Originally Posted by jjeff
I didn't see it mentioned in that link(and for two pages after) but the one feature I'm looking for in a duplicator is the ability to control not only the write speed(which many but not all have) but also the read speed(which only the ~$200 models seem to have). The reason I think that's important is because if you've got a flaky DVD to start out with it may read OK at realtime or a fairly slow X but may not read at 16x(or whatever the duplicator uses).
I don't know if this theory is true but I do know I had problems with several home recorded DVDs I tried to copy on my PC. They would play through fine at realtime on my players and they would even copy HS on my computer(using DVD copying software) and pass the verification option, but when I went back to play the DVDs they skipped and locked up like crazy in spots
My PC copying software has adjustments for write speed but not for read speed.
Unfortunately this feature knocks out most if not all the sub $200 duplicators and I'm not sure if I want to spend >$200 for such a product
Both Church AV Guy and Digado seem to be having luck with their ~$100 Copy Pal products(purchased from SMS I believe) so maybe my discs were just a fluke, I just don't know. If I were copying from a commercial NCP'd DVD I'm sure the Pal would work(I think the pits are easier to read than dye changes like on our DVDRs) but almost all of my copying would be from home recorded DVDs of similar quality to the ones I had the problems with.
I have the earlier CopyPal model purchased in March 2010 for ($99) on sale through SMS. So far I've had no difficulies with a duplicating output around 500 DVDs, mostly from 8x Taiyo Yuden Premium Line DVD-R "masters" (of a commentary program where the host regularly suggests recording his programs for freely sharing the recordings with others). The regular duplication target discs are 16x TY Value Line (TYG03), 16X Verbatim (MCC) AZO series media or 16x Verbatim Life Series (CMC) media and 16x Magnavox (CMC) media. In my area various CMC manufactured brands are often found as low as $12.99 per spindle of 100 DVDs.
My CopyPal does not provide controls for adjusting read or write speeds. Copying to 16x media is marginally faster than copying to 8x media, either speed media taking a little more than five minutes per DVD from the first beep (just before the burning starts) to the disc tray opening (with a burned and finalized DVD).
I've (perhaps) duplicated another one hundred DVDs from a variety of earlier "master" DVDs, 8x and 16x TY, 8x and 16x Maxell, 16x Sony, 8x and 16x Verbatim "AZO" series DVDs--as well as landfill grade media, 16x TDK, 16x Memorex and very few 16x HP DVDs among other inferior CMC products.
I've had a few failures when attempting to copy from earlier Memorex and TDK CMC "masters." Generally, earlier Sony and Maxell "master" media have not presented difficulties during duplication. I don't recall checking the MITs with Sony DVDs but IIRC Maxell DVDs usually had Prodisc or Ritek MITs.
Beginning in 2008 I've used 8x TY media in my Panasonic and Funai-manufactured recorders, Philips, Magnavox, PYE and Toshiba. 16x media is used exclusively for duplication or in computer burners.