What Other Types Of Discs Can You Play On A Blu-ray Player?

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Discs You Can Play in a Blu-ray Disc Player. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Question:

Can You Play DVDs and CDs On A Blu-ray Disc Player?

Answer:

So far, Blu-ray player manufacturers have included the ability for their units to playback standard DVDs, this is expected to continue. This means your current DVD library is playable on a Blu-ray Disc player. Also, when you play a standard DVD in a Blu-ray Disc player, you can view it at standard DVD resolution or have the player upscale the DVD playback signal to match 720p/1080i/1080p or even 4K mode (some Blu-ray Disc players provide 4K upscaling) that will be a better match for viewing on an HDTV or 4K Ultra HD TV.

With respect to standard CDs, almost all Blu-ray Disc players will play standard CDs/CD-R/RW discs, and some higher-end players are also compatible with HDCD, SACD, and DVD-Audio discs.

Other Disc formats playable on selected Blu-ray Disc players include: MP3 CDs, JPEG Photo or Kodak Photo CDs, and AVCHD Discs.

Also, another added feature available on selected Blu-ray Disc is the ability to rip audio CDs to a USB flash drive.

As an additional note, when Blu-ray Players were first introduced back in 2006-2007 there were two first generation players from Sony (BDP-S1) and Pioneer (BDP-HD1) that were not able to play CDs.

The user manual provided with each Blu-ray Disc Player will include a complete listing of Discs that are both compatible and incompatible for playback on that player - as well as whether they offer the ability to rip CDs to USB flash drives.

How A Blu-ray Disc Player Can Play DVDs and CDs

The way DVD and CD playback is implemented on a Blu-ray player is that the player houses two laser assemblies: One laser has a shorter wavelength "blue laser", which required reading the smaller pits (where audio video information is stored) on Blu-ray Discs, and for DVDs and CDs, an adjustable focus longer wavelength "red laser assembly" is also included that can read the information stored on the larger pits used DVDs and even larger pits used on audio CDs.

When a consumer inserts a DVD or CD in a Blu-ray Disc player, the player automatically detects the type of disc and makes the appropriate adjustments to play that disc back. If the disc is not compatible the Blu-ray Disc player will either eject the disc, or display a message on its front panel or the TV screen.

The Ultra HD Blu-ray Factor

As of 2016 there is also another disc format, referred to as Ultra HD Blu-ray. The format provides consumers with native 4K resolution content available on disc-based format. This is not the same as a standard Blu-ray Disc player that provides 4K upscaling for DVDs and Blu-ray Disc playback.

Athough sharing a similar name, Ultrra HD Blu-ray is a different disc format than standard Blu-ray. What this means for consumers is that Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs cannot be played on Standard Blu-ray Disc players. In other words, if you want to play Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs, consumers need to a purchase an Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player (of which there are very few available) - and, of cousrse, a compatible Ultra HD TV is also required to see the benefits.

However, on the upside, Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc players can play standard Blu-ray Discs (2D and 3D), DVDs, and Music CDs. Also, even if you don't have an Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player, so far (as of 2016), all Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc movie releases also come packaged with a standard Blu-ray Disc copy - Play the standard Blu-ray now, as when you upgrade to an Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player - just pop in the Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc.

If you are ready to make the jump from a DVD player to a Blu-ray Disc Player, check out my periodically updated list of Best Blu-ray Disc Players

More Blu-ray and Blu-ray Disc Player FAQs

What is Blu-ray?

How Does DVD Upscaling Compare to Blu-ray?

Can You Use a Blu-ray Disc Player on a 720p TV?

What Is Available to Play on a Blu-ray Disc Player?

Are Blu-ray Discs Region Coded, Like DVDs?

What Types of Connections Do Blu-ray Disc Players Have?

Why Do Some Blu-ray Disc Players Have HDMI Inputs?

Can I Play a Blu-ray Disc on an HD-DVD player or Vice Versa?

Can I Play a Blu-ray Disc on a DVD Player?

What Are Blu-ray Disc Player Profiles?

What is a Network-Enabled Blu-ray Disc Player?

What is a 3D-Enabled Blu-ray Disc Player?

Are There Blu-ray Disc Recorders?

What Would I Be Able To Record on a Blu-ray Disc Recorder?

What Type of Television Do I Need To Use With a Blu-ray Disc Player or Recorder?

How Much Do Blu-ray Disc Players Cost? - Is It Worth Buying a Blu-ray Disc Player?