What does the Blu-ray + DVD combination have

Difference Between DVD and Blu-Ray Disc

The DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) has long since replaced the outdated video cassette as a storage medium for films and videos. Another digital optical storage medium called Blu-Ray has been on the market for several years. This is also a CD that can only be read in a special player. But what exactly is the difference between a DVD and a Blu-Ray? We provide an overview in this guide.

The Blu-Ray disc as a competitor to DVD

In the period from 2002 to 2005, some large media companies developed such as among others Panasonic, Sony and Philips the Blu-Ray. It was initially considered Competition to HD DVD, but was able to oust them very quickly: In February 2008, the most important HD-DVD developer announced Toshiba the termination of the further development of the competing product. The Blu-Ray disc received support from the game console Playstation 3 of Sony with an integrated Blu-Ray player, the initially dominant hardware for playing the modern storage medium.

The name "Blu-Ray"

The name resulted from the underlying technology, which relies on the use of blue-violet lasers: a combination of "blue" (blue) and "ray" (beam).

Also the successor Playstation 4 and the competitor of Microsoft, the Xbox One, play Blu-Ray discs.

The best burning software in comparison

The Blu-Ray Disc in Germany

Blu-ray discs were made in Germany for the first time in 2007 sold - with 372,000 discs a comparatively small proportion in contrast to the just over 100 million DVDs sold. Even VHS cassettes were selling more than twice as good at 800,000 at the time. But that should change quickly: just five years later, the Blu-Ray disc has a share of 20 percent in the home entertainment sector and has thus officially arrived on the mass market.

The top 3 of the 2017 Blu-Ray annual charts

  1. Rogue One - A Star Wars Story 3D
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  3. Doctor Strange 3D

Noticeable: All three films are in 3D

In 2012, more than every fifth German household had a Blu-Ray player. The blue disc has established itself as the standard for high definition films. By 2014, the percentage of Blu-Ray discs had increased from 0.36 percent to 26.66 percent in seven years.

In 2016, over 26 million of the modern storage media were sold in Germany, which corresponds to a turnover of around 391 million euros. In the past year (2017), sales fell by around 12 million euros, which can be attributed to the increasing popularity of digital purchase and rental offers. Sales of DVDs even fell by around 70 million euros. With a total of 88 percent share in the sales market, the physical film formats BD and DVD continue to dominate the video business.

DVD vs. Blu-ray: The greatest advantages of the Blu-ray disc over the DVD

  • Up to five times the resolution
  • Higher quality sound
  • Much more storage space (25/50 gigabytes vs. 4.7 / 8.5 gigabytes)
  • Interactive application layer as a replacement for DVD menu
  • Blu-ray drives are backwards compatible

Exceptional image quality

The question of the reason for the popularity of Blu-Ray discs can best be answered with the quality of the films and videos on this storage medium. The DVD has a maximum resolution of 720 x 480 with 414,720 pixels, while the Blu-Ray disc offers an HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 with 2,073,600 pixels. These five times the resolution can be clearly seen in the picture comparison. But the television should have a certain size. On a 50-inch television, the difference is staggering from about 2.50 meters away. In addition, the data transfer of video and audio with the Blu-Ray Disc is more than five times as fast.

Of course, users need an appropriate player to play Blu-Ray discs. In contrast to the television, the quality of this player is of secondary importance, it only has to be Blu-Ray capable. Another advantage is that Blu-Ray drives are backwards compatible. This means: DVDs can be played with them in the same way as Blu-Ray discs, which the other way round is not the case with DVD drives.

Higher sound quality

BD is not only a few steps ahead of DVD in terms of image quality: If you watch your films on Blu-Ray disc, you also enjoys a better tone. While the DVD only uses the Linear PCM audio codecs, Dolby Digital and DTS supported, BDs also have the lossless audio codecs Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD as well as the multi-channel sound system Dolby Digital Plus.

Advantages in terms of the amount of data

The qualitative advantages of the Blu-Ray disc are due to the storage space of the newer medium. A DVD has 4.7 gigabytes of storage space as a single layer, while the single-layer version of the Blu-Ray disc has an impressive 25 gigabytes. Double-layer Blu-Ray discs even offer 50 gigabytes compared to the 8.3 gigabytes of the corresponding DVD variant. That’s on the blue disks significantly more information can be saved.

In addition, the data is written much more densely on the disk with shorter-wave laser light and a smaller laser point. So-called BD-XLs, i.e. Blu-Ray discs in extra-large format, offer a particularly large amount of storage space. This is available in the three-layer variant as a triple-layer BD with 100 gigabytes of storage space and as a quad-layer BD with 128 gigabytes of storage space.

Blu-ray drives and players have to cope with the large amounts of data with a correspondingly high read speed, which is why they can handle a data transfer rate that is three times as high as that of DVD drives: 35.96 megabytes per second compared to 11.08 megabytes per second for DVD drives.

How big are the price differences?

Quality always has its price. For many consumers, the question of how much more they have to pay for a BD compared to a DVD is particularly important. A positive surprise: the difference is not that big. For newer films, the Blu-Ray disc costs between two and three euros more than the DVD variant.

Differences in the region code

The regional code prevents consumers from easily playing media around the world. One reason for this is the different youth protection regulations in different countries. For this reason, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are provided with a code and can only be played on players or with software that has a matching regional code. The Advantages of the Blu-Ray Disc: On the one hand, in contrast to the DVD, the region code is not mandatory and on the other hand there are only three different regions, while there are eight on the DVD. The following table provides an overview of the different codes of the two storage media:

Region codeDVD regionsBD regions
1 / ACanada, USA, US Outer TerritoriesNorth & South America, Japan, Southeast Asia, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong
2 BWestern and Central Europe, Japan, Middle East, Greenland, South Africa, EgyptEurope, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Africa
3 / CSoutheast Asia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, TaiwanChina, Russia, Central & South Asia
4Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Central America, South America
5Russia, Eastern Europe, Central & South Asia, Africa (except South Africa and Egypt)
6China
7Test purposes like press copies
8International territory such as an airplane or a ship
Overview of the regions for DVD and Blu-Ray Disc.

Alternatives to the Blu-Ray player

There are alternatives for households that do not yet have a Blu-Ray player but still own some of these storage media. So-called Blu-ray to DVD converter can convert data into other formats. On the PC or Laptop the file formats of the Blu-Ray disc can be converted so that they are then available in a DVD format. Users then burn this format onto a normal DVD, which they then play back with a conventional DVD player. However, quality losses are inevitable with this conversion.

Still, this is a great way to get data from Blu-ray discs onto the storage medium of choice. For users who have a laptop or PC with a Blu-Ray drive, we recommend Blu-Ray player software to play the blue discs.