Blu-ray video disks can play standard DVDs as well as disks mastered in the newer Blu-ray format. Blu-ray players also can “upconvert” the DVD image, offering a slight improvement in picture quality if not a genuinely higher resolution, according to CNET.
- Blu-ray players and disks can display high-definition images containing 1,920 by 1,080 pixels of information, as opposed to the 720 by 480 pixels of images on standard DVDs. Blu-ray disks also can store more data than standard DVDs.
- Even with the popularity of high-definition video, however, movie lovers who have invested in a DVD collection needed a player that could work with the older technology as well. As a result, all Blu-ray players include backward compatibility with standard DVDs.
- To some extent, Blu-ray players can help create a smoother, truer image from standard DVDs than ordinary DVD players can, with fewer jagged edges or other pixel artifacts. They do not truly increase the image to high definition, however, because they cannot add information beyond that originally encoded at 720 by 480 pixels.