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I'm not talking about the DVD-R's here. When you buy retail software and DVD movies from the store for example, how is that DVD burned onto the original disc? What would I need if I want to burn those type of "commericial" discs? (Is there a special device similar to a DVD burner for example, for this?)

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closed as off topic by Nifle, sblair, Diogo, 8088, studiohack Sep 21 '11 at 7:14

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For what it's worth, I don't think that's off topic. The question even is "What would I need to burn these disks at home?". – slhck Sep 19 '11 at 12:04
This isn't the question you asked, but there are much cheaper ways to get some of the effects of commercial printing, such as LightScribe disks and etching machines. – jprete Sep 19 '11 at 17:18
This is also not the question you asked, but there are lots of companies who will take your CD-R or uploaded .iso and press a batch of discs for you. – Kevin Sep 19 '11 at 22:27
Search Google for duplication vs replication and you'll get an answer – Dave Sep 12 '13 at 13:47
up vote 137 down vote accepted

… using a commercial replication process. This process involves creating a Glass Master. Discs are not burned in the sense of punching holes into a recordable surface. They are rather "pre-recorded", by pressing them.

This procedure only pays off for large quantities of CDs/DVDs produced. It also requires a very clean room (said to be 100 times cleaner than an operation room in a hospital), in order to minimize the negative effects of dust and other particles.

There is a relatively well written FAQ here:

The reason why it is called a glass master is because the information is copied onto a special chemical coating on a circular block of glass. The block of glass is actually much larger than a CD (they are typically 240mm in diameter and 6mm deep) to facilitate handling and to avoid the sensitive data area from being touched or damaged.

The glass master is treated with a laser to hold the data ("Laser Beam Recording"), then baked. It is then metalized using Nickel vapor. Finally, the master will be rotated in a tank of a Nickel salt solution. This will create a stronger Nickel layer on the master itself, thus make it more solid.

Finally, as the master is a positive, it is called "father". The negative ("mother"), will be created from it using a similar process.

The mother glass master is created from the father using electroforming and the mothers are then used to punch holes in the membrane layer on replicated CDs or DVDs that will then allow light through to reflect off the silver aluminium layer above the membrane layer in the centre of a CD or DVD.

That all being said, you will not be able to do this at home, unless you want to buy stuff like this:

enter image description here

Image from SOS

Related links:

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Yes. Commercial CD's and DVD's are injection molded from a master mold as described by @slhck and then coated with a metal layer in a vacuum, coated with UV-curing expoxy, sandwiched together, blasted with UV to cure the epoxy, and then spot-checked for quality. Each step in the process takes less than a few seconds. The per unit costs are very low (pennies), but you better be operating 24/7 because the machinery for all this runs into the millions. – Angelo Sep 19 '11 at 16:05
The white lab coat adds an added touch to the picture! – surfasb Sep 19 '11 at 16:18
Does the "stuff like this" include the bloke and the lab coat? Maybe we should grab a 3D printer and make some copies of him too... – Polynomial Aug 6 '12 at 12:56

The original DVDs (and CDs) are not burned, but instead pressed - this is a completely different process which requires larger (and more expensive) machinery, but is not as cost-intensive per medium.

More information can be found in this Wikipedia article: Compact Disc manufacturing

It also contains a nice external link: How compact discs are made -- Explained by a layman for the laymen

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It is also of course instantaneous, not requiring the time it takes to burn a disc. – paradroid Sep 19 '11 at 10:00
Yes. Also it allows creating discs that do not adhere to any standard, which is not easily possible with a burner. This allows to create copy protection schemes that cannot be easily copied with a burner. – BennyInc Sep 19 '11 at 10:18

Good for you, Epson has lately released something thats called Discproducer. With it you can burn 50 or 100 discs (depending on the model) in bulk (including graphics on the disc).

Depends where you need if - if at home, it may seem too pricey. They currently cost ~2000$

See in action at youtube (sorry, thats not english, but at least you can see it).

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