Cheaper technology a boon to duplication biz

There was a time when video duplication houses such as Toronto's MIJO Corporation and Vancouver's Finale Editworks had the DVD replication business all to themselves. No longer - the availability of inexpensive DVD burners and consumer-grade software such as Roxio Easy Media Creator (US$79.95) or even Apple DVD Studio Pro (US$499) has made it possible for nearly anyone with a computer to produce their own DVDs.

There was a time when video duplication houses such as Toronto’s MIJO Corporation and Vancouver’s Finale Editworks had the DVD replication business all to themselves. No longer – the availability of inexpensive DVD burners and consumer-grade software such as Roxio Easy Media Creator (US$79.95) or even Apple DVD Studio Pro (US$499) has made it possible for nearly anyone with a computer to produce their own DVDs.

However, MIJO and Finale are actually upbeat about this trend.

‘People are now becoming more aware of how affordable DVDs are, and this in turn is expanding our DVD duplication business. Besides, [with the new technology] DVD duplication is more affordable for both suppliers and clients,’ says Darren Stokes, MIJO’s senior director of client relations and development. MIJO uses a series of DVD duplicators from Verity Systems.

Adds Finale president Don Thompson: ‘The increase in DVD burners has vastly multiplied the number of potential clients for duplication. This more than offsets any business lost to new low-cost encoding or duplication solutions.’ Finale uses DVD authoring systems from Spruce Technologies and Sonic Solutions.

In addition, people may be able to burn their own DVDs, but this doesn’t mean that their final product will look as good as a video rented from the corner store. In particular, devising usable, eye-catching menus is one place where amateurs fall down. Another is packaging. Companies such as MIJO and Finale have the in-house staff needed to quickly turn around professional inserts.

‘Once people make their own DVDs, they often realize that they don’t have the skills to do the job right, so they come to us,’ Thompson notes.

One final stumbling block is the multiplicity of recordable DVD (DVDR) formats available today, and the fact that DVDs recorded in one format won’t necessarily play on all other machines. It’s for these reasons that, perhaps surprisingly, Montreal’s Global Vision/CiteLab, which uses the Pioneer PRV-LX1 and PRV-9000 for DVD duplication, still gets a lot of demand for VHS dubbing.

‘In fact, we recently had to buy a number of new VHS recorders just to keep up,’ says Jean-Yves Deschenes, the company’s international division executive sales manager. ‘The beauty of VHS is that you can count on a tape being capable of playing back anywhere [in North America]. You just can’t say the same for DVDRs for now because of media/player incompatibility.’

-www.mijo.ca

-www.finale-editworks.com

-www.visionglobale.com