Which is Better DVD or Blu-ray

Which is Better DVD or Blu-ray? Here are the Differences You Should Know

Kevin Miller

January 14, 2020 10:33Updated by to Rip Blu-ray

When you want to purchase the latest movies from Amazon or eBay, or burn the videos as backup, what is the difference between DVD and Blu-ray? Is Blu-ray better quality than DVD? In order to learn more about the different comparison between the two optical media formats, you can always find the desired information from the article.

DVD or Blu-ray

Part 1: Differences Between DVD and Blu-ray

Both Blu-ray disc and DVD files are two prominent optical media formats for movies and TV shows. Just learn more about the differences between DVD and Blu-ray, such as image resolution, audio formats, disc construction, laser technology and color space.

1. Blu-ray V.S. DVD Image Resolution

Is Blu-ray disc better quality than DVD? A Blu-ray was designed to transmit images at 1080P while most DVDs used a standard definition resolution at 480P. The Blu-ray disc has a resolution with 1920x1080 pixels on deliver 2,073,600 pixels. As for the DVD, it delivers just 345,600 pixels, which is almost exactly 1/6 the resolution of the Blu-ray disc. It is the reason that when you playback a DVD on widescreen HDTV, the image resolution may take on a grainy or blurry appearance.

Image Resolution

2. Blu-ray V.S. DVD Storage Capacity

A single layer DVD only holds approximately 4.7GB file for a two-hour movie with standard definition DVD resolution. The double layer one is able to hold 8.5GB file around four hours of a movie. A single layer Blu-ray disc can store 25GB files, which is able to store more than 13 hours of standard video or more than two hours of high definition video. As for the double layer Blu-ray disc, you can store 50GB files. The larger storage capacity of a Blu-ray disc is a clear advantage over standard DVDs.

Storage Capacity

3. Blu-ray V.S. DVD Disc Construction

Why you cannot use the Blu-ray disc with DVD player? Since the Blu-ray uses a shorter wavelength with 405 nm, the DVD player is only able to read the DVDs with a red laser with 650 nm. It is the reason that you can find both DVD and Blu-ray disc with the similar size and the Blu-ray disc is able to hold much more files than a DVD. What is the similarity between the Blu-ray disc and DVD? Both of them have a protective layer to prevent scratches and other damage.

Disc Construction

4. Blu-ray V.S. DVD Laser Technology

Another reason that you cannot use Blu-ray discs with DVD player is the different laser technology. The wavelengths of a blue laser are shorter than those of the red laser used in a DVD player. What is the difference between DVD and Blu-ray in the laser technology? The Blu-ray disc uses 405 nm with Blue-violet laser and the DVD uses 650 nm with Red-laser. Blu-ray lasers are at 405 nm and are approximately two and a half times smaller in diameter than a red laser.

Laser Technology

5. Blu-ray V.S. DVD Color Space

Color Space is another difference between DVD and Blu-ray. It is the reason that you can find the Blu-ray disc with a better video quality then DVD. Blu-ray color space is defined within Rec.709, which includes a color scheme that looks like a triangle. It is quite different from the Rec. 601 on DVD, which improves the way luminance was defined as a ratio to RGB color. When you use Blu-ray discs for the HDTV, there is a color conversion happens at the same time resolution conversion happens.

6. Blu-ray V.S. DVD Audio Formats

What should be the audio codecs for Blu-ray disc and DVD? The DVD supports three different audio formats, Linear PCM, Dolby Digital and DTS Digital Surround. While the Blu-ray disc has more other audio codecs, such as Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD. Both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD are lossless audio format that mimic the actual soundtrack potential of the studio masters.

Part 2: Blu-ray V.S. DVD Broken Down

Can you tell the difference between Blu-ray and DVD now? If you still not able to distinguish the two optical media formats, especially when you find the HD DVD and AVCHD formats, you can learn more details about the optical media formats as below.

Optical Media Format Blu-ray Disc HD DVD AVCHD DVD
Laser Wavelength 405 nm (Blue-violet laser) 405 nm (Blue-violet laser) 405 or 650 nm 650 nm (Red-laser)
Storage Capacity 25(50)/128 GB 15/30 GB 25/50 GB BD 4.7/8.5 GB DVD 4.7/8.5 GB
Video Codec H.264/MPEG-4 AVC/VC-1/ MPEG-2 AVS/ H.264/MPEG-4 AVC/VC-1/MPEG-2 H.264/MPEG-4 AVC MPEG-1/ MPEG-2
Video Resolution 1920×1080P 1920×1080P 1920×1080P 720×480 (NTSC) 720×576 (PAL)
Video Bitrate 40.0 Mbit/s 29.4 Mbit/s Unknown 9.8 Mbit/s
Interactivity BDMV and Blu-ray Disc Java Standard Content and Advanced Content Rudimentary Rudimentary
Region codes Three Region Codes None None Eight Regions

Recommended: How to Extract Files from Blu-ray and DVD

What should you do if you have already purchased a Blu-ray disc with a DVD player, or vice versa? How to convert between the optical media format? For the different laser technology between Blu-ray and DVD, you need to rip Blu-ray to DVD or extract the files from Blu-ray. Free Blu-ray Ripper is the free method to rip any Blu-ray movies to MP4, MOV, MKV and AVI formats with ease.

Part 3: FAQs of Blu-ray VS DVD

1. Is Blu-ray worth it?

No. Most users prefer Blu-ray to DVD for seeking for the high-resolution pictures, but the high resolution of the VOD videos can be up to 8K. Besides, the Blu-ray disc possess the high cost with the Blu-ray player and disc, so if you only want the high-resolution movies, Blu-ray is not the best choice.

2. Blu-ray VS HD DVD, which is better?

Both Blu-ray and HD DVD can store more information than current DVDs on the same size 12cm optical disc we're all used to. In the terms of the capacity, HD DVDs can store up to 15GB on a single layer while Blu-ray can hold 25GB on one layer. In the terms of encoding, HD DVD supports VC-1, H.264 and MPEG-2, while Blu-ray supports H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1 H.265, which brings better image quality than DVD. You can find Blu-ray is better than HD DVD in the capacity and resolution.

3. What is the best Blu-ray DVD player?

There are various options in the market to find the DVD and Blu-ray player. For the best DVD player, you should check it here. As for the best Blu-ray player reviews, you can find it here.


The article shares the more detailed differences between Blu-ray and DVD. Whether you need to learn more about the storage capacities, image resolution, laser technology, construction, or player compatibility, you can get the comparison between the two optical media formats. If you want to know more about DVD compared to Blu-ray, you can leave more comments in the article.

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