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I have some instructional videos I am getting ready to release on DVD and I want to know what is the quickest and most cost effective way to produce these in bulk?

I am open to both customized PC based software/hardware solutions as well as dedicated hardware appliances which perform the same function. All options considered seriously. I don't have a problem building a system for this purpose. If I build something I would prefer it have the ability to make multiple copies at once. I figure I will need to make about 300 copies initially.

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4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Dedicated devices can be very expensive.

If you have a few days, I would personally just use your own copier and "just do it" as boring as it is.

A solution in the middle is to use a company who can do the copying for you - (You are USA from profile so you are best off googling yourself) I just found a few companies in the UK willing to do DVD copying in bulk, with printed cases for 80p each, which I think is a good price.

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+1 for getting someone else to do it for you. Having spent a while with some simple duplicating hardware doing five at a time (if it worked), I wouldn’t wish that torture on anyone. –  Jeremy French Aug 10 '09 at 15:17
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Agreed on getting someone to do it for you. There are a variety of services, which can dupe the DVD, print and affix professional labels (or even ink the disc), package it in a case and have the entire shebang shipped back to you. No fuss, no muss. Not necessarily cheap, but not crazy expensive, either. Check out discmakers.com/selfservicequoter for example. –  John Rudy Aug 10 '09 at 15:26
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Make yourself a CD changing robot from Lego(s) or wood.

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also http://www.redfrontdoor.org/cd-changer.html

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Discmakers (the first name I sort of recognized in a quick Google search) has an on-line automatic quote system for short run duplication. I just ran it for 300 copies, no cases, no inserts, black text on the DVDs and got back $1.39 per DVD + shipping. They have a lot of standard options (inserts, cases, etc).

I've never needed to make a bunch of DVDs, but I've at least heard of these guys before, and their web site indicates they do want to do business with small runs like this.

I just did a quick search for bulk DVDs and found one price of about $0.60 per disc (for 300), plus shipping (DVD-Rs - I don't know what brands are good, that one was just cheap). So at the quoted rate from Diskmakers, you would be paying $0.79 per DVD for duplication and printing on the disc surface. That would give you a nicer finish than hand-duplicated DVDs, and eliminate the time and trouble of doing it yourself.

The only downside would be that you'd have to come up with the $417 + shipping all at once instead of being able to duplicate one at a time as needed. Diskmakers does do smaller lots, and at only 100 discs, the same job is just $1.49 per disc.

Basically, for small runs, doing it yourself probably can't be the most cost effective way, unless the size of your run needs to be on the order of 5 or 10 discs. At the hundreds of discs level, you probably want to leave the work to someone with the right gear for the job.

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I can't seem to find any official documentation on it, but multiple forum posts suggest that Nero can use multiple burners at once. Maybe grab a demo of Nero 9 and see if it works?

If it does, you can just buy N drives for your computer (and maybe a bigger tower) and reduce the workload from 300 to 300 / N

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The workload would be the same wouldn't it (changing 300 discs)? Just the "waitload" would be less. –  Matthew Lock Jun 1 '10 at 7:13
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