Can A Regular DVD Player Play Blu-ray?

Way before online streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc., made their mark, DVDs or Digital Video Discs and Blu-ray discs were the norms in home entertainment. Everyone had one DVD player or a Blu-ray Player at their home. And the weekend was fixed to binge-watch your favorites movies from discs.

Even though at present movie discs are rarely sold, few still own a DVD player or a Blu-ray player. But, there’s a very common question that arises from such people, can a regular DVD player play Blu-ray disc?

Most people might have heard that a Blu-ray Disc player can play Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDS, and other types of discs. However, only a few of them know the answer to the question “can a regular DVD player play Blu-ray disc”. Well… if you thought yes… Then unfortunately you are wrong. You cannot play a movie in Blu-ray on a DVD player. 

The difference between Blu-ray disc and DVD

Before you jump into the section that explains why you cannot play blu ray on a DVD player, you must understand the major difference between a blu ray disc and a DVD.

  • Storage capacity

Let’s begin with the storage capacity of DVD and Blu-ray discs. A regular DVD holds enough space to hold one movie (4.7 gigabytes of data). If you want to store more data in a DVD then you can even opt for a double-layer DVD that can hold up to 9 GB of data in it. However, a Blu-ray disc has more storage capacity than a DVD. A blu ray disc can hold data up to 50 GB.

  • Image resolution

Image resolution points out the number of pixels present in an image or the details an image can hold. More the resolution, more image detail can be viewed. When you compare the image resolution capability of a DVD and blu ray, then a blu ray disc holds more image resolution. On a DVD, you cannot view a high-definition movie. However, the Blu-ray discs are made for giving HD experience.

  • Laser technology

Both these discs can only be read by lasers. But, the DVD laser is a red laser with a wavelength of 650nm. The Blu-ray discs use a blue laser with a wavelength of 405nm, which helps them to read information more closely and precisely.

Read also: Understanding Ambient Computing: A Complete Guide

  • Disc construction

The Blu-ray discs are thinner and the grooves are much closer. However, this can not be observed by the naked eye, but this helps it to read more precise data. Moreover, Blu-ray discs are more scratch-resistant than DVDs.

Why can’t you play blu ray on a DVD player?

In this section we will try to clear the confusion: can a regular DVD player play blu ray disc?

A DVD player uses red laser technology to scan a disc for video and audio data. Whereas, the blu ray disc uses a blue laser to scan discs. This blue laser is capable of scanning both Blu-ray discs and DVDs. However, the red laser installed in a DVD player is not capable of reading and extracting information from a blu ray disc.

To put it in another way, every disc format is compressed in a particular way so that a disc player can read it. A blu ray disc isn’t compressed the same as CDs or DVDs. Therefore, a regular CD player or a DVD player fails to read and extract data from a Blu- ray disc. It’s the same way that your DVDs don’t play on your CD player. In short, the formats are incompatible.

Read also: Asus Sky Selection 2: Full Review 2021

If you are still facing difficulty to understand “will a DVD player play blu ray disc”. Then, remember that a Blu-ray disc is a newer product of technology. When Blu- ray discs and players were released, the world was already introduced to DVDs and CDs. Therefore, a Blu-ray player could be made such that it can read various types of disc formats like Blu-ray, DVDs, CDs, DVD audio discs, etc.

However, a regular DVD player fails to scan and extract information from a blu ray disc because it was made way before blu ray discs were even invented.

Can A Regular DVD Player Play Blu-ray

According to the Blu-ray company, the Blu- ray disc association has plans for dual-format discs that will contain DVD data tracks on one side and Blu-ray data tracks on the other side. These discs are supposed to play in both DVD and Blu-ray disc players but only using the proper format. That means you still won’t be able to play a Blu-ray dc into your DVD player and enjoy movies in HD quality.

Do you need to buy Blu-ray Discs if you don’t have a Blu-ray disc player?

No, if you don’t have to purchase a movie disc in blu ray format if you don’t own a blu ray disc player. However, if you have a Blu- ray disc player in one of your rooms and the rest of the rooms have DVD players, then you might have to end up buying the movie in both the disc format. This will let you make use of the full benefits of both versions of discs.

Usually, many studios release movies on both Blu- ray discs and in a Digital Video Disc version to assist in solving this problem. They even include both the formatted disc of this movie in a single packet. Hence allowing you to purchase them easily without having to waste time searching for two different versions.

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and Blu-ray discs 

There is another disc format called Ultra HD Blu-ray available on market. The Ultra HD blu ray disc format is different from both blu ray discs and DVDs. You will need an ultra HD blu ray disc player to play this disc, they cannot be played in a standard blu ray disc player. The Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player even supports Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and Music CDs.

Read also: 4 Awesome Ways Turn a MacBook Into A Desktop Mac


Hopefully, this article helped you to find the answers to the question “can a regular DVD player play blu ray”. If you still prefer home entertainment via discs, whether you prefer blu ray or DVD to watch a movie is left to you now. Remember you can play these discs on your laptop or PC and enjoy the movie.

Read More

Hey, we like you a lot and 

want to offer you some of the best content

Share your email for some exclusive insights