Blu-ray vs 4K – Is there a Difference?

You may have heard about Blu-ray and 4K technology and would like to know which one is worth your money. You’ve come to the right post.

Blu-ray was first introduced into the market by Sony in 2000. It is a digital optic that plays high-definition images and videos. 4K on the other hand was introduced in 2014 and is a higher resolution, often called Ultra High definition.

But does a better resolution ultimately mean a better user experience? Which of these technologies will ultimately satisfy your work and leisure needs?

This article discusses the benefits and limitations of Blu-ray and 4K and will help you make an informed choice.

Blu-ray vs 4K – The Verdict

The resolution of 4K imagery is better than Blu-ray because it can display more pixels per inch. The more pixels per inch in an image, the better the image quality and the more immersive when you view content.

But despite having a better resolution, you should know that there is very little 4K content available and it is a serious cause for concern because non-4k products are often brought down to HD. However, that only happens if your 4K device doesn’t have a 4K upscaling engine.

Thanks to an upscaling technology built into most 4K TVs, you can view HD content in 4K resolution. Not all televisions have upscaling capabilities, but models from Samsung, Sony, LG, do. In general, the more expensive the television, the better its upscaling feature.

We recommend opting for a 4K TV with upscaling technology. You will enjoy sharper images and a more immersive TV viewing experience.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty!

What is Blu-ray?

Blu-ray is a digital optic disc designed to display high-definition video using blue laser readers rather than the traditional red ones.

Its resolution is higher than the standard DVD, which can only display 720 X 480 pixels per inch (ppi).

Blu-ray discs can display up to 1920 X 1080 pixels per inch (ppi). 

Why do more pixels matter so much in resolution and image quality?

A pixel is a tiny square of color that combines to form a picture. Every color or detail in a video is applied to each specific pixel.

The more pixels there are in a video, the more details can be applied.

A large number of pixels per inch displayed by the Blu-ray discs can give more details than other discs. But Blu-ray is more than just a format used to watch high-definition images. 

Here are some of the pros and cons of Blu-ray:

Blu-ray Pros

  • You can use blu-ray to store high amounts of data. As of 2008, a dual-side Blu-ray disc could store up to 50 GB of data.
  • Blu-ray offers more audio quality than previous video formats. They can support more audio formats.
  • You can use blu-ray for audio recordings.
  • Blu-ray supports network and internet connectivity. 
  • Many Blu-ray players come with in-built WiFi for internet connectivity.
  • Blu-ray uses various watermarking and cryptology measures to ensure that nobody can copy or play any content on it without authorization.

Blu-ray Cons

  • Blu-ray discs and players are usually expensive. This is despite the reduction in prices in recent years.
  • Blu-ray can only work with specific players. To play a Blu-ray disc, you will have to invest in expensive hardware.
  • Getting updates is not always easy. You will have to invest time and have a strong internet connection.
  • Although Blu-ray can play video in high definition, it is not the sharpest format.

Let’s move to an alternative video viewing format with a higher resolution.

What is 4k?

Unlike Blu-ray which refers to a type of disc and the specific player that can play that disc, 4K is a type of digital resolution.

4K, also known as ultra high definition (UHD), first became available for use in 2012 when LG released the first flat panel UHD display in the United States.

4K’s resolution is way higher than that of Blu-ray. While Blu-ray displays a 1920 X 1080 pixels per inch (ppi), 4K can display up to 3840 X 2160 pixels per inch.

The resolution is called 4K because it displays four times the resolution of standard high definition.

The higher pixels per inch of 4K means delivering an even sharper image than the Blu-ray.

And because 4K represents a resolution, any device capable of displaying that resolution is a 4K device.

Examples of such devices include 4K TVs, 4K projectors, 4K cameras, and streaming platforms.

What are some of the pros and cons of 4K?

4K Pros

  • You can easily edit 4K images because there are many more pixels to work with.
  • 4K is compatible with a lot of devices. You can apply 4K to cameras, TVs, streaming services, and projectors.
  • 4K provides a sharper display of recorded images. This feature makes it useful in surveillance and cinematography cameras.
  • The high resolution of 4K makes viewing more immersive. This is why it works so well with 3D imaging.

4K Cons

  • 4K is very expensive compared to other video formats, including full HD. This is in spite of the fact that it is possible to get some budget 4K TVs.
  • For a 4K display to work, content must be shot using 4k-enabled devices. But there is very little 4K shot content on 4K screens.
  • 4K does not always work well with online streaming and TV channels. The cause of this problem is that streaming in 4K requires strong connectivity and more data. And because many people may not always have access to such strong internet connectivity, there is a problem.
  • 4K does not always work well with external hardware connections.  Connection requires special hardware such as additional streaming decoders.

Is Upgrading to 4K Worth it?

4K offers a higher resolution than other full HD options such as Blu-ray. This higher resolution gives it more details and better graphics.

But it also has several pressing issues such as lack of availability of 4K products, the difficulty in streaming, and the expense involved. There is also a connectivity problem with external hardware. 

Not having enough content in 4K means that many videos and images you view will likely be downgraded to HD. But if you have a 4K TV with an uspcaling feature, this isn’t an issue at all.

Also, keep in mind that 4K is the technology of the future, and Blu-ray and other HD options are gradually phasing out. You may not be able to enjoy the full benefits of 4K, but as more and more contents become available in 4K, you will soon be able to enjoy it more. 

And again, technology adapts faster than you think, so you may be able to enjoy your 4K product in no time.


Why is blu-ray better than DVD?

You can store approximately 25 GB (gigabytes) of data on a Blu-ray disc, and Blu-ray discs with dual layers may contain up to 50 GB of data. A Blu-ray disc’s increased storage capacity gives it a distinct advantage over standard DVDs, enabling higher-quality video and audio to be saved.

Why is 4K called 4K?

The photos are roughly 4,000 pixels wide, and that’s where the name 4K came from. 1080 resolution was named after the image height, but the 4K resolution was named after the image width.

Is 4K better than full HD?

Yes, it is.

HD ready resolution is 1,366 x 768 pixels, full HD resolution is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, and 4K resolution is 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. The image quality improves with increased resolution.