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Posted by Donna Peng - Contact Author

Can a Blu-ray Player Play DVDs? Here's the Answer!

With the advent of Blu-ray players and high-resolution TV, movie lovers jump to the bandwagon in a bid to experience the astonishing visual and audio fidelity. But many movie lovers still have hefty DVD collections since they are now sold extremely cheaper than Blu-ray discs. If you'd like to know whether your Blu-ray player can play DVD discs, let's delve into the page and learn how you can play a DVD on your Blu-ray player.

how to play DVDs on Bluray player

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Part 1. Can You Play a DVD on a Blu-ray Player? Yes!

Yes. All Blu-ray players can play standard DVD discs as they are backwards compatible with DVDs. Here is how this breaks down:

  • DVD player can play DVDs and CDs, but cannot play Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs.
  • Blu-ray Disc player can play CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, but cannot play UHD Blu-ray discs.
  • UHD Blu-ray disc player s can play CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, and UHD Blu-ray discs.

Why Can a Blu-ray Player Play a Regular DVD?

1. Technically speaking, discs are of the same physical dimension, and use similar technology, supporting both Blu-ray and DVD formats with the same Blu-ray reader makes good technical sense. Typically, a Blu-ray player has two lenses – the smaller lens for reading the Blu-ray discs, and the larger lens for reading the DVD discs. Due to the smaller photons, reading the track and pits of DVD is done easily in Blu-ray Player.

2. In terms of video codec, DVD-Video uses MPEG-2 as its primary format, which is also one of the 3 codecs that are used for Blu-ray Discs. So playback of DVD discs in Blu-ray Player is also a gimme.

3. When it comes to audio format, DVD-Video supports 4 audio formats, including MPEG-1 Layer 2, Linear PCM, Dolby Digital/Dolby AC-3, and DTS. The latter three codecs are also required in the Blu-ray disc standards. Since the MPEG-1 Layer 2 is gradually weeded out, it’s not a problem to play DVD in Blu-ray player.

In the meantime, a Blu-ray player also enhances the quality of DVD playback, commonly expressed as upscaling. It is capable of upconverting a DVD disc to 720p or 1080p. Some enhance the look of the DVD, though won't give the same top quality of a Blu-ray movie, while some may result in aggressive sharpening or artifacts, contingent upon your HDTV and the connections you are utilizing.

Part 2. There Are Exceptions. Why Blu-ray Player Cannot Play Some DVDs?

As it is mentioned above, almost all Blu-ray players can read DVD discs. However, there might be two or more exceptions. Check the reasons why you cannot play DVD on your Blu-ray player.

1. Regional restriction.

If your Blu-ray player cannot play the DVD movie all of a sudden, the likely reason is because of the regional restriction. DVD discs generally have a much more strict regional restriction than the Blu-ray discs. Unless stated on the disc and packaging itself, Blu-ray discs won't really pose an issue for movie lovers, while things will be complicated for playing regional DVDs. Explanatorily, in order to play DVD on your Blu-ray player successfully, make sure your DVD and Blu-ray player are both within the confines of the same region, for example, the region 1 area, in the US or Canada. If the DVD you currently own are bought from UK, Japan, or some other regions, then it cannot be played.

Click to learn how to change DVD region code >>

dvd region codes

2. DVD is severely scratched.

Another possible reason why you cannot play DVD in Blu-ray player is that the DVD is scratched and consequently prevents your player from reading the DVD disc. Make sure your DVD isn't gouged or scratched on the top surface before playing it in your Blu-ray Player.

Click to learn how to fix a scratched DVD >>

DVd is scratched

3. DVD is mistakenly recorded or formatted.

Some recorded DVDs, particularly dual-layer DVD-R-DLs, or odd formats like DVD-RW are not likely to work on Blu-ray Player.

Part 3. How to Play a DVD on a Blu-ray Player Successfully?

For the standard DVD, just insert it into a disc drive, the Blu-ray Player will automatically detect the DVD and make the appropriate adjustments to play your DVD.

For the regional DVD, if the region code of DVD itself doesn't match with that of the Blu-ray player, you can change the optical drive region code settings (maximally 5 times).

Please note that the region code will remain set to the fifth change made and cannot be changed anymore.

How about permanently removing DVD region code and playing DVD movie on the go?

Fortunately, the solution to fix DVD not playing on Blu-ray player can be found in various third-party software called DVD rippers. By taking advantages of a computer or laptop with a disc drive to read the DVD, they can extract the content out of the physical media and convert it into a variety of formats such as MP4, MKV, MOV, AVI, etc. On top of that, most commercial DVD rippers can deal with the regional DVDs and even the protected DVDs encoded with CSS, RCE, Sony ARccOS, Disney X-project DRM, and other severe protection measures.

Software like WinX DVD Ripper Platinum can digitize DVD with excellent performance, and therefore let you play DVD movie on media player, PC, mobile, game console, etc without taking along DVD.

To get started, we should download and install the program on our computer. Simply click the download button below to get the setup file.

Step 1. Insert the region-locked, scratched or unplayable DVD movie into your computer's disc drive and click the DVD Disc button on WinX DVD Ripper to select the source disc. It will start to analyze the region code and choose the right title for your movie.

Step 2. Once the DVD is loaded, it will pop up an output profile window. Choose an output format as per your needs. You can choose to copy DVD to ISO image, MPEG2, or folder without losing quality at all, or digitize DVD into MP4, MOV, or other format. This program will maintain the best overall quality and keep the movie size minimal.

Step 3. Hit the RUN button to start ripping DVDs. It won't take you too much time because it can utilize multi-core CPU and GPU hardware acceleration to speed up the transcoding. Once done, you can play the DVD copy on your computer, HDTV, or mobile on the go.


Part 4. FAQ about Playing DVD

1. Can you damage a DVD by playing it in a Blu-ray Player?

No. Both DVDs and Blu-rays are optical media. If your player doesn’t have any debris, there is no reason your player will damage your DVD disc. The only thing that has relationship with the disc is the spin motor, and that’s only with the center spindle. As a matter of fact, the data is read by a laser located below the disc and never touches the disc.

2. Can you put a Blu-ray in a normal DVD Player?

No. Blu-ray discs require the use of a blue laser which DVD players don’t have.

3. Can Blu-ray players play DVDs from all regions?

Blu-ray players are typically locked to a specific region for DVD playback, just as they are for Blu-ray discs. These region codes are designed to restrict the playback of DVDs to a specific geographical region. The region codes are as follows:

  • Region 1: USA, Canada
  • Region 2: Europe, Japan, Middle East, South Africa
  • Region 3: Southeast Asia, South Korea, Taiwan
  • Region 4: Australia, New Zealand, Latin America
  • Region 5: Russia, Eastern Europe, India, Africa
  • Region 6: China
  • Region 7: Reserved
  • Region 8: Special international venues (airplanes, cruise ships, etc.)

If your Blu-ray player is locked to a specific region, it will only play DVDs from that region. However, some Blu-ray players are sold as "region-free" or "multi-region" players, which can play DVDs from all regions. Region-free players are not bound by these regional restrictions and can play DVDs from any region.

If you have a standard, region-locked Blu-ray player and want to play DVDs from other regions, you may need to look for a region-free player, make your player region free, or consider converting your region-locked DVDs to region-free discs or digital files.

4. Can a Blu-ray player play HD DVDs?

No, a standard Blu-ray player cannot play HD DVDs. Blu-ray and HD DVD are two different and competing formats for high-definition optical discs. Blu-ray players are designed to play Blu-ray discs, which employ a different technology and a different data structure than HD DVDs.

HD DVD players were once in competition with Blu-ray players to become the dominant high-definition optical disc format, but Blu-ray ultimately won that format war and became the industry standard. As a result, HD DVD players and discs are not widely available or supported today.

If you want to play HD DVDs, you would need a specific HD DVD player that was designed to play that format. These players are rare and no longer being produced. It's important to note that if you have a large collection of HD DVDs and want to continue playing them, you may have to search for a used HD DVD player or consider digitizing your HD DVD collection and playing the content on a compatible media player or computer.

5. Can Blu-ray players play DVD-R?

Most modern Blu-ray players are compatible with playing DVD-R discs. DVD-R is a recordable DVD format that is widely supported by Blu-ray players, along with other DVD formats like DVD+R, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW. However, it's essential to note that the compatibility of DVD-R discs can vary slightly from one Blu-ray player to another, so it's always a good idea to consult your Blu-ray player's user manual or check the manufacturer's website for specific compatibility information.

The following table shows the DVD types supported by Samsung Blu-ray players.


Disc Type




DVD-VIDEO, recorded DVD+RW/DVD-RW(V)/DVD-R/+R that have been recorded and finalised, or a USB storage media containing DivX, MKV, MP4 contents.


Ultra HD
Blu-ray Disc

Ultra HD
BD-ROM format.



Audio CD (CD-DA), music recorded on CD-RW/-R, DVD-RW/-R, BD-RE/-R or a USB storage media containing MP3 or WMA contents.



Photos recorded on CD-RW/-R, DVD-RW/-R, BD-RE/-R or a USB storage media containing JPEG conten


  1. The disc types that your Blu-ray player can handle might differ based on the specific model you own.
  2. If a DVD-RW or DVD-R has not been recorded in the DVD video format correctly, it will not be playable.
  3. Your product won't support content recorded on a DVD-R with a bit-rate exceeding 10 Mbps.

The following table shows the DVD types supported by Sony Blu-ray players:

All Blu-ray Disc Players








>Super Audio CD


















Only the CD Layer

Still Images









6. Do Blu-ray players upscale DVDs?

Yes, many Blu-ray players are equipped with upscaling capabilities. The effectiveness of upscaling can vary from one Blu-ray player to another, so it's a good idea to check the player's specifications and user manual for information about its upscaling capabilities.

While upscaling can improve the appearance of DVDs on an HDTV, it's important to note that it won't make a DVD look as sharp and detailed as a true Blu-ray disc or native HD content.


author - Donna Peng

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Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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