Blu-ray vs. DVD vs. 4K

By · Friday, October 12th, 2012

Blu-ray vs. DVD vs. 4KHDTVs are now not the only television sets offering consumers a high definition viewing experience. 4K dimension TVs are in, and they produce extremely crisp details that make you feel like you’re viewing things firsthand. 4K TVs, however, work best with 4K resolution images. So what happens if DVDs and Blu-rays were played through a 4K TV?

DVDs and Blu-rays duplicated professionally and made available through retail outlets are crisp and clear. We will look at how each media plays through 4K TVS.


Some superficial tests were conducted by CNET Asia comparing DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K playback. The 4K TVs used for the tests were LG’s ultra-definition, or UD, TV and Toshiba’s 55RZ1 TV (present mainly for comparison).

DVD Playback

DVD playback on the 4K TVs yielded more detail than expected. “More detail than expected” because DVDs have a lower pixel output than 4K TVs. To be played successfully in TVs with such a high resolution, the format has to be blown up 24 times just to get the original resolution to fill up the whole screen. Enlarging usually results in more pixels and a softer image when playing DVDs. In this case, the 4K TVs performed acceptably, showing some image softening but retaining a reasonable amount of detail.

Blu-ray Playback

LG’s and Toshiba’s 4K sets were able to handle Blu-rays nicely. Since Blu-rays operate with a higher screen resolution (1080 dots per inch, to be exact), there wasn’t much problem regarding picture quality. Details are crisp and motion is fluid. Under performance appears when it comes to playing 3D Blu-rays. The jagged lines and alternating black lines that are the most common problems encountered by home 3D Blu-ray playback devices are still present. With that said, LG’s UD TV was able to offer engaging 3D viewing, mainly through its massive 84-inch display.

4K Playback

Coming back to the resolution that these ultra definition TVs are made for, the LG UD TV comes and shines in 4K resolution. Playback of a 4K video clip yielded amazing clarity. The detail replication was so intricate that viewers can make out the names of individual shops within a Parisian department store (the shooting place of the 4K video clip). The details retain its sharpness even as close as 30cm away from the screen.

The list price for the LG UD TV is $19,999, a bit too much if you consider that there are only a few 4K resolution visuals available in the market.

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