Frequently Asked Questions



General Questions

Who is WTSmedia?

WTSmedia is a family owned and operated CD and DVD manufacturer and distributor based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

What business are you in?

WTSmedia serves our customers through two divisions: Distribution - where we sell blank media, equipment, and the accessories needed by organizations to record, duplicate, print, and package their messages and programs. Find us on the web @ www.WTSmedia.com.

The second division is manufacturing: where we replicate and duplicate CDs and DVDs. This includes injection molding discs, professional disc printing, graphic design, printing inserts or sleeves for CDs and DVDs, automated packaging services, and full distribution services – all under one roof. Find us on the web @ www.WTSduplication.com.

How long have you been in business?

WTSmedia was founded on December 28, 1977 as Wholesale Tape & Supply Company by Tom and Diane Salley.

Who runs WTSmedia now?

Diane Salley Frady is the CEO and Michael Salley is the company president.

Where are you located?

WTSmedia is located at 2841 Hickory Valley Road, in Chattanooga, TN. We have been in this location since 1991. All of our manufacturing and distribution is contained within our 40,000 square foot facility. Google map

Do you make your own discs or are you a middle man?

We make our own discs. We are a full service manufacturing plant with both CD and DVD injection molding machines. Additionally, we have offset (want to see it?) and silkscreen printers along with multiple automated packaging lines for both CD and DVDs. We also have a full in-house press division that prints and finishes all of our CD and DVD cardboard sleeves, CD and DVD inserts, tray cards, and booklets.

Are you licensed to produce CDs and DVDs?

Yes, we are a fully licensed CD and DVD Manufacturing facility by Philips, MPEG-LA, and DVD6C.

How can I contact you?

Mail: 2841 Hickory Valley Road Chattanooga, TN 37421 Phone: 1-888-987-6334 Fax: 1-800-591-4809 Internet: www.WTSmedia.com E-mail: sales@wtsmedia.com sales@wtsmedia.com

What are your operating hours?

Our sales and customer service is open from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM EST. Our manufacturing and production departments work up to seven days a week, 24 hours a day, based on work flow.

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Ordering

Why won’t you replicate my explicit lyrics CD?

WTSmedia will only manufacture content that is family friendly. We are a family owned company and we choose not to make copies of materials with any explicit lyrics or adult themes. We feel God has blessed our business, and we strive to honor Him in all we do.

What packaging options do you have for CDs and DVDs?

We offer over 100 CD and DVD packaging solutions. From classic jewel cases and DVD boxes to the modern eco-friendly cardboard sleeves and cardboard wallets. If you can imagine it, we can probably create it. If you have seen a sample CD or DVD package somewhere else, we will most likely have it available as well. Our most popular packaging options are found on our website, but if don’t find what you are looking for, simply call one of our Duplication Specialists to discuss exactly what you need.

Do you offer barcodes for my project?

Yes, we can provide you with your own unique UPC barcode. When we print your project, we will provide you a complimentary barcode per project. If you choose to provide your own artwork, we can provide a barcode to you for a nominal charge – call for details.

Do I need a barcode?

Some retailers require you to have a barcode to sell your discs at their retail store. If you are not going to sell your discs through a third party and do not use barcodes for inventory control you do not need one.

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Graphics and Artwork Questions

What graphic design services do you have?

We have a fully staffed design department that can make your project stand out. From concept to final approval, our designers will take your ideas and provide a professional piece to your exact specifications. Our specialty is CD and DVD disc art as well as artwork for all CD/DVD packaging, including printed cardboard sleeves, DVD wraps, Jewel case inserts, and tray cards. However, we can design any print materials you need including business cards, sale sheets, postcards, catalogs, flyers and posters.

What graphics design software do you use?

We use the Adobe suite CS3, CS4, and CS5 which includes InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat and Fireworks.

How much does your graphic design service cost?

If you are providing the artwork according to our specs and we are simply doing minor corrections, the service is free (up to 30 minutes). Additionally, we provide free disc face design for print only orders (up to 30 minutes). If you require graphic design beyond this, the cost starts at $99 for a professional design project.

What art files do you need from me?

We prefer high resolution, press ready PDF files with layers intact (not flattened). We can also work with design files made in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign. Minimum resolution of 300 dots per inch (dpi). For detailed artwork specs, click here: http://www.wtsduplication.com/pdf/documentation/artwork_specs.pdf

What if I don’t have any artwork to supply?

Simply provide us with your ideas, pictures, and any important text. We have an extensive collection of backgrounds and objects we can mix and match to meet your needs. All you need is a vision in your mind, communicate that vision to us, and we will turn it into professional art for you.

How do I get the artwork to you?

The most common method is sending it to us through our upload portal located Here, www.wtsduplication.com/upload

How will I know if the finished product will look like I want it to?

You will be given a free electronic PDF proof of the finished design that must be approved before we go ahead with production. If you decide some things need to be changed, we make those changes and send another proof for your approval.

If WTSmedia designs the custom graphic design work for me, who owns it?

WTSmedia retains ownership of the finished design files, but we will be happy to return any supplied pictures or artwork. Additionally, we reserve the right to use any work for our own promotional purposes. If you would prefer your artwork not to be used in future WTS promotional materials, please simply write to us at WTSmedia, ATTN: Marketing Dept., 2841 Hickory Valley Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37421 or email: dcross@wtsmedia.com

Do you have any graphic design examples I can look at?

We have a large gallery of projects we have completed for customers and hundreds of background images and objects for you to browse through – please click here: www.wtsmedia.com/ppdGallery

What if I have changes to my design after I approve it?

Once you have approved your PDF proof, it goes immediately into production. Depending on how quickly you contact us regarding your changes, we will gladly stop it and make the necessary changes. However, you will be responsible for any costs incurred prior to stopping the order. Additionally, the time line will start over once you approve the new PDF proof with the changes. Please be sure to look over the PDF proof very carefully prior to approval.

When you send me the PDF proof will the CD or DVD look like my computer screen?

There are normally some differences from computer screen to screen, so the colors will most likely not turn out exactly like your screen. Additionally, computer screen displays color in RGB (red, green, blue). CDs and DVDs are printed either offset using CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) or silkscreen using PMS (Pantone matching system or spot colors). So the printed CDs or DVDs will not look exactly like your computer screen. The PDF proof will be accurate regarding text and placement, but will only be close to the exact colors of the final discs. If you need an actual press copy prior to full production, simply contact your WTSmedia representative for details.

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Will my CD or DVD printing look exactly alike on each disc?

Our stringent quality control procedures ensure your discs will be printed correctly from the first disc to the last. However, over the course of a print run there may be some slight variations. These variations are caused in part by atmospheric conditions or slight variations in ink. We try very hard to minimize any output variations, but small variations may occur and are considered acceptable in the printing industry.

What does full color mean?

Full color means printing in the four printing colors: CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). Full color is the standard printing method for items printed on paper stock. It is also the standard for offset printing CDs and DVDs. Full color is also referred to as 4 color process.

Can you use my artwork if it is RGB?

We cannot print with RGB colors. Due to the color variance when going from RGB to CMYK we ask you to submit art as CMYK. If your artwork is currently in RGB you can open the artwork in a graphics program that allows you to convert the artwork to CMYK (such as Photoshop) and convert it. The reason we ask you to do it is because, on some occasions the colors can change several shades during the conversion and you need to know if you are happy with the CMYK colors or if some adjustments need to be made.

Are gradients hard to print?

Gradients will reproduce well in offset printing and digital printing. Gradients do not work as well when using silkscreen printing. CD and DVD silkscreen printing will produce reasonably good results with gradients between 20% and 80%. Gradients below 20% usually don’t show up very well while gradients above 80% tend to fill-in completely like solid colors. We recommend your artwork with gradients either be offset or digital printed or setup with gradients between 20% and 80% for silkscreen.

How is silkscreen printing different from offset printing?

In silkscreen printing ink is forced through a tight mesh screen with an image of the artwork on it. The discs are passed from one station to the next where a different color and different part of the disc are applied. Each new color used requires its own screen. Offset printing is a process of transferring the ink from an inkwell to a rubber transfer blanket and then to the disc. (Want to see it?)

Both are good printing methods with their respective strong points. Silkscreen printing puts more ink onto the optical media. This large volume of ink produces bright vibrant images, but the fine mesh of the screen can obscure minor artwork details and gradients. Offset printing is very good at producing high resolution images that show fine details like a photograph, but the printing method applies less ink than silkscreen, so the image tends to be less vibrant. If you are not sure which print method is best for your application, feel free to submit your artwork to a WTSmedia representative for a free evaluation.

When is silkscreen printing best?

Silkscreen should be used when using solid or vibrant colors. Silkscreen is also best when you have multiple PMS colors.

When is offset printing best?

Offset printing is best when you have very detailed or full color images. Additionally photographs and gradients will show up best using offset printing. (Want to see it?)

What is a bleed?

The bleed area is the portion of the graphics that will run off the edges of the print area on the disc. It is important to bleed or extend your artwork past where it would normally stop to make sure it prints beyond the white flood coat under the image.

Do I need to have bleed on my insert or sleeve art?

Yes, the bleed area is important for all custom printed pieces. We have templates for all our packaging print surfaces that shows the bleed area which is typically 1/8” from each edge.

How many colors can I print on my CD or DVD?

The number of colors to use will depend on the print method selected. Offset printing allows a full range of high resolution colors using CMYK + two additional PMS colors. Digital printing offers lower resolution full color using CMYK but does not allow PMS colors. Silkscreen printing allows up to 6 distinct PMS colors.

Does it matter if I use a white flood?

Unless the disc graphics were specifically designed to be printed on a silver disc then a white base coat or “white flood” underneath your art is important. Colors printed on top of a white base coat will look different than a color printed on a silver base. Additionally, the middle ring of the disc will give a substantially different look without the white base coat.

How small can my letters be?

As a general rule 6 point is the smallest font size that prints clearly. This is only a general rule due to the thousands of fonts available. Some fonts will be clearly legible at 4 point while some will be too small at 8 point. However, if you are in doubt, it is best to make it larger.

How thick do my lines have to be?

For Silk screen and Thermal printing the minimum thickness is .75 point. Offset and Digital can be slightly smaller at .50 point.

Can I use specialty inks like metallic, fluorescent, and hexachrome?

Yes, we offer specialty inks. The looks you get from these inks can be stunning, but due to the short shelf life of fluorescent and hexachrome we do not normally stock them. Using specialty inks may incure additional charges and turn time.

I’m really lost here, how do I get started?

We are here to help. Give us a call at 1-800-591-4812 to talk to one of our CD/DVD specialists. They will walk you through the process step by step to make sure you are comfortable, and answer any questions you may have. With so many options, a new project may seem overwhelming at first, but we are the experts at CD and DVD manufacturing and we are here to help you.

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Technical Questions and Quality Control

How are replication and duplication different?

Duplicated CDs or DVDs are also called burned discs. In discs made for duplication there is a specially formulated organic dye layer. This layer is literally burned by a laser to etch the information (videos, music, software, etc) onto the disc.

Replicated CDs or DVDs are manufactured with the information stamped into the plastic. The first step in making a replicated disc is to create a stamper. The information from the master disc is used to create a mirror glass master. From this glass master, a metal stamper is made from which all Replicated CDs and DVDs are pressed.

The stamper is placed in an injection molding machine and molten plastic is injected into a mold and pressed under great pressure onto the metal stamper.

How do Replicated DVDs and CDs compare to Duplicated DVDs and CDs?

The replicated discs and duplicated discs will essentially hold the same amount of information. They are the exact same size physically but the most noticeable difference is duplicated discs will normally have a purple, green or yellow tint on the bottom of the disc from the dye layer, whereas a replicated disc is silver on the bottom or on rare occasions gold.

Another difference to consider is the quality variation. Due to our stringent quality controls procedures, we guarantee all WTSmedia replicated discs will play in all players. However, with duplicated discs that is not always the case. Not all players will play back duplicated CDs or DVDs, regardless of the quality of media you choose. Furthermore, if you burn a low quality disc there is a good chance it will not be readable by all disc players. This is due to several factors. Most commonly the dye used in cheap discs doesn’t burn crisp and disc players cannot accurately decode the information. Also poor quality discs can be “out of round” or have the center hole not in the center. This causes the disc to “wobble” as it spins. Because of this wobble some disc players cannot track the information and play it back properly.

To lessen the chance of having a duplicated disc that won’t play in all players always use high quality discs.

Is it better to replicate CDs and DVDs or duplicate CDs and DVDs?

It depends on the quantity and turn time needed. For a quantity less than 500 pieces or a job that needs to be turned very quickly, duplication may be the best option. There are some up front expenses that must be made for replication, but once the glass master and stampers are in place, it is typically cheaper to replicate than to duplicate blank CDs and DVDs. The rule of thumb we often use is if you have fewer than 500 discs to produce or need them completed in less than 5 work days, then we will duplicate the order.

What is a DDP, DLT, or ISO file?

A DDP file (or Disk Description Protocol) is the preferred format to submit DVDs for replication. An ISO image is an Archive file (also known as a Disc Image). Using DDP or ISO files means that you can send WTSmedia your masters through the internet using our File Upload System rather than a physical disc. This saves you both Time and Money! Plus you do not have to worry about your mastering being scratched or damaged in the mail.

DLT (or Digital Linear Tape) is magnetic tape data storage for large DVD files. Replication facilities such as WTSmedia use DLT as it is highly reliable for creating glass masters for disc replication. DLT also allows you to add CSS encryption, ACP and Macrovision Ripguard.

Which file type is best if I have a CD or DVD Master that I wish to upload to WTSmedia using the internet and your file upload system?

  • AUDIO CD: DDP
  • CD-ROM: DDP OR ISO
  • DVD-ROM: DDP OR ISO
  • DVD VIDEO: DDP
  • DVD 9: DDP

Can I still Mail in my masters and what may I send?

YES. You may send a physical disc master of your CD or DVD (a previous replicated or duplicated copy will serve for this purpose as well).
In addition, for DVDs you may also send us your master on DLT (Digital Linear Tape).

Please call us before sending us your information so that we can handle your material promptly.
Send To: WTSmedia
2841 Hickory Valley Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421
Phone: 1-888-987-6334
Fax: 1-800-591-4809

What kinds of printing do you have?

We offer 4 types of printing. We have Offset, Silkscreen, Digital, and Thermal printing.

What is the difference in the 4 types of on-disc printing?

This is a basic guide to the strengths of each type of printing. We print millions of discs each year and our knowledgeable staff will guide you through which print method will work best for you.

Offset printing is the highest resolution printing available. It is a full color disc printing method. Offset printing is ideal for photo realistic and high-resolution reproduction. Most Hollywood releases use offset printing on their DVDs.

Silkscreen printing was long the industry standard when it came to disc printing. Silkscreen printing stands out when you have solid colors. Silkscreen is also best if you choose to use PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors.

Digital Printing is the newest printing technology available at WTSmedia. With digital printing you get full color printing that makes lighter colors vibrant and alive. Digital printing is great for printing bright animated or computer generated graphics or when you don’t require high resolution.

Thermal printing is the most basic type of printing and is only available for text and simple line art. It is also used to add a title or other relevant information to a full color pre-printed disc.

How do I make a good master disc?

Ensure the recording drive is clean and use high quality media. Our recommended brands are Taiyo Yuden or MAM-A. Avoid using cheap brands since they typically use a thinner dye layer that could result in recording errors. The burn speed should be set to approximately 25-40% of the drive’s maximum capability. For example, the optimum burn speed for masters on a 52x CD burner is 16x.

Burn the master disc using the DISC-AT-ONCE option, not the TRACK-AT-ONCE option. Additionally, be sure to CLOSE your disc session. This is probably the number 1 reason for copy failures and is very easy to fix. Once you have completed your project and are ready to eject it from the drive, the software will typically ask you if you want to “CLOSE THE SESSION” which means you cannot add anything else to the disc – you want to say YES. When mailing in your master please avoid using jewel cases as these types may break and scratch the disc surface during transit. Make sure the disk is NOT SCRATCHED since scratches could ruin the master. Lastly, it is best to send two master discs in case one has an error.

What is the track?

Audio CDs contain individual songs or performances. Each one of these is one track. On a data disc there is only one track.

What is a pit?

As simple as it sounds a pit is the spot on a CD or DVD that is not flat. The pit is also called a bump. There is no difference between a pit and a bump. The only difference is which side of the disc you are looking at. From the top it is a bump and from the bottom it is a pit.

What is a landing?

The landing is the flat spot between pits on a CD or DVD.

Why do DVDs and CDs have pits and landings?

These pits and landings are the binary language of the disc. The decoder in your disc player translates this language into forms we can understand, such as music and video.

What is a Glass Master?

Glass Mastering is the first stage needed to create a stamper from which a replicated disc will be pressed. A computer controlled laser etches the disc information onto the glass master in the form of pits and lands.

What is a Stamper?

The Stamper physically 'stamps' the pits and landings into the polycarbonate that is the basis of any optical media.

What is the Substrate?

A substrate is what the freshly molded disc is referred to before any metal or protective coating is added to the disc.

What is Metalizing?

Metalizing is the process where a thin coat of aluminum (on rare occasions gold) is added to the substrate. This metal layer allows the read laser from your disc player to bounce off the disc and be read. Without the metalized layer a disc would have the information embedded into the substrate but it would not play.

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Shipping and Returns

Where do you ship from?

Our plant is located in Chattanooga, TN. All of our manufacturing and shipping originates at this location. Google map

What shipping methods do you use?

Our primary shipping company is UPS. We also use FedEx, USPS, and many different LTL (truckline) shipping companies.

Can you send me notification when my order is shipped?

We have partnered with UPS to send daily automatic email notifications of your shipment information to the email address on file. This information will include the UPS tracking number, estimated time of arrival, and package count.

My package never arrived, what do I need to do?

Simply contact our customer service department at 1-800-591-4812, ext 257, or and we will take care of all the details for you.

How long will it take for my package to arrive once it is shipped?

It will depend on the delivery method chosen, and your distance from Chattanooga, TN 37421. For a map that shows the UPS Ground delivery time, click here: http://www.ups.com/maps/results and enter zip code: 37421 If you choose to ship via truckline or a different ship method, it could take more time to reach your location – contact your customer service representative for more details.

I need to return an item I purchased, what do I need to do to send it back?

An RMA must be obtained from our Customer Service department prior to shipping merchandise back to WTS. Please call 1-800-591-4812, ext 257. Returns must be in brand new condition in the original packaging. All materials such as instructions, Styrofoam inserts, plastic bags, and the original unfilled warranty card must be included for a full refund. Special order or custom printed items are non-refundable.

What is a RMA?

RMA stands for Return Merchandise Authorization. Our Customer Service Manager will issue the authorization after asking a few questions. The answers to these questions help us in our quality control efforts.

I just received my order and it was damaged in shipping, how can I get this corrected?

If your shipment is damaged by the freight carrier (UPS, FedEx, etc.) please call our Customer Service department at 1-800-591-4812, ext 257.

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We are a family oriented business. We do not manufacture CDs or DVDs containing
adult oriented content, foul language, hate, Anti-American, or anti-religious content.
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