A Blu-ray player will play a DVD disc, but will it also look better? A lot of people are wondering if it’s worth it to revisit their old collection of DVD movies. Viewing an older movie on a modern HD television can definitely improve the viewing experience.
DVDs will look better on a Blu-ray player, but will not be able to match the video quality of a Blu-ray disc. DVD upscaling is limited by the relatively small storage capacity on DVD discs. While an upscaled DVD can look better on Blu-ray players, a movie will still look flatter and softer.
Your modern Blu-ray player has the ability to stretch the SD-quality of your DVDs, which will ‘fill-up’ the screen. However, remember that 1080p is not possible for DVDs. Your old DVD movies will output video quality of 480p only. In the end, the information on the disc itself will determine the quality of the picture on the television.
Does A Blu-Ray Player Affect Picture Quality?
Picture quality is most affected by upscaling the information on a disc, which is easier for an older Blu-ray than a DVD movie. Blu-ray players have the ability to improve the picture quality of a DVD by decoding the information on the disc. A TV or receiver is then able to scale up the picture quality according to the chosen screen resolution.
There will undoubtedly be a difference between an expensive $600 USD Ultra 4K Blu-ray player, compared to a cheaper $200 model.
However, the screen quality will be roughly similar across all Blu-ray players, because the information is generally standardized depending on the disc model. Your older DVDs were probably not made for the picture quality that a modern TV can output. This means your media devices will have to ‘calculate’ what the image would probably look like with more pixels. This is what will cause the somewhat blurry image.
Is It Worth Upgrading DVD To Blu-Ray?
DVDs are definitely not dying out, but Blu-ray is here to stay. One could argue that it would be worth it to upgrade your old movie collection from DVD to Blu-ray discs. After all, upscaling a DVD doesn’t give users the best possible viewing experience. However, there are a lot of benefits and drawbacks to this argument (see below).
Let’s settle this debate. Here’s my take on this dilemma:
Upgrading your DVD movies to Blu-ray will definitely be worth it to achieve the best audiovisual experience. Not only does Blu-ray greatly improve video quality, but it will also improve the overall sound experience. An upgrade is worth it when you can invest $20 USD extra per DVD movie owned.
- Different than DVDs, Blu-rays will support Full HD video quality (up to 4K Ultra HD)
- Blu-rays offer a lot more extras and viewing modes compared to old DVD movies
- Blu-rays store a lot more information on them, which means fewer extra discs
- Blu-rays provide a far superior sound quality for media content
- You’ll have better compatibility with possible future types of media devices
- It’s a big monetary investment for a relatively small video quality upgrade
- Chances are that media will move on to better video quality formats in the (near) future
- Physical Blu-ray discs may become obsolete as streaming services increase their video quality over time
- DVDs have a nostalgic feeling to them, while Blu-rays are relatively new
- Some DVDs might be collectible items might be worth a lot of money sometime
Upscaling DVDs For Better Quality
After considering both the benefits and drawbacks of upgrading your DVD collection, consider this. Would you really be bothered by the reduced video and audio quality? Is upscaling a DVD really that bad? And to be honest, only the purists will say yes.
Sure, the video quality is a bit less detailed, a bit flatter. Perhaps the audio could use a polish.
But in the end, the story that is pictured in your movies will be the same, regardless of the type of disc it will be stored on. And we aren’t dealing with 1930’s silent films here, DVDs first came out on the commercial market back in 1997! Upscaling the quality those DVDs is still a very viable option, at least for this generation of 4K televisions. Technology never stops improving, so make sure to choose wisely between DVDs and Blu-rays!