Just when we’ve upgraded our VHS collection to DVD, along comes Blu-ray. Many of us spent quite a bit of money building up our DVD libraries. While it’s obvious that Blu-ray is a better format if you have an HD TV, will buying one mean all your old discs become unplayable? Will you need both Blu-ray and DVD players to watch all your movies, or can the newer bit of kit do everything?

The Knowhow

  • Blu-ray has been designed to be backwardly compatible.
  • It should be able to play Blu-ray, DVD and CDs.
  • HD-DVD was a separate format. These discs will not work in a Blu-ray player.
  • Blu-ray players can "upscale" the signal from your DVDs, making them look better on an HD TV.
  • You may need to upgrade your machine’s firmware to properly play Blu-ray 3D discs.
  • Blu-ray 3D discs need a 3D TV to work fully. They will not produce a 3D effect on an ordinary television.

While Blu-ray players can play DVDs, they might be unable to play discs that are region locked to another country. For example, if you had a multi-region DVD and bought a lot of discs from America you may find these won’t work on your Blu-ray.

While there may be individual exceptions, regular DVDs should play fine on a new Blu-ray machine; you can upgrade safe in the knowledge that your existing collection will still work in your home cinema.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific details.

Updated On:

Aug 07, 2012

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