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Printable DVDs - Crap and Beauty

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carlsunder
Printable DVDs - Crap and Beauty
on Mar 23, 2006 at 2:41:12 pm

Hey all, this looked like the best forum to post to regarding this issue.

I have a Primera Bravo II that I purchased about a year ago. When I purchased it, I was very happy with the results. Over time, I think the quality has degraded, but I haven't really noticed until now. I guess I noticed because I also purchased a $99 Epson to play with. I figured, "Hey, it's 99 bucks, it can't be NEAR the quality of my $1500 bravo!" Well, I was wrong.

The Epson looks BEAUTIFUL. The edges are crisp, shadows are smooth, and the colors are rich. My Bravo on the other hand, the black is just not very black. It almost looks like the Bravo just dumps ink, and doesn't even try to keep it nice like my Epson.

I've tried different DVD stock (Right now I use Verbatim), and that's no help. (In fact, the Verbatims look fine on my Epson.) I've messed with all of the settings for the Bravo, including updating the firmware and reinstalling the software. I've done the cleaning and alignment cycles many times. I've even removed the cartridges and manually cleaned them with rubbing alcohol. For the life of me, I can't get this to look near as nice as my Epson.

So.. Why on earth is the Primera stuff so much more expensive (and yes, I know the Bravo has robotics, but forget that and just take the Signature series. Those machines are the same thing as the epson, and just as expensive as the Bravo).

I called Primera yesterday to see what they had to say about this. Honestly, I was VERY dissapointed with their tech support. The tech, Josh, talked like a "california surfer dude" and could not offer any suggestions other than what I had done. When I posed the question "OK, explain to me why I should tell someone to buy your products vs. the Epson." His response? "Well, you know... Yea.... I really couldn't tell you on that one." That is a direct quote.

SO, I'm NOT impressed. So now I'm coming to you all for suggestions of how to make this bravo look better than my cheap Epson. Does anyone have any ideas of something I may not have tried??

Also, your thoughts on DVD brands would be appreciated as well. I've always been happy with longevity of Verbatim, so I'd like to hear what you all think.



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Katalex
Re: Printable DVDs - Crap and Beauty
on Mar 23, 2006 at 7:36:29 pm

using the same duplicator I have the same story to tell, unfortunately. The local distributor for Primera keeps claiming that there is nothing they can do for the better. The only advice they can give is changing the ink cartridges more regularly, because then you change the print heads as well.. This helps in some cases but makes my production costs go up offcourse.

I will be looking for a second unit shortly, but I am in doubt if it will be Primera. The robotics proved reliable though.

For DVD we always use the media from Taiyo Yuden and sometimes TDK Industrial grade. We never had any returns from the Tayio Yuden DVD`s, and we made copies +6.000 of them.
For CDR we use both TDK and Tayio Yuden, both are OK.

grz,
Jan

Katalex


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Printable DVDs - Crap and Beauty
on Mar 24, 2006 at 12:17:29 am

It's only going to get better for the Epson because Maxell is going to release true glossy coated media that will look as good as the best photo printing you have seen on an inkjet.

Aren't the Primera printers dye sub? Don't they require the dye sub type media surface? When i order there are two printable surfaces...one is just called "white printable" which is for dye sub and then there is "white inkjet printable" which is inkjet.

Are you ordering media that is dye sub if that is what your printer is? Or is the Primera an inkjet printer? If so, go with the Epson for the short runs. Don't be surprised if Epson releases a new automated DVD printer soon...

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media


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carlsunder
Re: Printable DVDs - Crap and Beauty
on Mar 24, 2006 at 3:34:08 pm

The Primera is an inkjet printer. It uses regular 'ol inkjet cartridges. The media we buy says inkjet printable DVD-R.

I tell ya, it's frustrating to hear that others have this same problem. But it's reassuring at the same time. At least I'm not alone.

But, this brings me to another question. When I first got this printer, it looked great. (At least I think it did... Maybe I'm just comparing it to the Epson now). I remember that the black looked BLACK and CRISP. I don't understand what has changed.

Grr...



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latkins
Re: Printable DVDs - Crap and Beauty
on Mar 30, 2006 at 7:46:04 pm

Jan,

Glad to see your post. The lackluster print quality aside, you say that the robotics have been reliable. If you were strictly evaluating the Bravo XR as a DVD duplicator, would you still recommend it? How's the ease of set-up, ease of use, the software interface, etc.? Is the output speed as promised? Does the device ever crash?

We're a medium-sized production company and we're trying to decide whether it's worth investing $2,295 (and the time getting it up and running) to be able to duplicate a thousand or so DVDs a year in-house, especially if the device is less than perfect. The print quality is less of a priority for us.

Thanks--

Leslie



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katalex
Re: Printable DVDs - Crap and Beauty
on Mar 31, 2006 at 7:03:08 am

Hi Leslie,
As a duplicator the Bravo Pro we have is very reliable. The duplication side of the machine has never crashed in the year we have the machine. The set-up is easy and the copy software (Sonic`s Prassi Primo) interface is very straightforward. We linked the Primera to one of our older computers that has only usb1. Even then output speed is fairly good (+ 10 full 4.7 Gb discs per hour).

Only recently we got several times a warning `it seems that multiple discs have been inserted in the print tray` while this was not the case. A robotics calibration tool provided by Primera solved this issue.

On the duplication side we only had 2 jobs where we had discs that were rejected. The first one was due to a scratch on the suface of the master DVD-disc. and the second one was because of bad media. So the Primera did a good job by rejecting in both cases. Using good media we never had any returns of DVDs not functioning properly.

as mentioned above the printing side of the Primera is a totally different matter. I think it would help a lot if there would be a more professionel label printing software that came with the machine. The color matching that is carried out by Primera also gives me nightmares, we just are busy with a job: 300 discs, only printing (company logo only)
The first 40 go well and then suddenly the color turns red, while the info says that the color cartridge can still print 600 copies of the last disc before running out... aarrgh

So for duplication it`s a good buy, and the first 9 months the printing also was OK..
hope this helps,



Jan


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TKG Media Lab
Re: Printable DVDs - Crap and Beauty
on Apr 22, 2006 at 5:01:07 am

I have to say that our experience isn't too far off with yours. We've had our Bravo II for about a year + now. At times, it has been great to have! However, the ink has definitely gone to more reddish than black. We've also sent it back twice because it seems to "lose it's place". Without going into too much detail, it seems that the sensors that determine where on the encoder track it is get mucked up. I can't imagine it has anything to do with all the ink that gets splattered on the inside from when the cartridge slams against the side.

Despite sending it back a few times, updating firmware, etc. they can't seem to get it to work right. At this point, whenever we have to print a disc we have to do some voodoo and shake a rubber chicken over it to get it to go. At least it is consistent now, but it is still a pain.

I have an epson too, for backup, but it's almost more hassle despite being SOOO much cheaper. It's slower, it is more complicated to setup and calibrate, and you can't do large quantities. I'd rather have something that just works.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Printable DVDs - Crap and Beauty
on Mar 24, 2006 at 7:59:03 am

I have an Epson R200 that I bought for $59. Its the greatest.


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