Today, many people still use flash drives in addition to cloud storage to share and store information. It may seem that the era of disks is already over, but this is not always the case. Despite all the tech advancements, there are still those who store entire collections of their favorite games or movies on CDs.

If you’re a movie lover or an avid gamer, there are no doubts that you’ve got an extensive disc collection. What’s more, a few years ago, Blu-ray technology that is based on violet-blue laser technology was developed. So what is the difference between the standard DVDs and a Blue-ray? You will learn more about these video discs next.

What Are DVDs and Blu-rays?

Surely almost everyone has a collection of DVDs, and many have repeatedly recorded various files on their own. As for the definition of this tool, DVD is an optical media format. A red laser is used to create it. This type of drive can store different video and audio files.

But what is Blu-ray?

Blu-ray is a kind of optical media format capable of storing high-definition video and audio files. This type of drive is named so because of the technology used to create it – a blue-violet laser instead of a red one. This laser has a shorter wavelength, which allows you to increase the focus and see those parts that the red beam cannot reach.

Blu-ray vs. DVD: What Is the Key Difference?

So, what makes these technologies different? If you do not already know this, then it’s time to take a closer look at their distinctions.


The first obvious difference is resolution. Most DVDs have standard 480p. If we talk about a Blu-ray disc, it has a resolution of 1080P. For this reason, when playing a DVD in a wide-screen resolution such as a high-definition TV, the picture may look grainy or even washed out. Blu-ray image quality will certainly be higher.

Storage Capacity

A single-layer DVD contains approximately 4.7 GB of a file (it’s nearly 2 hours of video) with a standard definition. A dual-layer disc has a storage capacity of 8.5 GB (it’s nearly 4 hours of video). In contrast, Blu-ray’s single layer allows you to store 25 GB of files (it’s nearly 13 hours of standard video and 2 hours of high-definition video). A dual-layer Blu-ray disc enables you to store up to 50 GB of files.


The undeniable fact to be aware of is that DVD players can’t play Blu-ray, whereas Blu-ray players play DVDs without any problems. Why? This is due to technology, as Blu-ray uses a shorter wavelength (405 nm). A DVD player requires a 650 nm wavelength. In terms of durability, both disc types have protective layers to prevent scratches and other damage. If there are any problems with your disc, you can check what to do with a scratched Blu-ray and get the expert tips firsthand.

Laser Technology

Another reason why a DVD player cannot read Blu-ray discs is that different laser technology is used. If we talk about Blu-ray, they use a blue laser, as the name suggests, while DVD uses a red one. The wavelength of a blue laser is about two and a half times shorter than that of a red one.

Color Space

Color space is another big difference between these discs. This hides the difference in quality – and Blu-ray undoubtedly dominates DVD uses Rec. 601 while Blu-ray uses Rec. 709.

Audio Formats

What types of files does the DVD support? These discs support three audio formats:

  • Linear PCM;
  • Dolby Digital;

What audio formats does Blu-ray support? There are also three audio libraries here:

  • Dolby TrueHD;
  • DTS HD;
  • Dolby TrueHD.

What Format of Discs to Choose

So what format should you choose? It’s up to you to decide. Here’s what to consider when choosing between DVD and Blu-ray discs:

  • price (DVDs cost less);
  • required storage capacity (DVDs have more limited storage capacities);
  • screen extensions (DVDs may distort file quality due to their valid extension);
  • the ability to play a disc (DVD players are unable to read Blu-ray discs).

As for durability, this factor will not play a key role. Therefore, when choosing a disc, first of all, think about what you need the disc for and then make a decision.

Wrapping Up

The type of disc media to choose depends on how many files you plan to store and what quality you need. If we talk about the cost, then Blu-ray is more expensive than the standard DVDs. It is also worth considering the resolution that each format implies. Hence, consider testing the new technology of Blu-ray, compare it with your experience with DVD, and then decide on the best suitable option.


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