Blu-ray discs are currently the most common optical disc formats thanks to their advanced technology. For gamers, the PS4 is also one of the most common PS gaming consoles despite the PS5 selling in millions.
Photo by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay
Blu-ray is a disc technology created to replace DVD. Blu-ray discs are high-capacity and optical, just like DVDs. However, they can store far more amounts of data than DVDs. Also, they can hold more advanced and higher audio and video formats.
The technology was created by the Blu-ray Disc Association – an association of various consumer electronics and PC companies. They are useful for recording and rewriting HD video; they also support video playback.
The name “Blu-ray” comes from the blue-violet laser the technology uses to read disks. This is in contrast to the red laser which DVDs and CDs use. Blu-ray disks are able to store more data because they have a very short wavelength.
The wavelength of Blu-ray disks is 405 nm compared to DVD with a 650 nm wavelength and CD with a 780 nm wavelength. Also in comparison, a single Blu-ray disc contains about 25GB of data. This is far more than DVDs and CDs which hold 4.7 GB and 700 MB of data respectively.
Furthermore, dual-layer Blu-ray discs contain about 50 GB of data. In theory, a dual-layer Blu-ray disc can hold up to four hours of HD videos.
Also Read: Best Free ISO Makers
Photo by InspiredImages from Pixabay
The PS4 is an eighth-generation video game console but the fourth generation of the popular Sony PlayStation home console. Manufactured by Sony Electronics and Foxconn, the PS4 console was launched in 2013, succeeding the PlayStation 3.
Despite being launched nine years ago, the PS4 is still one of the hottest video game consoles in the market. With over 115 million units sold, it’s the second most-sold PlayStation console, topped only by the PlayStation 2.
The PS4 ushered in a new era for PlayStation players with its state-of-the-art architecture and technical features. The console features an 800MHz AMD Radeon GPU, 8-core AMD Jaguar CPU (max 2.7GHz), and 8GB of GDDR5 RAM; it’s about 10x more powerful than the PS3.
With the PS4, you can not only play games but also play videos from discs and streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. It also came with support for multiple controllers. Aside from the PS4 controller, you can control the console using your smartphone or tablet.
In 2016, Sony released two improved versions of the PlayStation 4, the slim model with a smaller frame and the Pro model with a lot more power.
Check Out: Best PowerISO Alternatives
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
The Blu-ray disk technology was launched in 2006, about seven years before the launch of the PS4. Therefore, most disc players post-2006 had support for Blu-ray discs. The PS4 is no different as it’s compatible with Blu-ray discs.
It’s worth noting that Sony – the company that created the PlayStation – is also a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association. Since Blu-ray was launched, all Playstation consoles are made compatible with the disc technology. This includes the PS3 which was launched in late 2006.
The PS2, launched in 2000, and PS1, launched in 1995, are the only PlayStation consoles not compatible with Blu-ray discs. The PS1 could play only CDs (VCDs) while the PS2 could play CDs and VCDs only.
There are different Blu-ray disc formats and the PS4 is compatible with major ones including the BD-ROM*1, and BD-R/RE (BDAV, BDMV). However, the PlayStation 4 doesn’t support BD-RE ver.1.0 and BD-R/RE XL formats.
Aside from Blu-ray, PS4 is compatible with other disc formats as well. This includes DVD formats including DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW*2 (video mode, VR mode*3), and DVD+R/RW*2. The console is also compatible with Hybrid discs, CPRM, and AVCHD.
Note that the PS4 isn’t compatible with DVDs that have not been finalized and CDs.
Also Read: PowerISO vs UltraISO
Photo by Kerde Severin from Pexels
Since the PS4 is compatible with Blu-ray Discs, it can surely play them. All PS4 versions can play Blu-ray discs including the original version, PS4 Slim, and the PS4 Pro console. Notably, almost all PS4 game discs you come across are Blu-ray discs since the PS4 comes with a Blu-ray disc reader.
Aside from game discs, the PS4 will also play Blu-ray discs with videos (movies). Therefore, your PS4 can replace your home player. As stated earlier, the exceptions are BD-RE ver.1.0 and BD-R/RE XL formats.
Typically, a PS4 will play compatible Blu-ray discs out of the box. You don’t need to install any extra software. If you do need to install any software, an update, for example, it’ll be free of charge.
For some consoles, the disc playback feature over the Internet may not be enabled by default. Hence, you’ll need to do it manually before you can play Blu-ray discs. Once the playback feature is enabled, you can then play your Blu-ray disc even without an internet connection.
Note that you may not be able to play mini Blu-ray discs (8 cm discs) and also repaired discs in your PS4.
Also Read: Best Gaming TVs For PS4, Xbox, or PC
Also, there are some requirements before you can play Blu-ray discs on your PS4, your console should meet these requirements by default. The PS4 is designed to have a plug-and-play capacity for Blu-ray discs.
Otherwise, the requirements are that your PS4 be up to date and also connected to the internet. You need the internet connection to enable the disc playback feature for the first time. Updating your PS4 also requires an internet connection.
Also Read: Best SeaTools Alternatives
Photo from Playstation official website
Here’s how you can update your PS4:
- Click on the PS4 home button
- Select Settings and navigate to Power Save Settings
- Select Set Features Available in Rest Mode
- Tick the boxes for Stay Connected to the Internet and Enable Turning On PS4 from Network
The next time you turn off or start your PS4, it’ll update automatically. You can as well update it manually if you’re not playing any game.
Here’s how to do it:
- Click on the PS4 home button
- Select Settings and navigate to System Software Update
- Select Update Now. The system will display available updates
- Select Next and the update should start downloading
- Once the download is complete, accept the license agreement and the update will install
If your PS4 is updated, here’s how to enable the disc playback feature:
- Connect your console to the internet
- Insert the disc you want to enable playback for and wait for it to load
That’s all. Subsequently, you can play Blu-ray discs with or without the internet.
Check Out: Best PS4 Headsets Under $100
Photo by EVG Kowalievska from Pexels
Playing Blu-ray discs on PS4 is very simple, no different from using a home DVD player. All you need to do is to insert the Blu-ray disc in the disc slot and you’ll get a new option – among the game list – in your PS4 menu.
Typically, the option will feature the name of the Blu-ray disc (movie title, for example) or you’ll simply see just “Blu-ray”. Using your controller, select the option and enter; your disc will start playing.
However, note that some Blu-ray discs, just like DVDs, are region-locked. While your PS4 game Blu-ray disc will play anywhere, your PS4 will only be able to play Blu-ray discs for its region. You’ll find the region code on the case and it can be any of the following:
- Region A or 1: North America, Southeast Asia, South Korea, Taiwan, South America, and Japan
- Region B or 2: Europe, Africa, Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand
- Region C or 3: Asia, excluding Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and other areas of Southeast Asia already in Region A
- Region ABC: This is a region-free code and will work for all countries in Regions A, B, and C.
Hence, if you’re in Europe for example, you’ll not be able to play Region A and C Blu-ray discs. Only Region ABC Blu-ray discs have global support.
Also Read: Best Gaming Routers For PS4, Xbox One
Photo by BUMIPUTRA from Pixabay
While PS4 can play Blu-ray discs, it cannot play 4K UHD discs; it’s limited to HD and 3D Blu-ray discs. Only the PS4 Pro version manages to support 4K media but not 4K UHD. This is one of the areas where the Xbox One, PS4’s major competitor, comes out on top.
The reason why Sony decided to leave out support for 4K UHD Blu-rays in the PS4 is unknown. However, most customers believe it’s to minimize cost. Its predecessor console, the PS3, is said to be the worst PlayStation console ever.
The PS3 didn’t do well in sales and its price was one of the main contributing factors. The console launched at $499 and $599 for the 20 GB and 60 GB versions respectively. Comparingly, the original PS4 launched at $399.
Adding support for 4K UHD in the PS4 would have brought about a much higher price. Nevertheless, Sony made up for this with the PS5 as it supports 4K UHD Blu-ray discs up to 2160p. The PS5 costs $499.
Explore: Best PS4 Wireless Headsets
Photo from Playstation official website
Yes, the PS4 can play Blu-ray discs without the internet. You only need the internet to activate the play-back feature for the first time. After that, you won’t ever need the internet to play Blu-ray discs.
However, your console may experience some difficulties in playing Blu-ray discs due to the need for an update. In such a case, you’ll need to connect to the internet to update so you can play your discs.
You shouldn’t confuse playing Blu-ray discs and streaming movies. As mentioned before, your PS4 can stream content from Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video, to name a few. Streaming content from these platforms requires an internet connection.
Photo by BUMIPUTRA from Pixabay
There are many reasons why your PS4 may not play Blu-ray discs. Primarily, it’s either because there’s a problem with the disc or with your PS4. If your disc has scratches and dust, your PS4 may be unable to read it.
PS4 may not read repaired discs, Blu-ray discs with poor recording quality, or with an unsupported recording device. Also, in rare cases, the console won’t read discs with varying manufacturing and encoding processes.
If your PS4 is the problem, it could either be your disc slot or your HDMI cable. If you have a bad HDMI cable, your PS4 may just show a black screen whenever you insert a Blu-ray disc.
To solve this, simply check if your HDMI is connected properly – unplug and plug it back – or get a new HDMI cable. If the problem is with your disk slot, then it’s more technical and you’ll need a professional to fix it.
You only need the internet to enable Blu-ray disc playback for the first time but, it’s not impossible for the feature to reset. Hence, if your PS4 can’t play Blu-ray discs you can try connecting to the internet.
Finally, if your PS4 won’t play Blu-ray discs, perhaps it’s an unsupported format like the BD-RE ver.1.0, BD-R/RE XL, and mini Blu-ray discs.
Also Read: WD Elements vs My Passport
PS4 consoles are compatible and can play Blu-ray discs with some exceptions. One note is that the PS4 cannot play 4K UHD Blu-ray discs.
Nevertheless, if you have the PS4 Pro, you can at least enjoy 4K quality and play Blu-ray discs on all PS4 consoles without an internet connection. If your PS4 is not playing Blu-ray discs, your discs or your console’s disk player could be damaged.
Scott L. Macarthur is a marketing consultant and an online author. He is mostly engaged in providing his expertise to startups and SMBs. He is also an author on TheNextWeb.