In choosing the right DVD / CD printer you need to understand a few simple differences between the types of printers available on the market.
Inkjet DVD/CD Printer
Inkjet DVD/CD printers give you the ability of full color printing right onto the disc surface. The printers are not much different than the inkjet printers you use for printing paper and some of them are actually paper printers modified to print on CDs and DVDs. Like paper printers, DVD/CD printers come in many models offering different features and capabilities. Lower end printers typically have lower resolution in terms of dpi. DPI stands for dots per inch and the more dpi the better the quality, since it gives you crisper and more detailed prints on your CDs and DVDs.
Another important feature a DVD/CD printer might have is being auto loader ready. Auto loader ready means it can be configured to work with a robotic auto loading arm, allowing you to automatically print CDs or DVDs hands free. The benefit is the ability to print many discs without the cost of time and labor. The speed of inkjet DVD/CD printers also varies, with the average being around 30 seconds per disc which is another good reason one might want an autoloader ready printer.
The brands of inkjet CD and DVD printers available on our site include Primera, Epson, Rimage, Microboards, TEAC and R-Quest. The CD and DVD media used for inkjet printers has a special porous surface, which allows the ink to absorb onto the disc. The two choices for printable media are white or silver matte. See printable CD and printable DVD media.
Thermal DVD/CD Printer
Thermal DVD/CD printers generally give you one to four color printing but do not give you the capability of achieving any kind of bleed. Thermal printers are limited to simple line drawings, logos, and text. The advantage of thermal DVD / CD printers is that you get nice looking prints right onto any blank silver CDR surface. Another advantage is the speed of printing. Most thermal printers can print a CD or DVD in only 5 seconds. Some thermal printers are also autoloader ready allowing you to print more discs in less time without a lot of labor.
We carry brand name thermal DVD and CD printers from Rimage and TEAC. Most standard blank CDRs are thermal printable but there are some that are made specifically for thermal printing which often yield better results. See printable CD and DVD media.
Everest DVD/CD Printer
The Everest DVD/CD Printer by Rimage is also considered a thermal printer but its capabilities are unmatched by any other thermal DVD or CD printers on the market. It features full color photo realistic images that are higher quality than even the best inkjet printer on the market. The clear advantage to using an Everest DVD / CD printer is the high quality prints that you cannot get elsewhere. The Everest is also autoloader ready, allowing for hands free operation.
Everest Printers require a special Everest compatible CDR or DVD R for printing and will not print successfully on standard blank, inkjet or thermal CDs or DVDs. See Everest printable CDs and Everest printable DVDs.
Teac P55 Dye-Sublimation Printer
When is a thermal printed disc not a thermal printed disc? When it's done on Teac's revolutionary P55 Thermal Printer, of course. This amazing machine is capable of 400dpi, full color prints using a process called dye-sublimation, in which a solid dye is vaporized into a gas and then cooled to a liquid which is applied to the disc. The gaseous output of these printers is far superior to inks in terms of color consistency and flesh tones, providing the most photo-realistic printing available. The P55 is actually four printers in one: it can be loaded with a black ribbon, a color ribbon, a photo ribbon that uses the dye-sublimation process, and a Versamax ribbon that allows for printing on virtually ANY disc surface, including non-thermal media. These options make it one of the most versatile printers on the market today. Combined with an autoloading platform from Teac, the P55 printer is the way to go for professional, high quality results.