Blu-ray Vs. DVD

By Noel Shankel

Technology moves at a fast pace, and often the latest in technology is obsolete by the end of the year. Movie collectors who have just thrown out their last VHS tape to make room for their DVDs are now faced with Blu-rays, the latest in film-watching technology. Currently, both DVD players and Blu-ray players coexist. Only the consumer can decide which is best for her.

Picture Quality

The main difference between a Blu-ray player and a DVD player is that Blu-ray discs provide better overall resolution, heightening the visual impact of the film or show you're watching. Blu-ray players operate at 1080p, while standard DVD players operate at 480p. In layman terms, 1080p means that 1,080 horizontal lines are being used to construct the picture, as compared to 480. The more lines used, the better the picture quality. Of course, picture quality is also determined by the type of television you own. HDTVs, or high-definition televisions, will make Blu-ray discs look even sharper compared to playing them on a standard television set.

Waiting For Features

Blu-ray discs, and Blu-ray players, often contain numerous special features that standard DVDs do not provide. For example, Blu-ray players have the ability to activate the menu screen while watching the actual film. Another feature is picture-in-picture commentary, allowing the film to play while you visually see the director, writer, or actor deliver commentary about the production. Blu-ray players can also be connected to your home Internet with an Ethernet cable. However, due to these added features, Blu-ray discs may take longer to load than standard DVDs.

Let's Get Technical

Blu-ray players utilize a blue-violet laser to scan the disc inside, as compared to the red laser used by traditional DVD players. These blue-violet lasers allow Blu-ray players to play DVDs, but not the other way around. In other words, a Blu-ray disc will not operate on a standard DVD player. There are two different styles of Blu-ray discs: single layer and duel layer. Single-layer discs can hold up to 25 GB of memory, while duel-layer discs can hold up to 50 GB of memory. The more gigabytes a disc has, the more data it can store. On average, DVDs can hold about 8 GB of memory. The added Blu-ray GBs not only increase the visual picture, but the amount of special features and the sound quality as well.


Avid movie collectors may already have a rather large collection of DVDs, and replacing all of those titles with Blu-rays can be quite expensive. On average, both Blu-ray players and Blu-ray discs are more expensive than DVDs, especially since DVDs are now considered slightly out of date. Title variation is another concern. As of 2011, there were more than 90,000 movie titles available on DVD, compared to 970 movies available on Blu-ray.