I have been burning DVD's on my G4 for awhile now with the Superdrive (Pioneer 16X Dual layer). But I am starting to get orders for more copies as my special event business grows, and I need something that can burn multiple copies at once.
I probably don't need much, and saw some Pioneer 16X DVD+-RW units (up to 4 copies at once) on ebay for about $450. That's with a 250 GB hard drive installed and 2 year warranty.
I guess what I'm asking is: Before spending thousands on high-end professional duplicators, what is the middle ground? Are the Pioneer units good? Are there particular models I should stay away from? Is a hard drive necessary?
The units with hard drives are standalone DVD duplication towers -- i.e. they don't require attachment to a computer. They are handy, but as you found out, fairly expensive. And, a 250gb hard drive, available nowadays for just $89, seems like overkill. I mean, do you really need to store the files for fifty DVDs??? Probably not, especially as any one DVD can be duplicated an infinite number of times.
I've been didling with the same questions mayself and have elected to simply install a second DVD burner in my PC, which, along with my MAC G5, gives me the ability to dupicate three DVDs at a time. When I get richer or when my clients need a lot more DVDs I'll spring for a standalone duplicator.