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What is a DVD Duplicator Tower?

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  • Written By: Jason C. Chavis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2016
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A DVD Duplicator tower is a device which is capable of making many copies of a DVD at one time. Generally, they are found in a format similar to a computer tower and feature a large amount of bays that read and burn DVDs, sometimes at the same time. The device uses laser technology to retrieve and place the data and information onto optical discs that feature a dyed metallic surface. These instruments are most common in commercial facilities, although many people own personal versions either built or purchased.

The concept of the optical disc drive is a standard component of entertainment centers in the early 21st century. A variety of companies make a number of DVD players that are hooked to televisions sets and computers. These players can read the information placed on blank DVD discs in a DVD duplicator tower. Since their introduction in the 1990s, DVDs replaced VHS as the ideal format for motion pictures and many other data backups.

The basic laser technology found in a DVD duplicator tower functions at a wavelength of 650 nm, a beam comprised of the red spectrum of light. This is different than other format such as CD or Blu-Ray™ that uses different wavelengths of light. A tower that is geared towards copying DVDs is forced to stay in the format unless the laser is designed to project multiple wavelengths of light.

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Each bay in a DVD duplicator tower works in the same way. A laser produced by a semiconductor is guided by a lens onto the surface of the optical disc. This is done in either the reading or the writing process. During the reading process, the laser is reflected off the dyed metal in the disc and collected by a photodiode. The different level of reflectivity corresponds with the different data contained on the disc. This means that during the burning process, the laser itself records information on the disc by changing the level of reflectivity.

Each bay also contains two servomechanisms that control the disc itself. One servo is connected to the lens, which is moved vertically to control the intensity of the burning. The other servo controls the horizontal positioning of the laser and moves it in a spiral path along the radius of the disc.

A DVD duplicator tower can include a large number of burning bays, from just two to dozens. Each one of these bays holds a single optical disc. The tower itself is controlled by a motherboard and processor. To make copies of DVDs, a master disc is placed into one of the bays and the information is recorded by the computer. The computer then copies the information onto the DVDs in the remaining bays. Some DVD duplicator towers also feature the option to print an image on the surface of the disc.

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