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Blu-ray vs. DVD

DVD and Blu-ray discs are two of the most common media formats for playing video and portable data storage. Even though they look identical, both formats and players have different capabilities and features. A DVD player uses a red laser to read discs at a distance of 650 nanometers, while a Blu-ray player uses a blue laser to read discs at a distance of 405 nanometers, allowing the data to be read more precisely at a closer distance. Before making a decision, here are some important factors to consider when deciding between Blu-ray and DVD.

Blu-ray

DVD

Cost of Players

Moderate - highLow - moderate

Data Storage Capacity

25 GB – 128 GB 4.7 - 8.5 GB

Standard Video Quality

1920 x 1080p720 x 480p

Compatibility

Backward compatible with DVD discsNot forward compatible with Blu-ray discs

Internet Connectivity

More prevalentLess prevalent

Blu-ray

Advantages of Blu-ray

  • More Interactive Features - Because of the disc storage capacity, Blu-ray feature films have more space to hold content like special games, interviews or commentary.
  • Backwards Compatibility - Blu-ray players can all play standard DVDs, so you don’t need to replace your video catalog of older DVD discs. Many current Blu-ray players are also able to upscale DVD content, producing a higher quality image by automatically filling in pixels for a clearer picture.
  • Crisp Picture from Anywhere in the Room - Since video quality is higher with Blu-Ray players than DVD players, smaller homes can take advantage of a closer viewing distance from the screen.
Advantages of Blu-ray

Limitations of Blu-ray

  • Higher Cost - Because the technology is more recent, the cost of Blu-ray players and discs is generally more expensive than DVD players and discs.
  • Less Titles Available - Some older movies are only available in older formats, so you might not be able to find all your favorite movies on Blu-ray.
  • More Difficult to Set Up - With features like Internet and wireless connectivity, Blu-ray players might be more difficult than a standard DVD player to install and integrate with your home entertainment center.
Limitations of Blu-ray

DVD

Advantages of DVDs

  • More Affordable - DVD discs and players have been on the market longer than Blu-ray technology, so the older medium has become more affordable over the years.
  • More Options Available - Some older movies have not yet been released in the Blu-ray format, but may be widely available in DVD format.
  • Listen to Music - Most players allow CD and MP3 playback for an easy way to enjoy music at home.
Advantages of DVDs

Limitations of DVDs

  • Interactivity - DVD discs have limited interactive capabilities. Most DVD discs feature a Menu from which to select content, but they typically offer few other interactive qualities.
  • Storage Capacity - These discs can hold far less data when compared to Blu-ray discs, making them less efficient.
  • Placement in Room - Because the image quality of DVDs is lower than Blu-rays, you’d need to sit further away from a screen playing a DVD than a TV playing a Blu-ray for a clear, sharp picture. For homes with less space, TV placement might play a larger role in your format selection.
Limitations of DVDs