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Primera Bravo Print Costs

How much does it cost to print a disc?

It's one of the most frequent questions we hear when talking to our customers about inkjet disc printers and publishers. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most difficult to answer. Luckily, our friends at Primera have helped to provide some answers.

Inkjet print costs can vary greatly, depending on the printer you use, your quality settings and artwork. Pinning down an exact cost for your disc printing project is pretty much impossible, but there are a couple of basic, common sense rules to keep in mind.
  • Using a lower quality settling results in lower ink costs.
  • Some artwork does not require the highest quality settings, allowing you to save ink.
  • Text costs less to print than graphics.
  • Partial-coverage costs less than full-coverage.
  • Light colors tend to cost less than dark colors. The exception: black text - it's the cheapest print you can do!
To help illustrate how different artwork results in different print costs, Primera has provided the following examples that compare the estimated ink costs for its Bravo SE printers and publishers to its Bravo 4100 Series printers and publishers.

Sample ArtworkEstimated Ink Cost per Disc
  • Bravo SE: $0.12
  • Bravo 4100: $0.08
  • Bravo SE: $0.15
  • Bravo 4100: $0.09
  • Bravo SE: $0.26
  • Bravo 4100: $0.09
  • Bravo SE: $0.27
  • Bravo 4100: $0.19
  • Bravo SE: $0.40
  • Bravo 4100: $0.32
  • Bravo SE: $0.53
  • Bravo 4100: $0.30

Why does it cost so much less to print with the Bravo 4100 Series?
The Bravo 4100 Series publishers and printers use four ink cartridges: cyan, magenta, yellow and black, as opposed to older or smaller models, that only use one or two cartridges. Some people think that using more cartridges means they'll have to spend more money, but this is actually a money-saving feature.

Printers that use only one cartridge, like the Bravo SE, have cyan, magenta and yellow ink all in one cartridge. Because there is no separate cartridge for black ink, the printer has to use the three colors it has to produce black. This is called "process black" and it results in higher ink usage, and thus, higher print costs. Additionally, if you have a project that is heavy on a single color, like yellow (see the third example above), you will use up all the yellow ink before you use all the cyan and magenta ink. As soon as you exhaust one color from the cartridge, you have to replace it, wasting any remaining ink.

In short, separate ink cartridges save you money by wasting less ink and allowing you to replace only the colors you use. If you don't use much cyan, you don't have to replace it.

So which publisher should I buy, the Bravo SE or a Bravo 4100 Series?
If only it were that simple! It really depends on your disc production needs. The Bravo 4100-Series does feature lower ink costs, as well as amazingly fast print speeds and up to 100 disc capacity, but it also features a higher price tag for the initial purchase. For some of our customers who deal primarily in short-run projects and don't require a large number of printed discs every week, the low price of the Bravo SE makes it a better choice, in spite of its slower printing and higher cost of consumables.

Even when you do decide to go with the Bravo 4100 Series, you still have to choose which model will work best for you.

Do you need discs in a hurry? Go with the Bravo 4100 AutoPrinter. It has 100-disc capacity, and it's print-only with no drives. It's perfect for side-by-side use with tower-style disc duplicators. It's not a fully automated disc publishing solution, but the combination of the printer and tower can quickly produce finished discs.

Do you need a fully automated solution? The Bravo 4051 Disc Publisher is the entry-level publisher in the 4100 Series, featuring 50-disc capacity with one recording drive. If you need greater capacity for lights-out operation, the next step up is the Bravo 4101 Disc Publisher. It has 100-disc capacity with one recording drive. The Bravo 4102 Disc Publisher offers the same 100-disc capacity, but its second burner drive will get through your project in almost half the time of the 4101.

Have more questions? Ready to order? Click here to go to our Primera Bravo page to select your model and place your order online, or call 1-800-944-4237 and select option 2 to speak to Media Supply's Primera Bravo experts.

Interested in upgrading your old Primera system at a bargain price? Click here to find out if you qualify for a special discount program.