1. Computing

Discuss in my forum

Can I Play a Blu-ray Disc on a DVD Player?

By

Question: Can I Play a Blu-ray Disc on a DVD Player?
Answer: The answer is NO. Although you can play a DVD in a Blu-ray Disc player, you cannot play a Blu-ray Disc in a DVD player. The reason that you cannot play a Blu-ray Disc on a DVD player is that Blu-ray Discs are embedded with more video and audio information than a DVD player is designed to read. In addition, the "pits" used to store the information on a Blu-ray disc are much smaller than a DVD, which requires a blue laser to read the information, whereas DVD players use red lasers. Blue lasers have the shorter wavelength needed to focus on the smaller pits of a Blu-ray Disc.

On the other hand, the reason that a Blu-ray Disc player can play DVDs is that manufacturers decided to make sure that all Blu-ray Disc player include both blue and red laser assemblies, so that they can play both Blu-ray Discs and DVDs. When you place a DVD into a Blu-ray Disc player, the Blu-ray Disc player activates the proper laser assembly in order to read the DVD. In addition, when you place a CD into a Blu-ray Disc player, the same red laser assembly that is used to read DVDs is refocused to read the CD.

The good part to all this is that if you don't have a Blu-ray Disc player, you don't have to spend the extra money for the Blu-ray Disc version of a movie. Of course, the bad news is that if you have a Blu-ray Disc player in your main room and one or two DVD players in other parts of the house, you will have to buy both the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the movie if you want the full benefits of both formats.

However, to assist in solving this problem, more studios are releasing combo packs that include both a Blu-ray Disc and DVD version of a movie in the same package. Another option being used on a more limited basis are so-called "flipper discs", which have a Blu-ray version on one side and DVD version on the other side on the same disc.

Proceed to the Next Question or Return to the Blu-ray and Blu-ray Disc Player FAQ Intro Page

  1. About.com
  2. Computing
  3. Home Theater
  4. Blu-ray - DVD - HD-DVD - Laserdisc
  5. Blu-ray and HD-DVD
  6. Blu-ray / HD-DVD FAQs
  7. Blu-ray Only FAQs
  8. Can I Play a Blu-ray Disc on a DVD Player?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.