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CD and DVD A-Z of Terms
  • 8cm CDs
  • 8cm DVDs
  • Amaray Case
  • Artwork
  • Authoring
  • Bit-For-Bit Analysis
  • Booklets & Inlays
  • Card Wallets
  • Cello-wrap
  • CD-R
  • CD-RW
  • Check Discs
  • CMYK – Process Colours
  • Copy Protection
  • Digipack
  • DDP Master
  • CD replication
  • CD Duplication
  • DVD Discs
  • DVD-R
  • DVD-RW
  • DVD+R
  • DVD5
  • DVD9
  • DVD10
  • DVD Regional Coding
  • Encoding
  • Enhanced CD
  • FSC
  • Glass Mastering
  • J-Card
  • Jewel Cases
  • Lancing Pack
  • Litho Printing
  • Master Content
  • Maxi-Single Case
  • NTSC
  • On-Body Printing
  • Over-wrap
  • PAL
  • Pantone Colours
  • PDF
  • PEFC
  • Plastic Wallets
  • Printers Pairs
  • Red Tag DVD Cases
  • Replication
  • Screen Printing
  • Shrinkwrap
  • Slimline Jewel Case
  • Stamper
  • DVD box Wraps


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CD and DVD Replication Glossary of Terms

8cm CDs

Sometimes referred to as a mini-CD, the 8cm CD is an 8cm diameter disc that is replicated in exactly the same way as a standard CD but has a smaller capacity of 24 minutes of audio content or 210mb of data.

8cm DVDs

These are replicated 8cm diameter DVDs and are also known as mini-DVDs. Like there CD counterpart, they are replicated in exactly the same way as a standard DVD disc, but have a smaller capacity of 30 minutes of video or 1.4GB of data.

Amaray Cases

The Amaray Case is the most common form of rigid packaging for DVDs. Whilst the patent for this style of packaging is held by Amaray, it has become a generic industry name for the type of case that most feature film DVDs are sold in. They are most commonly seen in black or clear format, but can be supplied in a range of colours.


It is necessary to supply finished artwork in the correct format in order that the replicated CDs, DVDs and packaging can be printed correctly. Templates for CDs, DVDs and all packaging formats can be supplied to make this task easier. Artwork should be supplied in PDF format with a resolution of at least 300dpi (dots per inch).


The process of creating a DVD master disc that can be played on a DVD player. There are many aspects to Authoring but most commonly would include menu and chapter creation, disc navigation and functionality and regional coding.

Bit-For-Bit Analysis

This is part of the quality control process for CD and DVD replication. The first replicated disc is placed within an analyser and every 1 and 0 is measured against the master content that was supplied to check that every piece of data has transferred correctly and in the right sequence.

Booklets & Inlays

Both the Amaray Case (for DVD) and Jewel Case (for CD) are designed to accommodate bespoke booklets and in the case of the Jewel Case; can also accommodate a rear-inlay (also known as a tray card). Booklets can range from a single sheet (2pp) up to a 32pp version and can be stapled or folded. Pagination above 32pp is also available, but cannot be machine packed in to the cases. With an Amaray Case, the printed sheet that goes round the outside is referred to as an inlay or a wrap. Booklets and inlays can be printed in colour on one side only (4/0) in colour on one side and black text on the other (4/1) or in colour on both sides (4/4).

Card Wallets

A popular and relatively inexpensive packaging format for CDs and DVDs. These are usually printed with 4-Colours (CMYK) on 230gsm board with either a top or side opening to accommodate the disc.


Otherwise known as over-wrap, this is the thin film of plastic that is wrapped round the outside of the finished Jewel Case or other plastic box. Its finish is the same as the wrapping on a packet of cigarettes.


A CD-R is a 12cm diameter blank disc used for duplicating content. They can be told apart from replicated discs by the slight blue or green hue to the reverse of the disc. This is the light sensitive dye on to which the information is burnt by the duplicator. Information can only be written to the CD-R once either in one or multiple sessions.


This is a rewriteable version of the CD-R which enables the author to delete content previously written to the disc. All other characteristics are the same as the CD-R.

Check Discs

Prior to undertaking DVD replication, a pressed DVD can be provided to check that the file transfer from the DLT or DVD-R has resulted in the correct content being on the disc. Once this has been approved, the bulk DVD replication will commence.

CMYK – Process Colours

Throughout most forms of commercial printing, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black are used to create the finished print image. These colours are also known as the 4 process colours. By varying the amount of each ink used, virtually any colour can be created.

Copy Protection

Various software encryption programmes are available that restrict the ability of users to copy the content of replicated CDs and DVDs. Popular formats for DVD are CSS and Macrovision and for CD-ROMs they are Starguard and Macrovision. It should be noted that there are numerous published articles that report playability problems on Audio CDs and that no copy protection system is totally infallible.


Available in both CD and DVD sizes, the Digipack is a cardboard based packaging format that usually is supplied with plastic trays to accommodate the disc, but these can be replaced with foam studs or eco-trays. Their format can be designed in many ways to form a straight line or a cross shape and the number of panels (and therefore trays) can vary from 4pp upwards.

DDP Masters

DDP or Disc Description Protocol is a generic disc image file format sometimes used by audio mastering houses to supply mastered audio CD content for CD replication.


Duplication is a quicker and more cost effective alternative to replication if the required quantity of discs is under 500 units. Rather than create a Glass Master and then manufacture the discs, the content is duplicated (burnt) directly on to a pre-made CD-R or DVD-R. There is no difference in the way the information appears on the disc or the printed finish applied to the non-playing surface of the disc.

DVD Discs

The industry standard carrier for the replication of film and video footage. Like CDs, they are 12cm in diameter but whereas the CD is a single layer of plastic, the DVD has two sides that are bonded together and has two useable layers per side. Having two layers, two sides and “tracks” of information that are much narrower results in a far greater amount of information being be stored on a DVD compared to a CD. There are 3 common formats of replicated DVDs: DVD5, DVD9 and DVD10. The amount of information to be replicated dictates which format should be used.


A replicated DVD5 uses one side and one layer of information of the disc. It has a capacity of approximately 4.7GB which equates to around 2 hours of video footage.


A replicated DVD9 uses one side and two layers of information of the disc. It has a capacity of approximately 8.5GB which equates to around 4 hours of video footage.


A replicated DVD10 uses both sides and both layers of information of the disc. It has a capacity of approximately 9.4GB which equates to around 5 hours of video footage. Because the information is on both sides of the disc, printing of imagery and text is limited to a small ring around the centre of the disc and to 3-Colours.


A DVD-R is a 12cm diameter blank disc used in duplicating content. They can be told apart from replicated discs by the slight blue or green hue to the reverse of the disc. This is the light sensitive dye on to which the information is burnt by the duplicator. Information can only be written to the DVD-R once either in one or multiple sessions.


This is a rewriteable version of the DVD-R which enables the author to delete content previously written to the disc. All other characteristics are the same as the DVD-R. Unlike the CD-R which is universal in its format, there are competing standards amongst recordable DVDs, the most common of which is the DVD+R

DVD Regional Coding

It is possible during the authoring process to limit where a replicated DVD can be played. This works by sending a code to the DVD player enabling the content to be accessed. There are 6 main regions for DVD that are as follows:

          1. United States, Canada & Bermuda
          2. Western Europe Incl. UK, Central Europe, Western Asia Incl. Iran and Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Japan, South Africa,
               Swaziland and French Overseas Territories
          3. South East Asia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau
          4. Mexico, Central & South America, Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and Oceania
          5. Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Continent of Africa excluding South Africa and Swaziland, Central and South Asia Mongolia and
              North Korea.
          6. People’s Republic of China

There is also the facility during the Authoring process to set the “flags” to ALL thereby enabling the disc to be played in any region.


A process that is necessary in the creation of a DVD master. Encoding is the conversion of video footage in to a digital format to enable the authoring of a DVD to take place.

Enhanced CDs

A CD disc that contains both video as well as audio content to be played on a PC or Mac computer.


FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. It is an International organisation established to promote and ensure sustainable forests and the welfare of those people working in them. FSC stock can be used for the production of most paper and card packaging.

Glass Mastering

Prior to replication of the CDs or DVDs commencing, the information needs to be transferred to a special glass surface. This is achieved by the use of an LBR (Laser Beam Recorder) where the laser burns in to a light resistant material coated on to the glass and results in a series of “pits” and “lands” which contain the data in the correct sequence to be copied.


The bespoke paper insert designed to fit inside the front cover of a maxi-single case.

Jewel Cases

These are the most common form of rigid plastic casing for CDs. A clear plastic box with either a black or clear rear tray in to which booklets and rear-inlays can be packed.

Lancing Packs

The lancing pack is a cardboard based packaging format which is basically a card wallet with an additional flap that folds over the opening of the wallet thereby offering a greater area for printed communication as well as retaining the disc in the package.

Litho Printing

Litho printing is one of the 2 options for printing on to the face of the replicated CD or DVD. Metal plates are created for each of the colours to be printed which when coated with ink are passed over the CD to build up to the final image. Because of the smaller dot size used in Litho printing, this process gives a greater definition and as such is best suited for printing pictures and photo images.

Master Content

The content that requires CD replication or DVD replication needs to be supplied in a suitable format to enable Glass Mastering to take place. For CD replication this can be either a CD-R or Exabyte tape. For DVD replication, the master content can be supplied on either a DVD-R or DLT (Digital Linear tape).

Maxi-Single Cases

This format of rigid plastic packaging has traditionally been used for the retail sale of CD singles. The disc sits in the rear panel and within the front cover a bespoke piece of print (called a J-Card) can be accommodated.


NTSC is the TV broadcast system used in the Americas and Japan. It differs from the European and Australian broadcast system (PAL) in terms of the number of lines that make up the picture image and the number of frames per second. With DVD replication, you can create either PAL or NTSC copies but cannot combine both systems on one disc.

On-Body Printing

A generic expression to describe the process of printing the text, imagery and pictures of the design on to the face of the replicated CD or DVD. There are 2 processes available; screen or litho printing. In most cases, this will be done using 4-Colours (CMYK) laid down on to a white base. Additional finishes can be applied such as gloss or matt varnish.


Another name given to cello-wrap.


PAL is the TV broadcast system used by the UK, most of Europe, Australia and some of the Far East and South America. It differs from the American broadcast system (NTSC) in terms of the number of lines that make up the picture image and the number of frames per second. With DVD replication, you can create either PAL or NTSC copies but cannot combine both systems on one disc.

Pantone Colours

Pantone Inc. created the Pantone Matching System (PMS). This is a system to create special colours that rather than working from CMYK uses a base system of 13 pigments plus black and white. The PMS “book” contains swatches of all the 1,114 colours available as well as specialist metallic inks. When colours are generated from CMYK, there is inevitably microscopic gaps between the dots of ink so if a large solid area of the same colour needs to be printed, then using a pre-mixed Pantone ink will achieve a better coverage on the replicated CDs or DVDs.


PDF stands for Portable Document Format. This is the preferred format for artwork to be supplied in and the format in which the approval file will be sent back.


PEFC stands for the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. It is an organisation with similar aims to the FSC and provides sources of paper and card that have been audited to ensure responsible forest management and ethical production processes. PEFC stock can be used for the production of most paper and card based packaging.

Plastic Wallets

Plastic wallets are most commonly made from Polypropylene and are one of the most cost effective packaging formats for CDs and DVDs. They are available with or without a tuck-in flap and can also be supplied with adhesive strips on the reverse for when the CD needs to be mounted on to a magazine or book.

Printers Pairs

When supplying artwork for the printing of booklets, it is important that the order in which the pages appear is correct to ensure that when folded or stapled, the pages are in the right order. This means that on an 8pg booklet, page one (front cover) will be laid out opposite page 8 (rear cover), page 2 opposite page 7, page 3 opposite page 6 and page 4 opposite page 5. This principle applies to all booklet printing.

Red Tag DVD Cases

The Red Tag DVD case was developed by Amaray in conjunction with leading retailers. On the opening edge of the case is a slot in which a security tag is inserted by the retailer which cannot be removed without scratching the playing surface unless specialist equipment is used.


Any production requirement in excess of 500 units is more cost effectively achieved through the replication process as opposed to duplication. Replication uses a metal copy of the information (stamper) to press in to molten plastic and thereby create a faithful copy of the content. A thin metal surface is then applied to the reverse side of the disc so that the laser can read the disc and finally a UV curable lacquer is applied to protect the disc.

Screen Printing

A method of printing the image on to the face of the replicated CD or DVD. Ink is squeezed through a mesh screen for each colour required with the areas that do not require printing being protected by a mask. With the larger dot size of the ink that is laid down using screen printing, this process is not suitable for photographic type images but works well where large blocks of a solid colour are required.


Shrinkwrap is a plastic film that is used to seal non-rigid packaging. The product is wrapped in the film and then passed through a heat tunnel to form a tight seal around the packaging.

Slimline Jewel Cases

Sometimes referred to as the 5.2 case, the slimline Jewel Case is made from rigid plastic and has the option of a clear or black rear tray. Unlike the traditional Jewel Case, it cannot accommodate a rear inlay but can facilitate the inclusion of a low pagination booklet in the front cover.


After the Glass Master has been created it is necessary to create a positive metal image of the information burnt on to the glass. This is achieved in galvanics where the glass is placed in specialist tanks where a nickel salt solution is attracted to the surface of the glass through a process of electro-magnetic plating. The nickel builds up to a depth until it can be removed from the glass as a single circular piece which is called a stamper. The stamper is then placed on the moulding line and used to “press” the information in to the heated plastic that forms the CD or DVD.


Another name given to the DVD inlay – the printed paper part that goes around the outside of a DVD Amaray case.