Will DVD Players Play CDs As Well?

Not a lot of people know that DVD players accept a wide range of filetypes and rewritable DVD discs. Audio is playable by your DVD player as well, so your CDs could definitely be used on your television, and it won’t matter much which type of DVD device you own.

All DVD players are able to play audio by default. Inserting Compact Discs (CD) into a DVD player will allow users to play music on their television. The laser on a DVD player is able to read the data on standard CDs. Some DVD player models are even able to read high-quality Super Audio CD (SACD).

Since the laser on a DVD player is narrower than the data that can be read on the ‘grooves’ on a CD disc, DVD discs can store more data on the same type of disc.

While the laser is narrow compared to the laser on a CD player, DVD players can read the broader info tracks on CDs. Similarly, Blu-ray discs contain even narrower grooves with even more data. This means that DVD players won’t be able to play Blu-ray discs. But if you put in an audio CD, the results are completely different.


What Happens If You Put a CD in a DVD Player?

Foreign discs like CDs are compatible with DVD players. If you place a CD in a DVD Player, it will accept the disc and play the audio on the CD, like it would on a regular CD player. Most DVD players will show the audio track that’s currently being played on the screen.

With the remote control that you would normally use for movies, you are able to adjust the settings on a CD as well:

  • Volume up/down
  • Next/previous track
  • Skip track
  • Pause/play

This means that your DVD player will have all the functionality of a CD player. However, you’re going to need a TV or other output device to see which track you are on. A screen will also make it easier to adjust settings like the one listed above.


DVD Discs Can Be Used For Music As Well

I’m sure most people are aware that media can be burned on an empty CD or DVD. But did you know more audio can be burned on DVDs, compared to CDs? A wide range of audio filetypes can be burned on a DVD+RW, of which AC-3 is probably the most commonly used:

  • PCM
  • DTS
  • MP2
  • MP3
  • WMV
  • AC-3


The main benefit of using a rewritable DVD for music tracks over a CD is the extra storage capacity. DVDs can store up to 4.7 GB of audio, while a standard CD can only store 737 MB of audio data. This means it’s possible to burn multiple CDs on a DVD+RW disc.

Since CDs are widely accepted by DVD players, it would make sense to burn your audio files on a DVD+RW instead of CD+RW. Especially if you’re not planning on using any CD players to play your music.


Are DVD Players Better Than CD Players?

All DVD players will accept CDs, but this doesn’t necessarily make them better than a CD player. DVD players were designed to play video, not audio. Playing a CD on a DVD player is only possible when you connect an external audio output device, such as a TV or separate speaker set.

In terms of audio quality, the difference between a DVD and CD is very minimal. The only real benefit of DVDs would be the extra storage capacity. The mechanism of play between different types of disc-based players is almost identical. The only difference being the wavelength of the laser.


Blu-ray Players Can Also Play CDs

If you’re thinking about upgrading your DVD player to a Blu-ray player, it’s possible to keep using both your standard DVDs, HD DVDs, and standard CDs. Some Blu-ray players will also support Super Audio CDs (SACDs). The upgrade to a Blu-ray device will it easier to play all your disc-based media on a single device.

Choosing a 4K Blu-ray player will also allow you to play all types of currently existing Blu-ray discs. This means that a device such as the Sony UBP-X700 4K Blu-ray player is a good candidate to replace both your CD and DVD player. The relatively small investment will make it more than worth it, especially if you like both music and movies at the same time.

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3 thoughts on “Will DVD Players Play CDs As Well?”

  1. Not being tech-savvy, I really appreciate your clear and concise information on whether a CD can be played in a DVD player. Not having to buy another device was music to my ears! Thanks very much!

  2. Thanks. Your advice and information have enabled me to replace my broken CD Player cost- free by using my DVD Player instead. I had wondered why CD Players are almost impossible to find…now I know!


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