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4K UHD VS Blu-ray VS DVD: Top Differences and Advantages

What's the differences between Blu-ray vs DVD vs 4K UHD? Simply put, in Blu ray versus DVD comparison, Blu ray discs excel most DVDs in the aspect of image quality. As for standard DVDs, most of them have a a standard definition resolution of 480 or enhanced definition resolution of 520. This quality will give enough clear image on standard TV if you sit far enough. But movies on standard DVD may look grainy on the HDTV. That's why why Blu ray is better than DVD in a way. The HD DVD, which supports up to 1080P resolutions, will primarily compete with Blu-ray discs.

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1. Quality and Resolution

Blu-ray discs can host up to 1080p resolution (1920×1080 pixels), at up to 60 (59.94) frame rate. Compare Blu ray and DVD, the former is more suitable for the HDTV display. However, when Blu ray disc vs HD DVD, the similar resolution and same media encoding method will result in equivalent visual quality, which means we can hardly tell the difference between Blu ray and HD DVD if we are not sitting pretty close to the TV or the TV is not that big. But you should note that HD DVD is now officially discontinued.

Speaking of resolution, 4K UHD will fully deserve to be the winner in the 4K vs Blu ray vs DVD battle. The biggest difference is that 4K supports resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 (4K), while others cap out at 1920 x 1080 (1080p). This significant difference however seems to be surprisingly subtle for human eyes. To sum up, in the quality round of Blu ray vs DVD vs 4K Ultra HD, 4K is 4 times better than Blu ray, while Bluray is 6 times higher than DVD.

4K vs Blu ray vs DVD comparison

2. Storage

Storage means that how much data can the format hold. A standard DVD can host about 4.7 GB of data, about two hours of movie. This kind of DVD is referred as DVD 5, while the dual layer DVD, referred as DVD 9 compared with DVD 5, can host twice the amount of data to about 8.5 - 8.7 GB. Accordingly, a dual layer DVD can host four hours of movie. How about Blu ray versus DVD?

Compared to DVD, Blu-ray disc means five to ten times increase in storage. Indeed, there are Blu ray advantages over DVD in capacity: Bluray disc have 25GB on single layer and 50GB on dual layers. This is a significant increase, even in Blu ray vs HD DVD, which hold 15 GB and 30GB on single and double layers respectively.

So which will win in DVD vs Blu ray vs 4K Ultra HD? In fact, the Ultra HD 4K can hold between 66 to 100GB of data, far surpassing HD DVD or Blu ray. Compared to MPEG-2, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC used in Bluray and DVD, 4K codecs H.265, VP9 and AV1 provide better compression efficiency, 50% smaller in size.

DVD versus Blu ray versus 4K

Note: Both Blu ray and DVD are fragile and easy to scratch or fingerprint. A great way to safekeep them against any damage is to copy DVD to hard drive, so that you can also archieve the discs and play them on the go.

3. Availability and Content

Compare Blu ray and DVD, more resources are available on DVDs as Blu ray is a relatively new technology. The concept of 4K can date back to as early as 2004, but it didn't come into vogue until 2014. Fewer movies are thus in 4K ultra HD compared with Blu ray and DVD presently. Put aside numerous DVD movies, some outstanding titles in Bluray include The Wizard of Oz, Avatar, Gravity - Diamond Luxe Edition, Iron Man 3, The Dark Knight Rises and more. As for the 4K UHD resources, there are many extraordinary 4K movies videos on Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Sony etc. If you're interested in any Bluray or 4K movies, you may free download 4K UHD, Blu ray 3D movies to compare with DVDs. 

DVD vs Blu ray vs 4K UHD

4. Compatibility

Many users are wondering if they can play blu ray disc on regular DVD players. The answer is no. This is because that data stored on Blu ray disc need blue laser to read while the red lasers used in regular DVD player are too large. In the Blu ray vs DVD comparison, the latter obviously enjoys greater compatibility as it can be played on both regular and Blu-ray players.

Tips: to make DVD movies compatible with more devices, like phones and tablets, you may rely on a professional DVD ripper like MacX DVD Ripper Pro to rip both homemade and protected (Disney/Paramount/Warner Bro. more) DVD collections to iPhone iPad Android devices with original quality reserved. Here is also the recommendation of best DVD ripper for Mac review for you to make a digital copy of discs for mobile playback.

As for Blu ray versus DVD fight in this regards, the Blu-ray discs are limited to Blu-ray players only, which however have the ability to playback standard DVDs. Well, 4K UHD is not of greater flexibility in Blu ray vs DVD vs 4K comparison. We know that in Bluray vs 4K review, both formats provide high image quality, which disable many players online.

Tips: Well, if you want to play 4K UHD movies videos on mobiles, a reliable 4K video converter like the above mentioned one can help. Despite which is more compatible in 4K vs Blu ray vs DVD review, if you want to play the three formats freely on Mac or PC, another option is to pick up a versatile 4K UHD video player which can host the three and more formats in high quality like 5KPlayer.

5. Price and Cost

Generally speaking, a regular DVD movie is priced at $14.99 on popular sites like Google Play, VUDU, Amazon. Even when Blu ray vs HD DVD, the former will be more expensive that users will need to pay extra $5 to $10 for the Blu-ray version. You may download 4k video free from YouTube to or pay for up to $99/year Prime subscription price on Netflix.

Full Comparison of Blu ray vs DVD vs 4K Ultra HD




Laser type

Video codecs


Region codes



720×480 (480i/480p-US)


650nm (red laser)


$14.99 to $29.99

8 regions(6 commercial)

Numerous movies in DVD


1920×1080 (1080p)


405nm (blue laser)


 $5 to $10 expensive than DVD

Three region codes

Newer and fewer than DVD


4096x2160 or 3840 x 2160

66 to 100GB


HEVC and VP9

Free to $99/year subscription


Limited resources

In a nutshell, to compare Blu ray and DVD, Bluray format is obviously superior to DVD in many aspects. While in 4k UHD vs Blu ray fight, Blu ray format succumbs in the image quality war. While being the future of high resolution market, Ultra HD formats however will not make your HD Blu-ray collections obsolete.

Bluray, DVD and 4K have their own merits. Put aside that which format will you prefer in DVD vs Blu ray vs 4K, here we also share your tips on how to watch DVD in high quality on mobiles. Well, MacX DVD Ripper Pro, is able to rip all types of homemade DVDs and copy-protected DVDs (by removing DVD CSS, region code, RCE, Sony ArccOS, UOPs, Disney, etc) to digital MP4, MOV, MKV MPEG-2, VOB, AVI, etc. formats at 36x faster speed and not a bit quality loss.

author- bella
Bella Brown

Bella has been working with DVD digitization for over 12 years. She writes articles about everything related to DVD, from disc drive, DVD copyright protection, physical structure, burning and backup tips. The unceasing passion of DVD movies helps her build a rich DVD library and ensure a practical solution to address almost all possible DVD issues. Bella is also a crazy fan for Apple products.