Dvd Replication

Written by Dallas Smith
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DVD replication, art, and packaging are available as one-stop shopping at professional DVD replication houses. With the rise of the DVD, companies have emerged that handle everything from wedding videos to mass market releases. Since the dawn of the DVD in the 1990s, DVDs have rapidly eclipsed video tape for every kind of multimedia project.

DVD replication companies deliver a polished product that is retail ready. The top DVD replication services produce DVDs that are every bit as good--if not better than--the DVDs that line the shelves of your local video store. (In many cases they are the DVDs that line the shelves of your local video store.)

Before DVD Replication

The steps to creating DVDs are conceptually simple (if sometimes technically challenging). Before you get to DVD replication, you have to put your DVD together. That's where DVD authoring comes in.

DVD authoring programs lock down the content for your project. The best DVD replication facilities can help with this process. Once you've decided how the DVD will operate (what features it will have and how the menus will operate), DVD authoring programs make it all work.

The trend lately is to include "Easter Eggs." Easter Eggs are hidden menu features that aren't clearly marked. Normal features are right out in front of you on a menu. To play, you hit "play." Easter Eggs aren't so simple. You might have to move the cursor over to what looks like content-free border illustration or toggle through several menus looking for clues. Once discovered, the Easter Eggs on many feature films get you to an entire world of additional features--deleted scenes, audition tapes, interviews--material missed by most viewers.

After DVD Replication

Easter Eggs are, of course, not at all essential to the DVD replication and production process; they're just fun. Choosing a DVD format, depending on the amount of storage needed for your project, is essential. A DVD 5 has 4.7 gigabytes of storage, using only one side of the DVD. A DVD 18 uses both sides of the disc, and uses "dual layering," netting 17 gigabytes of storage (which raises the question, "Why isn't it called a DVD 17?").

Once this decision has been made and DVD replication is complete, there are still many choices to make. What will the DVD itself look like? How will the packaging be laid out? Look at the DVDs you have in your collection while deciding how to handle the artwork. With each passing year, designers have found new, interesting ways to handle the CD and DVD "canvas." The days of plastering a random, colorful image on an LP sleeve are long since over. With the limited space on DVD packaging, every inch counts.

The most perfectly-conceived art in the history of packaging does you no good unless the DVD replication company you employ can deliver crisp images on your DVDs and covers. Look for offset printing on DVDs instead of the old standard, silkscreening. Once the artwork is printed, your DVDs are ready to be assembled, boxed, and shrink-wrapped. Congratulations, your project is complete.

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