Home Theater & Entertainment DVDs, DVRs & Videos Can I Play a Blu-ray Disc on a DVD Player? DVD players can play DVDs and CDs, but what about Blu-ray Discs? Share Pin Email Print DVDs, DVRs & Videos TV & Displays Audio DVDs, DVRs & Videos By Robert Silva Writer Robert Silva has written about audio, video, and home theater topics since 1998. Robert has written for Dishinfo.com, and made appearances on the YouTube series Home Theater Geeks. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Robert Silva Updated November 11, 2019 239 239 people found this article helpful Blu-ray Disc players can play Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs, and some can also play other types of discs, such as SACDs and DVD-Audio Discs. However, although you can play a DVD in a Blu-ray Disc player, you can't play a Blu-ray Disc in a DVD player. Anyone that claims otherwise is misleading the consumer. Why DVD Players Can't Play Blu-ray Discs Lifewire / Miguel Co The reason that you can't play a Blu-ray Disc on a DVD player is that the discs are embedded with more video and audio information than a DVD player is designed to read. The "pits" used to store the information on a Blu-ray disc are much smaller than a DVD, which requires a blue laser to read the information, whereas DVD players use red lasers. Blue lasers produce a shorter wavelength light beam, which is needed to focus on the smaller pits of a Blu-ray Disc. The pits on the disc are where the video and audio information of Blu-ray Discs (as well as DVDs and CDs) is stored. Why Blu-ray Disc Players Can Play DVDs The reason that a Blu-ray Disc player can play DVDs is that manufacturers decided that all Blu-ray Disc players included both blue and red lasers so that they could play both Blu-ray Discs and DVDs. A red laser produces a light beam that is of a longer wavelength than a blue laser, enabling it to read the larger pits imprinted on DVDs and CDs. When you place a DVD into a Blu-ray Disc player, it activates the red laser assembly so that the DVD can be read. When you place a CD into a Blu-ray Disc player, the same red laser assembly used for DVDs is refocused to read the CD. You Don't Need to Buy Blu-ray Discs If You Don't Have a Blu-ray Player If you don't have a Blu-ray Disc player, you don't have to purchase a Blu-ray Disc version of a movie. However, if you have a Blu-ray Disc player in your main room and one or two DVD players in other parts of the house, you will have to buy both the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the movie if you want the full benefits of both formats. To assist in solving this problem, and as means to make purchasing Blu-ray discs more acceptable to consumers that have both a Blu-ray Disc player and DVD player in the house, studios often include both a Blu-ray Disc and DVD version of a movie in the same package. The Blu-ray / DVD Flipper Disc In 2009/2010, Universal Studios experimented with a test-run of so-called "flipper discs" (Blu-ray on one side and DVD on other). The titles included three entries in the Bourne series: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum – they were only offered individually – not as a boxed set. Other "flipper disc" titles included Traffic, Letters to Juliet, and possibly a few others. For additional details, read the article from Blu-ray.com Ultra HD and Blu-ray Blu-ray Disc Players Another disc format is also available: Ultra HD Blu-ray. The Ultra HD Blu-ray format is actually different from both Blu-ray and DVD. You can't play Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs on standard Blu-ray Disc or DVD players. However, Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc players can play Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, and Music CDs. Not all Ultra HD Blu-ray Players are compatible with 3D Blu-ray discs. The Bottom Line If you still purchase and collect DVDs, a DVD player is fine, and if you also own a Blu-ray Disc player, you can still play those DVDs. Since most Blu-ray Disc movies come with a DVD copy, you have both options for playing the same movie on Blu-ray Disc and DVD players. However, Blu-ray Disc players are very inexpensive these days, so, if you desire to play Blu-ray Discs in other rooms in the house, getting another Blu-ray player is an affordable option, when you take the added convenience into consideration. If you get a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player, although you can't play a 4K Ultra HD disc in either a Blu-ray or DVD player, most Ultra HD disc movies also come with a Blu-ray Disc copy, which softens the blow of jumping to another format.