What Is The Real Secret To Being Able To Print On This Media? Continued
Here is a look under the hood of the front load paper path that us used to print on optical media on the 960.
Printing on printable CDR/DVD +/- R/RW media could not likely take place without a tray to guide the printable CDR/DVD +/- R/RW media under the print head due to the round nature of the media and possible damage that could be inflicted on the media during the printing process. Epson includes a tray for this purpose for both the 900 and 960 as part of its bundled package. These trays are basically the same in design, although the tray for the 960 is smaller in size than the tray that is used with the 900. Both alignment and orientation marks help you place the tray into the printer in such a way that you get consistent placement to ensure that the printing is exact on optical media. The tray uses a hub to secure the printable optical media during the printing process; this holds the media securely in place in the tray for printing. Although we didn't try it, Epson claims in the included documentation that the optical media printing tray is able to handle printing on mini CDRs/CDRWs as well, using the included ring that covers the area of the tray that this smaller media does not occupy.
While it appears from the outside of the packaging box as well as the advertising on the Epson web site that there is some fancy magical process that is required to be able to print on the optical media, the reality is that these Epson models are simply an elegant looking 'smart; design of the straight through paper path that can be adjusted to handle optical media. From what we have read on the Web, there are a few companies that have been modifying Epson printers to take advantage of this smart Epson design which allows users to print on printable optical media. It seems that Epson has finally caught on to this 'knock off' feature of their printers, and is now offering this as a supported feature with some of their printers.