Television shows and streaming services are great, but sometimes you just want to sit down, pop in a movie, make some popcorn and enjoy a night on the couch with some new characters. Movies and video have made significant improvements in the past two decades, moving from VHS to DVD and eventually to Blu-ray. These days it can be hard to decide whether a DVD or Blu-ray player is the right choice for you. Here are some points to consider.
If the disc doesn't specifically state DVD or Blu-ray, it is hard to determine the disc's type. Physically, Blue-ray and DVD discs are identical. Both feature grooves or pits on the bottom that enables the laser to penetrate through and read the stored information.
However, the grooves on a DVD are so far apart that it can only hold up to 4.7 GB of data. On the other hand, the grooves on a Blu-ray disc are much thinner and closer together, which allows it to hold about 25 GB of data. The larger storage capacity provides a clear advantage over standard DVDs because it allows for higher quality video and audio to be stored.
Blu-ray players are backwards compatible, which means that they will also play DVDs and CDs, allowing you to still enjoy your collection of movies and music. DVD players do not have that ability, which means that you can only play DVDs on a DVD player and nothing else. If you have Blu-ray discs, you will have to purchase a separate Blu-ray player.
Blu-ray players also provide access to audio and video content from streaming services, such as Netflix, Vudu, Hulu and more. Instead of needing a smart TV or streaming device such as a Fire Stick or Roku, you can access streaming services right through your Blu-ray player. DVD players do not offer this advantage.
Blu-ray discs are designed for high definition 1080 display, which means that they offer the best image resolution on the market and look great on HDTVs. They offer crisp and clear playback compared to DVDs that have a standard definition resolution of 480 (or enhanced definition resolution of 520). If you watch a DVD on a widescreen HDTV, the picture may look grainy.
Blu-ray and DVD players both have their own advantages and disadvantages. DVD players, and DVDs as well, are less expensive than Blu-rays and often look just as clear on screen. However, Blu-ray players are designed to handle higher quality video and come with easy accessibility to streaming services. Blu-ray is often your best option, since it can play both DVDs and Blu-ray discs.