Falcon Media SmartGuard versus JVC (Taiyo Yuden) Watershield- we test it.


In today market it’s really important to create and produce a products that stands out from the crowd, but; this isn’t just concerning the content you create. The presentation of your product will make the difference between whether someone picks it up, or leaves it on the shelf, or perceives it as a premium product or a value product.


When producing CD and DVD product it can be quite easy to create the right lasting impression thanks to glossy water resistant discs like WaterShield and SmartGuard. These discs work with all the inkjet disc printers available from CD-writer.com and allow your artwork to be presented in the best possible way.

Standard inkjet printable discs can be prone to bleeding and smudging, specifically when they come into contact with atmospheric moisture or water (think rain and tears – both known to accompany many a tune). But thanks to the unique coating on water resistance discs you can produce discs at home that look better than than those that can be produced in a replication facility.

There are several variations on the market but we decided to test 2 of the most popular.

JVC (Taiyo Yuden) WaterShield

The best known of the water resistant inkjet discs, water shield comes from the most highly regarded disc manufacturer in the industry. The watershield discs have a very consistent and uniform print surface. With default setup we encountered no ink pooling or bleeding. Additionally it should be noted that ink usage with watershield discs is lower due to the less permeable nature of the print surface. Full face printed discs look stunning and water resistance is just as expected. The main negative point with watershield is the difficulty in achieving a true black finish in large areas. Blacks printed on WaterShield appear grey, brown or purple (but only once your attention is drawn to it) Black is a very relative colour and open to interpretation by the individual. It should be noted that glossy watershield discs are the most expensive DVD-R discs we sell, so make sure you factor the high price into your margins.

Falcon Media Smart Guard

Traditionally at CD-writer.com we are Taiyo Yuden people – we like to stick with what we know and we know that Taiyo Yuden (JVC) are great performing discs. But, we were intrigued to see how Falcon Media’s Smart Guard glossy water resistance discs would compare. The look and feel of the Smart Guard is of a quality disc that you expect to print well, and it doesn’t disappoint. We tested it on both Primera and MicroBoards disc printers and found it to perform exceptionally. Solid colour fills were flat and text was sharp. The gloss finish was fantastic and most interestingly the performance of the black ink beat the Taiyo Yuden discs hands down. On the Smart Guard disc the black certainly does look blacker (please see out test images below). Both discs performed similarly in our ‘Under the tap test’. Furthermore it should be noted that Smart Guard CD-R and Smart Guard DVD-R cost significantly less that the equivalent discs from JVC (Taiyo Yuden).


The bottom line : Anyone looking for water resistant and glossy prints should consider Falcon SmartGuard. You will save some money and your blacks will print better.

See this PDF which will explain more about the SmartGuard Water Resistant Media

Here’s a link to our glossy / water resistant CD-R
Here’s a link to our glossy / water resistant DVD-R


To find out more about the options for CD and DVD media water resistant, inkjet printable or otherwise, please call 020 8293 0777. 




Happy 30th Anniversary CD’s

The great “CD” we all know what it is and we’ve all used it, but what is the actual value of having a CD (in your hands), just the way the manufacturer sold it?  Since 1974 Philips audio industry had been working on the developing and manufacturing CD’s and CD player, but in 1977 they established a research lab to facilitate there needs. Philips decided on naming this new product the “Compact Disc” in succession of there most recent release the  “Compact Cassette“. At the same time, Sony had also been working on developing there own type of CD revealing its first efforts in 1976. In 1982 Sony and Philips partnered up for the release of there new 12cm disc, with the Sony CDP-101 and  Billy Joel’s sixth studio album, 52nd Street, in a CD format.

Can you remember when you had to go to your local record store or wait for a song to come out on the radio just to listen to a song?  Since 1977 until now, there has been products that have come and gone like the audio cassettes, Mini Disc and now the CD. Sales in the UK last year have reported a fall by 13%, while sales for Vinyl albums have increase from 2.8 million records to 3.9 million. Other newer video formats such as DVD and Blu-ray use the same physical geometry as CD, and video players can usually play audio CDs as well. By the early 2000’s, the CD largely replaced the audio cassette player as standard equipment in new auto mobiles with 2010 being the final model for any car in the UK to have a factory-equipped cassette player. So could the CD still have a bright future?

 At first, MP3’s were burned from CDs onto computers, traded on peer-to-peer networks such as Napster and the Internet’s back alleys. Then Apple released the iPod, and its iTunes store turned digital music files into a legitimate business. Now popular services like Spotify and Pandora let users stream music from anywhere, and Amazon and Apple are encouraging people to store their digital libraries in the cloud. Like CDs before them, this new format is changing both the creation and consumption of music. Listeners have more flexibility than ever, with unlimited mix-and-match options. And increasingly, they’re opting to download single songs over albums.

Is this the future?....

With the quality being the same (or better) on a non physical format then a CD, could we be entering a new era where compact discs (CD’s) are known as just a thing of the past? But it goes without saying that the CD helped bring the music industry into the modern digital era. But inspite of all that, I believe that the CD will always have its place in the office and in our homes.

If your looking on buying a CD or DVD please visit our website for a wide range selection of CD’s and DVD’s.

For more information, please visit the following pages:




In memory of some of the GREATEST Artist of our time – CD Art against Piracy

Artists Mirco Pagano and Moreno De Turco have created some of are idle’s out of there own CDs, with the help of a multi-national advertisement company called TBWA. It was done for a campaign called PIRACY.

This campaign was against music piracy to try and stop all of the FAKE copies being sold world wide thanks to the internet. Can you remember the time when you had to go out and purchase you favourite artist just to listen to that song that was in your head? But nowadays its all there with just a click of some buttons. It took artists Mirco Pagano, 29, and Moreno De Turco, 25, 200 hours, for each individual sculptures, and 6,500 CDs to create pictures of Bob Marley, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, James Brown, and the great Freddie Mercury.


The great Michael Jackson
Elvis Presley represented as a CD mosaics



For more information please visit the following pages:


Melody Maker




Find out more here


Jimi Hendrix

New Lower Priced Hard Drive Option on StorDigital Duplicators – up to 2TB

StorDigital Systems have just slashed prices on all the hard drives fitted to their full range of Blu-Ray, DVD and CD duplicators.

You can now save a digital copy of your Blu-Ray, DVD or CD disc to the duplicator for instant recall whenever you need, at a fraction of the cost!!

Drives up to 2TB capacity are available now, contact us for more information and other exclusive offers.

You can see the range on StorDigital Tower Duplicators with optional Hard drives here

Congratulations, Over 11’000 StorDigital duplicators sold!!

Congratulations to the team at CD-writer.com Ltd who have passed the 11’000 installed units of StorDigital duplicators. We caught up with managing director Nic Ranshaw, who had this to say;

“When I set up CD-writer.com in 1998 I hadn’t even conceived the StorDigital brand. By 2004 we started assembling our own label product and by 2006 we were averaging output at around 6 units per day. Since then the market has matured and the margins have been eroded, but I am still very happy to have passed the 11’000 installed units mark. A great many of our systems go to repeat customers who recognise that the service and functionality from a StorDigital Duplicator surpasses that of the competition. We not only use the best components available but we are widely considered to offer the highest level of support. I and both proud of and gratefull to the CD-writer.com team who have helped deliver the best day in and day out over the years”

The range of duplicators available from StorDigital include tower systems and automated units, for CD, DVD, Blu-Ray and flash media products. The best selling tower duplicator range comes in both premium and pro configurations, allowing for high speed professional duplication and a range of enhanced functions like copy protection, lightscribe printing and network connectivity.

See the range of StorDigital Tower duplicators here.

Can I have 50 FREE Blu-Ray Discs Nic? Yes you can!

For a very limited time and while stock last we are offering 50 units of 4X 25Gb Falcon Inkjet Printable BD-R with every EPSON 50 Disc Blu-Ray publisher sold. Hurray I hear you cry, well for sure it is good news, in fact it’s great news… call us to find out more about the range of Epson Disc Producers, request a sample disc or book a demo. See the deal FREE Blu-Ray here . Hurray for CD-writer.com !!

FREE! Upgrade to a Copy and Print LightScribe Duplicator for CDs and DVDs

For a limited period, or while stocks last we are offering customers the chance to buy a fully enabled copy and print LightScribe Duplicator for CD and DVD and same price as our standard Premium duplicator model. That’s right, you can save over £60 and get receive the print function on your machine for no extra charge. Even if you don’t need to print discs at this time, you never know when you will. It’s a great time to invest in a new tower duplicator for making professional CDs and DVD.

Heres the 7 target Duplicator with LightScribe

Here is the 11 target Duplicator with LightScribe

3D Printing with the UPJet Printer from PRNT3D

The new 3D printer, the PRNT3D UPJet from StorDigital is based on the best selling UP! 3D Printer. The UPJet features an improved design offering; a more powerfull filament feeder, improved material base plate (meaning less warping), standard USB (rather than mini), modified perfboard mounting, perf board cleaning method and more. In addition the UPJet requires no assembly and works straight out of the box.

The PRNT3D UPJet offers a number of advancements over the original unit the UPJet is designed to work straight out of the box with no assembly required and supported by software for both PC and MAC. All you need to do is calibrate the printhead height and you are ready to start printing.

The UPJet can produce 3D parts in sizes up to 5 inches cubed, with out put accurate to within .2mm. Using industrial quality 1.75mm ABS you objects will be solid and durable. You can either design your own objects or download from a range of websites. Try Google Sketch-Up.

The PRNT3D UPJet 3D Printer includes all the software you need to ensure you create the best prints from your STL files allowing you to scale and position to ensure the best quality and economy from each print . The options in the software give you absolute control of the build density and support materials, ensuring your print is as fine or as fast as you require.

Here is some information about the standard UP! printer

3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology where a three dimensional object is created by successive layers of material. 3D printers are generally faster, more affordable and easier to use than other additive manufacturing technologies.

The UP! 3D Printer uses a nozzle to deposit molten polymer onto a support structure, layer by layer, similar with FDM.
The toughness of ABS model equals to 30% of injection parts, which can be served as end-use parts directly. And its best accuracy of 0.2 mm enables models produced by the UP 3D printer can be used as assembled parts. A good example is some parts in the UP 3D printer are produced by the printer itself.

Because of its small size and lightness, the UP! 3D printer can be packed in a common suitcase. Everyone is able to carry it easily. Also, after loading the digital model, the UP! 3D printer can work independently without computer.
Automatic support generation. No training or previous expertise required. Anyone can operate it as easily as a common paper printer. Just load the UP! software on your computer and the printer start printing. With automated material loading device, the model build process requires nothing from you.
Neither does it require special power and other devices required. The UP! 3D printer is quiet, safe, odor free and requires no cleanup after each build. The small footprint leaves more spare space for your creativity.

Users may also enjoy the magical additive process of how a digital model be transferred to a solid one. Also, if any design problems, they can be found and corrected instantly, so as to cut weeks off your design cycle.

The UP! software simplifies all steps in 3D printing process, helping you print 3D model conveniently. Just integrate all steps of 3D print. Load STL and press “Print”, you will get a solid model after a few hours. Its the simplest 3d print software. Everyone can use it in several minutes since it’s extremely user-friendly. Mouse operation and big icon toolbar control all functions.
Also, it’s an error-tolerant slicing Algorithm, most STL errors do not need repair.

With the UP! Printer, you can build many different items, some of them are just for fun, others are really helpful.
Not only can you create toys or art using it, but it’s also possible to realise helpful items for education, medicine or architecture.
With 3D printing, students can get more interested in learning and understanding topics like geometrics because they can print them themselves and don’t just see it on the paper, but in reality.

Physichians can rebuild bones and organs in order to get familiar with the patient’s situation and release their nervous feeling when the actual operation starts.
Architects are more likely to work independently. With their creative thoughts, they can produce lots of great works. Amateur architects and artists will also enjoy their own creation.

You’re interested in buying an UP! Printer now? No problem, you can easily buy it online here.
If you’re not sure yet, you might be interested in reports about unpacking, assembling and testing the UP! Printer.

Obviously, you also need material to print with. Best for this is ABS, which you can buy on ebay on PRNT3D.com or on the CD-writer.com shop. Or on amazon here.

MicroBoards Duplicators, Printers and Publishers – Lower prices for summer!!!

Microboards Technology was founded in Japan many years ago. The company grew fast thanks to an rapidly growing market and a range of products that ticked the boxes for people looking to start producing their own CD products. The range quickly grew to support DVD product and more latterly Blu-Ray and Flash media devices like SD card duplicators.

But MicroBoards didn’t become this successful by accident. Their customers appreciate their strong and well built machines as well as the low costs of the inks used for the printers. Another characteristic of MicroBoards products is their very fast output.

Since the company offers items for every level of production, it’s very attractive not only for companies, but also for private individuals and home users to invest in a MicroBoards duplication system. So no matter if you’re a garage band and want to spread your music or a big marketing company – MicroBoards has the right product for you!
They offer a wide range of CD publishers and printers, such as the Print Factory 3 Printer or the G3 Disc Publisher.

At CD-writer.com we have enjoyed a long relationship with MicroBoards and have always been very pleased with the quality of their products and the professionalism of their service. But we don’t just sell Microboards products, we use them too. Presently we run a compliment of Print Factory 2 printers that have lasted for around 8 years, and a PrinfFactory Pro printer that we have been using every day for around 3 years. The difference between MicroBoards and comparative units, is the build quality. When you open up a PrintFactory Pro you can see that the device is made to last, with durable components and clever design.

Don’t forget that the prices on a wide range of MicroBoards products have been slashed for the summer so now is the time to buy. So, if you are looking to upgrade your exiting production facility, or start producing your own discs then be sure to talk to us about how Microboards Technology might work for you. Call us on 0208 293 0777 to make an arrangement for a demo. See the full range of MicroBoards Products here