A manual disc duplicator is a piece of standalone equipment that can reproduce high volumes of CD, DVD and Blu-ray copies with the workflow and function dependent on the support of user operation. These manual disc copiers are most suitable under circumstances where time and supervision can be employed. In this case, frequent use may be more difficult to achieve with these machines and may necessitate shorter, less time consuming disc duplication runs compared with their automatic counterparts.
A manual duplicator resembles a taller version of a computer tower with several drives. Anywhere between 1 and 50 drives can be engineered by manufacturers for this equipment. When multiple towers are used, they can be stacked or daisy-chained depending on the physical storage space allotted for the equipment. A PC or Mac-based computer operating system is not required to perform disc tower functions, as the machines contain their own hard drive; however they often contain a USB 2.0 interface for supplemental connectivity.
This disc duplication equipment is a fraction of the cost of equivalent automated machines due to the fact that it lacks the robotic mechanisms that drive the price of those devices. Consequently, a manual duplicator does not utilize input and output storage bins used by a robotic arm to transfer the discs between each step of the reproduction process.
Instead, a master disc is loaded by a user into the reader tray and recordable CDs, DVDs or Blu-rays are manually loaded into each of the tower's burner drives. An intuitive and user-friendly menu panel on the front of the machine provides simple navigation of the burn process which often starts through pressing a few buttons.
Once the burning sequence is completed, a user must remove each individual disc from the burner tray. Contents of multiple master discs can be stored on a standalone tower's hard drive. To comply with federal regulations, reputable manufacturers will not allow the duplication of encrypted master discs.
Multiple and customizable configurations on tower size, burn speed or connectivity enable adjustments to user's demands. The burners built into the duplicator towers use premier optics made by industry leaders like Pioneer, Samsung and Sony. Microboards, TEAC and Accutower by US Digital Media are among the primary brands of manual duplicators that use high quality optical media technology.