Blu-ray Resolution Explanation and Comparison: 4K vs 1080P vs 720P

Blu-ray Resolution 4K 1080P 720P

Blu-ray discs usually store videos in these three resolutions: 4K (3840*2160), 1080P (1920*1080), and 720P (1280*720). What do they mean and what are the differences? We listed some frequently asked questions and their simple answers related to Blu-ray resolution. If you want to dive in, you can also read the second part.

Quick Q&A about Blu-ray Resolution

1. Is Blu-ray 4K?

Blu-ray is a physical media, and 4K is a resolution. The resolution of Blu-ray disc can be 4K but not has to be 4K.

2. Is Blu-ray in 1080P?

The resolution of a normal Blu-ray movie is 1080P. That means most of the commercial Blu-ray disc that you can see on the market is in 1080P. A small niche of Blu-ray disc is in 4K. That’s call 4K UHD Blu-ray.

3. Is Blu-ray or 1080P better?

Blu-ray resolution can be 4K, 1080P, 720P or others. We can’t jump to the conclusion that Blu-ray is better than 1080P. But if you ask the quality gap between 1080P Blu-ray disc and 1080P regular video, 1080P Blu-ray is better because of the higher bit rate.

4. Is Blu-ray better than HD?

HD (High Definition) means 720P. Blu-ray resolution can be 720P too. For example, if you burn videos to a recordable Blu-ray disc, you can select 720P as the output resolution.

5. Will there be 8K Blu-ray?

A good quality 8K Blu-ray probably need 120Mbps. That will use up (24.5+120)*(2*60*60)/8/1024≈127GB of disc space for a 2-hour movie (just a rough calculation). Blu-ray disc is able to hold up this much data. However, you need to either have a big screen over 120″ or sit three feet away to perceive the difference. I can’t see 8K Blu-ray happening for the moment because it is a niche of niche.

6. Is Blu-ray better quality than Netflix?

High resolution doesn’t mean high quality. Quality relates to multiple factors and the most important one is bit rate. Streaming media like Netflix has provided videos in 4K or 1080P but it uses a quite heavy compression system to reduce bit rate for easier transmission. In general, the quality of 4K Netflix videos can’t compare with 1080P normal Blu-ray disc.

Detail Explanation about 4K Blu-ray, 1080P Blu-ray, and 720P Blu-ray

Blu-ray movie runs at 4K, 1080P, 720P or others. Most of them are in 1080P.

Blu-ray Resolution 4K 1080P 720P

4K Blu-ray (also be called Ultra HD Blu-ray, 4K UHD Blu-ray)

A 4K Blu-ray disc has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels – 3840 pixels on the width and 2160 pixels on the height. In fact, the word “Ultra HD Blu-ray” would be more accurate than “4K Blu-ray”. “4K” is more like a word for propaganda purposes because 3840 pixels do not reach 4000 pixels.

Resolution: 3840 x 2160

Storage: 50 GB (dual-layer, 82 Mb/s), 66 GB (dual-layer, 108 Mb/s), 100 GB (triple-layer, 128 Mb/s)

Encoding: H.265/MPEG-H Part 2 (HEVC)

Released: 2016


1080P Blu-ray (also be called Full HD Blu-ray, normal Blu-ray, standard Blu-ray, 2K Blu-ray)

1080P Blu-ray refers to 1920 x 1080 pixels. With a Windows/Mac computer, an internal/external Blu-ray drive, and Blu-ray player software, you will be able to enjoy Blu-ray movies on the computer.

Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Storage: 25 GB (single-layer), 50 GB (dual-layer), 100/200/300 GB (BDXL)

Encoding: H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC

Released: 2006


720P Blu-ray

Recordable Blu-ray disc can store 720P video (1280 x 720 pixels). If you have tried burning some videos to a recordable Blu-ray disc, you probably have found that there are two output options: 720P Blu-ray or 1080P Blu-ray. If selected 720P, the output Blu-ray video resolution would be 720P regardless of the resolution of the original video you imported.

You may have seen “720P Blu-ray” at the movie download site. Some people will downgrade 1080P commercial Blu-ray to 720P Blu-ray and then post them on the site for downloading.


Quick Tip: How to Play 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc/Folder on PC

If you have more puzzles about Blu-ray resolution, don’t hesitate to drop all of them in the comment so we can discuss it together.

Blu-ray Resolution Explanation and Comparison: 4K vs 1080P vs 720P
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