RIAA Publishes Final DualDisc Specifications

The RIAA published the final specifications relating to the new DualDisc format earlier today. All licensing and logo usage is controlled by the RIAA, with specifics available from their dedicated web site.

The license for record labels to produce DualDiscs comes in two forms; a trial license that is limited to two releases over the course of one year costs $100, whereas a license that covers an unlimited number of releases is available for $250 per licensee (affiliated label or label imprint per year), up to a maximum of USD $2,500 annually.

DualDisc Book

The new DualDisc book defines physical and content specifications, together with the use of the DualDisc logo, a trademark that currently applies to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, CTM (EU), Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, United States and Venezuela.

The new web site provides examples of the approved logo packaging placement(s), how to describe disc content by way of a mandatory ‘content grid’ and advice on how to word the standard compatibility disclaimer, which is also mandatory.

DualDisc carries the DVD logo and complies with DVD layer specifications. While the DualDisc CD audio side has been designed to play on almost all existing CD players, it does not technically meet the CD specification and accordingly, does not use the CD logo.

The DualDisc book states that: “DualDisc packages shall carry a disclaimer regarding the DualDisc’s playability and compliance with disc specifications.” It goes on to say that “Each individual licensee should consult its own counsel concerning the appropriate disclaimer language that should be included concerning the playability of DualDisc on all cD and DVD players. While all licensees are free to expand the disclaimer based on their own policies, legal analysis and disc manufacturing experience, at a minimum, the disclaimer should read: This disc may not play on some CD and DVD players.

The DualDisc book also lays out the minimum content requirements for DualDisc, they are:

CD Side

  • Redbook-compatible audio

DVD Side

  • Entire audio contents of the CD side in stereo/mono and/or surround sound versions at an audio quality no less than that of the CD side.
  • At a minimum, the audio shall be in the DVD-Video zone in LPCM stereo/mono (16-bit).

It’s important to note that the DualDisc specifications do not mandate any high-resolution audio or a dedicated stereo track (where surround is present).

The book continues to give various examples of how the audio content can differ from disc-to-disc.

The physical specification details the parameters within which discs shall be manufactured, and is clear to point out that the DVD content shall not be accessed through the CD content (ie. a dual-layer design) but rather on individual sides of the disc.

Overall DualDisc Dimensions:

  • Overall thickness and diameter dimensions of the DualDisc shall conform to the DVD Physical Specification, dated May 2004 or later (maximum thickness = 1.50mm).

DVD Media Side

  • The DVD media side of the 2-sided optical disc shall conform to the DVD Physical Specification dated May 2004 or later.
  • When manufacturing a thin DVD layer (minimum thickness = 0.550mm), jitter shall not exceed 7%.

CD Media Side

  • The CD media side of the DualDisc shall have a minimum thickness = 0.870mm.

The RIAA’s specifications detail the seven-step DualDisc certification process, which is design to ensure that product consistency and compatibility is attained across many different types of playback hardware. Discs are evaluated by AudioDev (in either the USA or Europe) before a certificate is issued. The web site hopes to list all certified manufacturers in due course, in fact a web site listing is a mandatory part of the certification process.