Blu-ray vs DVD

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

The two prominent disc media for movies and TV shows are Blu-ray and standard DVD. Blu-ray is the newest of the two and offers several advantages over DVD.

Topic Blu-ray DVD
Storage A Blu-ray disc can hold about 25 GB of data. Dual layer Blu-ray discs can hold as much as 50 GB of data. The larger storage capacity of a Blu-ray disc is a clear advantage over standard DVDs, allowing higher quality of video and audio to be stored. A standard DVD disc can hold up to 4.7 gigabytes (GB) of data. Dual layer DVDs can hold about 8.5 - 8.7 GB of data, which is still much less than even the smallest Blu-ray discs.
Cost The price of Blu-ray players is more affordable than ever. Blu-ray discs themselves, for movies and TV shows, cost a little more than standard DVDs, but the gain from Blu-ray far outweighs the moderately increased prices. DVD players and DVD discs are cheaper than a Blu-ray disc.
Quality Because of the larger storage capacity of the Blu-ray disc, it can hold much more video and audio data, allowing for much higher quality of video and audio. Blu-ray discs support resolutions up to 1920x1080 and frame rates up to 29.97 at the highest resolution (frame rates up to 59.94 at lower resolutions). Blu-ray discs can playback in true HD format. Due to the much lower storage capacity of a standard DVD, it is not possible to have HD video quality on a DVD.
Availability Blu-ray is a newer technology than DVD, which means not all of the older movies are available yet in Blu-ray format. DVD has been around since 1996 and has had years to develop its library. Almost every movie ever made is available in DVD format and when renting movies you'll have a much easier time finding the movie in DVD format than Blu-ray.
Content Many Blu-ray movies will come with additional content not available with DVD. This content can include additional commentaries, behind the scenes, and much more and usually all on one disc. With the limited space of a DVD, you may get some DVD movies with additional bonus content. However, many times the additional content will be on a separate disc.
3D All the latest new 3D movies are now only distributed on Blu-ray. Although there are 3D DVDs all the latest movies are only coming out on Blu-ray.

Additional information

  • See our Blu-ray and DVD definitions for further information and related pages.