVD-Audio playback.
The DVD-Video and DVD-Audio specifications define how audio and video data are stored in specialized files. The .IFO files contain menus and other information about the video and audio. The .BUP files are backup copies of the .IFO files. The .VOB files (for DVD-Video) and .AOB files (for DVD-Audio) are MPEG-2 program streams with additional packets containing navigation and search information.
Copying from DVD to CD is impractical, since it takes 7 to 14 CDs to hold one side of a DVD. Also, most DVD movies are encrypted so that the files can't be copied without special software. However, there are many advantages to creating a DVD-Video volume using inexpensive recordable CD rather than expensive recordable DVD. The resulting "cDVD" (sometimes called a "miniDVD") is perfect for testing and for short video programs. Unfortunately, you can put DVD-Video files on CD-R or CD-RW media, or even on pressed CD-ROM media, but almost no set-top player can play the disc. Computers are more forgiving. DVD-Video files from any source with fast enough data rates, including CD-R or CD-RW, with or without UDF formatting, will play back on most DVD-ROM PCs as long as the drive can read the media.
DVDs can store any type of data file (PowerPoint, PDF, text, JPEG, etc.) in addition to video. The files can be viewed by putting the disc in a computer and opening the disc. They can be put pretty much anywhere on the disc other than in the VIDEO_TS folder. However, the software you're using to create the DVD has to support adding data files. Check the feature list for the software to see if it can add extra files.
First, please understand that copying a commercial DVD may be illegal, depending on what country you live in and what you do with the copy. Copying video for your own personal use may be legal, but making copies of copyrighted discs for friends is not. Second, be aware that almost all DVD movies are protected from casual copying. Third, realize that many movies come on dual-layer discs (DVD-9s), which can only be directly copied on a dual-layer recordable drive. Fourth, understand that simply copying the computer files from a DVD to a recordable DVD often produces a disc that won't play in a set-top DVD player, since the files have to go in specific order and specific places on the disc.
If you have a legitimate need to copy a DVD, such as a disc you made yourself, Imperial Media Services can do the job for you. Whether you need 50 copies or 50,000 copies, Imperial Media can handle your project.
Audio Mastering is the final and most important step in the recording process. Mastering is the process of transferring your final demo into a "master" that is used for duplication, replication and playback on a multitude of different systems. In essence it is the 'sweetening' of your music and adding 'punch' to give you that definitive sound. For this reason it is often said to be 'the difference between a demo and a record'.
At Imperial Media we offer a full selection of mastering services, including:
As well as correcting any recording problems, our audio mastering process will improve the overall tone, levels and dynamic range of your tracks whilst defining an appropriate balance for the final sequence.
The process will vary according to the specific demands of the tracks to be mastered. The typical steps of mastering are:
A typical mastering session might include:
'Matching Levels' is sometimes referred to as 'Normalization', and consists of adjusting volume levels of the various tracks within a CD so that there are no jarringly loud or quiet tracks. The normalization is of overall tracks and not individual instruments within the track. The end product should have consistency across tracks to ensure the ideal playback experience for the listener.
Applying final equalization to your project helps balance frequencies and it give your tracks clarity and definition. Often times a recording mix needs a little assistance in some frequency ranges, and equalization, i.e. tonal adjustment, can help. Good equalization can add sparkle to the top end, definition to the low end, and presence in the middle. In addition, it is often necessary to make slight tonal changes to keep sonic continuity from song to song in a CD, especially if the songs were mixed at different times or in different studios.
Technically, compression (or limiting) is often necessary to control excessive momentary sound level. Generally, all amplified live shows and commercially released CDs have some compression, whether on individual instruments or on the entire mix. Compression can truly help tighten the bottom end of the music, and it can give evenness to a song and string of songs.
Topping and tailing is digitally editing each track to ensure that the beginnings and ends (the top & tail) are clean and crisp.
Fade-ins, fade-outs and cross-fades at the beginning or end of tracks consist of adjusting levels from full volume to zero volume. This can be done with extreme precision during the audio mastering process; simply let Imperial know where you want the tracks to begin and end, and how long you want any fades to be.
Noise reduction is the application of filters to remove ambient hum, tape hiss or other unwanted noises such as clicks and pops. If there is noise in a particular track, a segment of the track containing only noise can be sampled as a profile for noise reduction. This profile is applied over the entire selection and the noise minimized or cancelled.
For audio transfers, Imperial Media accepts the following formats:
For video transfers, Imperial Media accepts the following formats:
We can transfer to DVD or to any of the video formats listed.
NTSC and PAL are both video broadcast formats used in different parts of the world. The United States favors a format called NTSC, which is short for National Television Standards Committee, while Europe, Australia and parts of Asia use a competing format called PAL, or Phase Alternating Line.
In terms of technical differences, PAL has fewer frames per second, but it also has more lines than NTSC. PAL television broadcasts contain 625 lines of resolution, compared to NTSC's 525. More lines usually mean more visual information, which equals better picture quality and resolution. Whenever NTSC videotape is converted to PAL, black bars are often used to compensate for the smaller screen aspect, much like letterboxing for widescreen movies.
Yes, Imperial Media can transfer between PAL and NTSC broadcast standards. Our state of the art facilities allow us to accommodate PAL to NTSC and NTSC to PAL in all the formats listed above.
Imperial Media maintains a full selection of templates to aid you and to ensure quality control over the entire media manufacturing process. By using our templates, the packaging design submission procedure is streamlined, enabling Imperial Media to deliver the highest quality product with the fastest turnaround times in the industry.
At Imperial Media we accommodate a number of different graphic design programs and maintain all the latest versions. Acceptable software applications for artwork submission include Adobe Acrobat, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop and Quark Express.
To download templates from Imperial Media's website you must first sign up for an account. Once you have an account, you can proceed by taking the following steps on Imperial's website:
Once you have opened the zip file, you are ready to use the template.
There are a number of ways to submit your artwork to Imperial Media. We accept artwork that uses our templates on CD, DVD, USB thumb drive, hard drive, or you can open an online account with Imperial Media and use our FTP to upload directly to our site. Imperial Media prefers artwork be submitted in layered files, allowing for greater flexibility with fonts and images if adjustments need to be made.
There are a number of quick and easy steps to uploading your artwork to Imperial Media. Before you can take any of these steps, you must first be a registered user of Imperial Media. After you register, you will be issued a user ID and password. You will need your user ID and password for uploading. Also, the artwork itself will need to be conformed to Imperial Media's templates. You or your graphic designer can easily access all of our various templates through your account. When you are ready to upload your artwork, you can proceed by taking the following steps:
You have now completed uploading your artwork.
The Artwork Approval Form is a binding agreement that indicates you, the client, or your appointed representative, have approved or waived the right to review all Imperial Media Services submitted artwork via online submission, email, or fax and authorizes Imperial Media Services to begin print production.
By opening an account with Imperial Media, you will have immediate access to the numerous benefits available to all of our new users, including:
Opening an account with Imperial Media is an easy, straightforward process. The following simple steps will guide you in setting up your account:
Imperial Media will send you an email with your User ID and Password. Use this information anytime you return to our website and want to manage your account. It really is that simple to open an account with Imperial Media.
If you forget your user name or password, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will promptly send you back your account information. Or if you prefer, you can call us at 800.736.8273. Our customer service representatives will be glad to assist you.
Imperial EZ Quote is an entirely new feature within the media manufacturing industry that allows the client to fully customize their order. With EZ Quote the client can build and edit any number of orders with a whole host of possible variations and receive a price quote instantly in real time. With Imperial EZ Quote, fulfilling your media needs has never been easier.
Using EZ Quote to build and or edit a quote is quite simple. EZ Quote software guides you through the entire process - from choosing the media format, to printing options, to a complete, packaged product. If there are any questions along the way, Imperial provides helpful tool tips to aid you with the process. When your order has been completed a summary page will appear. At this point you have the option of what to do with your quote. You can email the quote, save it, or proceed directly to purchasing your order. It really is that simple.
IPR stands for 'Intellectual Property Rights' and is necessary for all orders placed with Imperial Media Services. Intellectual property by definition is product of the intellect that has commercial value. Intellectual property is divided into two categories: Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, and industrial designs; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs. The IPR form is a necessary safeguard to protect the rights of everyone involved in creating digital media and is standard for all reputable duplication and replication facilities.
In an effort to make sure Imperial Media does not duplicate or replicate pirated material, we require that this form be filled out before work begins on a project. This policy also protects our customers from piracy. Imperial will not accept jobs without this form completed correctly and signed by the customer.
If you do not own the rights to some or any of the content on your master, you must also submit a completed Replication Rights Form or a contract authorizing you to reproduce the content. This step is to ensure that the intellectual property owner has authorized the use of their material.
A Media Approval Form fully executed by you, the client, or your appointed representative, indicates that you have executed a comprehensive test or have waived the right to review the master and approve of its quality for submission to Imperial Media Services. The Media Approval Form authorizes Imperial Media Services to proceed with the media manufacturing process.
If you are a musician who has recorded a cover version of someone else's song, you need to get a mechanical license authorizing you to reproduce their composition. You can find out who owns the copyright by contacting ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. Then either contact the owner directly and negotiate your own rate, or contact the Harry Fox Agency and pay the prevailing statutory rate of $.091 for songs five minutes or less, or $.0175 per minute or fraction thereof over five minutes. For example, if one were to make a recording of a song that is less than five minutes in length (e.g. 4:07) and then manufacture and distribute 500 units of the recording, the total amount of royalties due would be $45.50. ($0.091 X 500 (units) = $45.50). Applications for less than 2,500 copies can be made online at http://www.songfile.com.
For the track information on your CD to show up in iTunes, it must be submitted to the Gracenote CDDB (CD Database). This is a simple process that anyone can do within iTunes. If you insert your CD while you're connected to the internet and the song titles appear as "Track 01", "Track 02", and so on, the Gracenote CDDB has no information for the CD. You can enter the track information in iTunes and then send the information to Gracenote so that others can benefit from your work. In iTunes, it just takes the following, simple steps:
Within a few business days your CD information will be available for anyone using iTunes.
Not everyone has or needs a certificate of resale. It completely depends upon your particular circumstances whether the use of a resale certificate is applicable or not. Under many state laws, which vary by state, when you purchase tangible personal property for resale, the transaction is not subject to sales or use tax, provided the sale is properly documented. In other words, if you are going to resell the product purchased from Imperial to other people, such as a retailer, and you have the proper documents, using a resale certificate allows you to avoid paying taxes twice.
You can edit your Imperial Media account information at any time. Simply sign into your account using your User ID and Password. Once you are inside your account you will see a number of navigation tabs near the top of the screen. Click on the 'Edit Account' tab. Across the left side of the screen there will be a number of buttons, including 'Edit Contact Information', 'Edit User Id/Password', 'Submit Certificate of Resale' and 'Submit Credit Application'. Click on the appropriate button and enter your updated information. Click on the 'Save Changes' button and you are done. At Imperial Media it is just that simple.
At Imperial Media Services, 75% of the total gross amount of the bill is due at the time the order is placed. The deposit is necessary to cover the material costs of your project. The 25% balance is due upon completion of the order.
Imperial Media accepts all major credit cards, including MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover.
Imperial Media does extend credit terms for certain preferred customers. If you are a new customer, the first order placed must be paid for by cash, check or credit card. For the second or later orders, credit terms may be applicable. You may be offered credit after you have completed a 'Credit Application', passed a credit check, and subject to the approval of Imperial Media's management.
At Imperial Media there is not one set cost for shipping. Shipping costs are calculated based on weight, size and distance of the individual order. Imperial uses either UPS or Federal Express for all shipments so we can track your order and ensure its timely arrival.
When you use Imperial Media's EZ Quote system any handling fees are included in your quote. Box lot and weight are factors that determine the actual cost.
This simply means that when your order is completed and ready, Imperial Media 'will call' you. You can then come to our Santa Monica location to pick up your order.
The most common reason for credit card problems is simple typographical error. Try entering your card number again. If that fails to address the problem, it might be due to your card being expired or some other issue with the account. If this is the case, you will need to contact your bank directly and discuss the issue.
A 'Pending Order' is a project that has been ordered and is in some phase of the media manufacturing process, but not yet complete. A 'Completed Order' is project that has been finished by Imperial Media and is now in the client's possession. You also have the option of reordering a 'Completed Order'. However, there is no possibility of revising a 'Completed Order'.
You can place a reorder on any previously completed project Imperial Media has done for you in the past. Simply sign into your account using your User ID and Password. Once you are inside your account you will see a number of navigation tabs near the top of the screen. Click on the 'Order History' tab and your 'Completed Orders' and 'Pending Orders' will appear on the screen. 'Pending Orders' cannot be reordered until they have been completed. To reorder a 'Completed Order', click on the appropriate project. The 'Purchase Now' button will appear. Click on the 'Purchase Now' button and a 'Transaction' window will appear. Complete the transaction and your reorder will be submitted.
Packaging includes several types of CD and DVD case options, inserts, tray cards, and outer security features such as barcodes, shrink and cello wrap, parental advisory logos, and more.
A jewel case is a three-piece, plastic case. There is a front and back panel and a a trayliner for the CD nested inside the case. A jewel case has the capacity for an insert in the front for graphics and also a back tray card. A jewel case fits a standard CD and is the packaging seen most often for retail CDs. There are also options available for multi-disc sets up to 4 CDs. Jewel Case color options include clear, black or white.
The slimline case is half the thickness of a standard jewel case. It has a front panel, allowing for a graphic insert, and a CD trayliner built into the back panel. Slimline cases provide for lower shipping costs, they do not allow for a tray card like standard jewel cases.
A DVD box is the industry standard casing for DVDs seen at most video sales and rental outlets. It has an outer sleeve made of clear plastic, allowing for a graphic insert, known as a DVD 'case wrap'. Inside the DVD box is a plastic tray for the DVD and an area for additional graphic inserts. DVD boxes commonly come in black or white, but clear boxes, which can accommodate two-sided printed inserts for the front sleeve, are also available. There are also options available to handle multi-disc sets.
The Digipak is a cardboard case, with a plastic disc tray glued inside. This packaging can hold mulitple discs and as well as multi-panel inserts or booklets. A digipak is frequently used for projects needing a premium graphic packaging. Digipaks do come in a variety of configurations, depending upon the project needs. These options include four-panel, six-panel and eight-panel digipaks. Digipaks combine printing graphics with packaging, so full color can be employed, meaning the printing options are limitless. Digipaks can also accommodate multi-disc sets. There is a minimum quantity of 1,000 units on any Digipak order.
For those who want to mail their CDs or DVDs, a mailer is a protective, cardboard packaging for single disc projects. Mailers come in a variety of forms, including, 5 inch, 5 inch 4 panel V-cut, T-cut mailers and Peel and Seal. Mailers combine printing graphics with packaging, so full color can be employed, meaning the printing options are limitless. There is a minimum quantity of 1,000 units on any mailer order.
For those clients that have promotional and sampler projects, cardboard sleeves are an ideal packaging option. Cardboard sleeves come in a variety of forms, including, 5 inch single disc, 5.25 inch single disc, 4 panel single disc pouch, black or white single disc die cut, and 4, 6, and 8 panel single or double disc options. Cardboard sleeves combine printing graphics with packaging, so full color can be employed, meaning the printing options are limitless. There is a minimum quantity of 1,000 units on any cardboard order.
A paper sleeve is the most simple and cost-effective way to protect your CD or DVD from dirt, scratches and damage. Sleeves hold one disc and come in white paper, with a window.
A Vinyl sleeve is a simple and cost-effective way to protect your CD or DVD from dirt, scratches and damage. Vinyl Sleeves come in single disc clear vinyl, single disc poly adhesive, and multipak options.
A poly case is a small, plastic case with a push center hole on the inside for the disc. Poly cases are flexible and durable, and hold only one disc. They come in both circular, known as 'clamshell', or square form. Poly cases, whether square or clamshell, come in only one color option, clear.
Tray liners nest inside a jewel case and hold the CD or DVD in place. Color choices include black, white or clear. Clear is used when the tray card has two-sided graphics. If there are multiple discs in the set, clear or black smart trays are also available.
A barcode is the series of black lines and accompanying numbers, also known as the Universal Product Code, that is scannable by computer and used for retail purposes. Imperial can create a barcode for each unique project. Your CD and/or DVD will be registered as manufactured by Imperial Media Services. Imperial has all assigned barcode numbers catalogued.
A parental advisory label is a message affixed to a CD or DVD that may contain explicit language or material. This is an industry standard for any retail CD or DVD that may not be suitable for minors.
Shrink-wrapping is a method of sealing materials in plastic for protection during transportation and storage. Plastic is heated up and wrapped tightly around the desired packaging. Shrink-wrap is used for mailers, cardboard sleeves, or Digipaks. If you have a project using CD jewel cases or DVD boxes, Cello wrap would be the option to choose.
Cello wrapping is a method of sealing materials in plastic for protection during transportation and storage. Cello wrap is used for either DVD boxes or jewel cases. If your project uses a Digipak, shrink-wrap would be the option to choose.
A punch hole is a small cutout positioned on the bar code of a project. It is used to denote that a package is for promotional and not sales purposes.
A top spine label is a plastic seal on the spine of a jewel case or DVD box that contains the title and sometimes the bar code of the project.
A feature sticker is adhered to outside of the CD or DVD packaging, on top of the cello or shrink-wrap. It is commonly used to denote a highlighted feature of the particular project.
A Sensormatic sticker is a small plastic sticker applied to the inside of the jewel case or DVD box to deter theft at retail outlets.
When there are multiple discs in a DVD box or a jewel case there are 2 options for both packages. The discs can either nest in the case or be mounted on an internal arm. The graphic packaging and inserts that may accompany the discs may influence the choice.
A CD or DVD insert is a one page, two-sided, or what is commonly referred to as two-panel, piece of paper with graphics printed on it which for a CD insert, fits inside a jewel case or slimline packaging, and for a DVD insert fits inside a DVD box.
A CD or DVD folder is a multi-page, multi-panel, piece of paper with graphics printed on it. The CD folder fits neatly inside a CD jewel case or slimline packaging and the DVD folder fits inside a DVD box.
There are several options when it comes to the number of panels available for a CD or DVD folder. These include four, six, eight, ten and twelve panel options. The number of panels correlates to the number of pages desired. Four panels equals two pages, six panels equals three pages, eight panels equals four pages and so on.
There are a wide variety of folding options available for CD or DVD folders, including roll, half roll, accordion, half accordion, z-fold, gatefold, and half/half. The options vary depending on how many panels are used.
A CD or DVD booklet is a multi-page, multi-panel, piece of paper with graphics printed on it. The pages are stapled together at the fold. The entire CD booklet fits neatly inside a jewel case or slimline packaging and the DVD booklet fits inside a DVD box. The number of pages available for a CD or DVD booklet includes eight, twelve, sixteen, twenty, twenty-four, twenty-eight, and thirty-two page options.
A poster folder is a multi-page, multi-panel, piece of paper with graphics printed on it. This printing option, as the name would indicate, is frequently used when including a poster in the package. The material is folded in such a manner that it fits neatly inside a CD jewel case or slimline packaging.
The DVD case wrap is a one page, two-sided, or what is commonly referred to as two-panel, piece of paper with graphics printed on it which fits inside the clear plastic outer lining of a DVD box. Most commonly graphics are only printed on the 'front' or outside of the case wrap. However, there is the option of printing on both sides of the case wrap when a clear DVD box is chosen.
A tray card is a single piece of paper with graphics printed on one or both sides. The tray card fits inside a CD jewel case facing the backside. It lies underneath the liner and also has 'sides' which provide space for graphics to be printed on the spine of the package.
Digipaks come in four panel, six panel and eight panel options, depending on how much space is needed for the graphic artwork of the project. The six and eight panel options also allow for one or two discs to be included with the package. The trays that hold the discs in the digipaks can be placed on any of the panels that face inside. The trays come in black, white or clear. If even more artwork is desired, the clear trays are the option to choose.
A 'Digital Proof' is a copy of your artwork in PDF or JPEG form sent to your email address by Imperial Media Services for your approval before physical printing begins. The procedure ensures that you have full quality control over all artwork decisions on your projects.
The color you choose for the face of the disc will determine the type of printing you choose. The options are CMYK, grayscale, Pantone and thermal printing.
CMYK is based on mixing four colors -Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (or Black). These four inks are the standard inks used in the four-color printing process. If printing on a disc, a white flood is frequently employed to ensure color fidelity. CMYK is the basic printing method used today. CMYK can be printed using the following processes: digital UV, offset, and silkscreen.
Grayscale printing is similar to black and white, except grayscale provides several shades and intensities of gray within the black and white image range. Grayscale can be printed using the following processes: digital UV, offset, and silkscreen.
Pantone color processing is a color matching system, used widely to identify an exact color. This process mixes several inks to provide the unique color chosen from a scale of options. Printing with Pantone will improve solid color range and accuracy over traditional CMYK printing. Pantone printing utilizes silkscreen printing. There are additional costs associated with Pantone printing.
If you choose CMYK, grayscale, or Pantone for the color of the disc face, you have a number of options as to the type of process employed. These options include digital, offset, or silkscreen printing. Each process has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Utilizing ink-jet head technology and UV curable inks, a white flood of ink is first laid down on the disc followed by four passes of ink, the CMYK. This process lends itself to artwork with photos or color gradients. The resulting image has the sharpness and detailed resolution of offset, while offering the color saturation associated with silkscreen. This is truly the best of both worlds. What you see on the disc is what you get. The only drawback would be a lack of textual sharpness when printing small text, such as four-point font.
Offset printing starts by laying down a base of white ink, called a 'white flood', followed by a mixture of colors. The colors are CMYK. Ink is applied to the disc by rolling a reverse image of your graphic to the non-image areas on a roller. The rollers are then pressed against the disc. Offset is recommended for use with small text or detailed graphics. Offset printing enhances sharpness and detail, but lacks the color saturation of digital or silkscreen printing.
Silkscreen printing uses a mesh screen that replicates your artwork, in which ink is forced through a screen to the surface of the disc. Used for both Pantone and CMYK processes, Silk-screening is recommended for graphics such as logos and texts. Silk-screening provides full color saturation, but does not have the crisp sharpness or detailed resolution of offset or digital printing.
Thermal printing uses pressure and heat to apply text and graphics to the surface of the disc. This type of printing has a durable, glossy finish that is scratch resistant, waterproof, and will not fade in the sun. While colored thermal printing exists, Imperial Media also offers black thermal printing. Thermal printing is best for simple text and line art, so graphics with photos, complicated logos, or font smaller than 8 points should use a different printing process, such as CMYK, Grayscale or Pantone.
Printers accept a total of six plates or colors. If you choose the four-color printing process (CMYK), there is room for two additional plates; a white flood is considered one plate, if you go with Pantone colors only, you have a choice of six plates. These additional plates are known as spot colors, and may include anything under the Pantone metallic, silver, gold, fluorescent or any other color in the Pantone. Additional Pantone colors are recommended if you are looking for a specific color within your graphic. There are additional costs associated with using Pantone colors.
A white flood is the process of applying a coat of white ink onto the surface of the disc, acting as a primer. Without a white flood, colors would be printed on the shiny, silver background, resulting in images lacking true color due to the silver of the disc affecting the image.
The option of blank, printed CDs or DVDs is for those clients that want graphic images printed on their discs, but do not wish to have duplication or replication of digital media burned onto the disc at the same time. Frequently, companies or individuals that want to be able to burn their own digital media on a case-by-case basis use this option. The same printing options for CD or DVD printing, such as digital, offset, and silk-screening are available.
Bulk orders are ones in which no packaging is requested. These can be either duplication or replication for either CDs or DVDs; however, no jewel cases or DVD cases and no printed materials are included. In this case, the discs are delivered on a spindle loaded with the appropriate number of units ordered.
A 'Test Print' is a single copy of a CD or DVD for duplication or replication that is run with your artwork. The purpose of the test print is to allow the client to see a copy of the finished product before making larger run orders. Test prints are available upon request at an additional charge.
Imperial Media is the Nations leading short run duplication service offering DVD manufacturing proudly supplying disc duplication and DVD replication services
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The fastest short-run CD duplication, DVD duplication & Blu-Ray duplication in Los Angeles.