Most of the high end systems that are integrated don’t have an inkjet option. By high end I’m not speaking of high volume. The people that require networked disc production that is then integrated into a larger workflow (anything from PACS to order fulfillment) basically are left with Rimage or Microtech. Rimage only has thermal printers on the high end, Microtech has a mixture â€“ but defiantly pushes thermal.
Inkjet can be cheaper and mathematically does have a higher resolution - don’t take that at face value. In order to make a disc basically permeate you’d need to use a Watershield (or similar) disc with inkjet driving up the cost. Even then, itâ€™s not as permeate as thermal retransfer. I’ve yet to find an inkjet combination that is as close to silkscreen or off-set printing as thermal retransfer in terms of quality. Keep in mind, these minor imperfections left by inkjet printing are not a big deal for most of the public - but if you’re the manufacture of a top of the line system - why not have the best printer?
Reliability and yield are another concern for inkjet. Until someone has a reliable ink well monitor you’re never going to know the yield of a machine. If you have a machine that needs to make 400 discs tonight, there is not cost effective way to know that using inkjet.
Inkjet resolutions of 4800 DPI are factored using a stochastic print, multiple dots are overlaid to generate the DPI. The Everest 600 is 600 DPI, but there is zero overlay. The difference? Inkjet doesn’t have as sharp of text but frequently has a smoother gradation until the latest generation thermal retransfer printers.
This boils down to marketing. Inkjet can do a very, very good job. But with some more money there is a â€œbetterâ€ option out there. â€œBetterâ€ for high end customers that are willing to put more money into hardware and cost-per-print in order to get a slightly better looking disc with a more predictable yield.