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4K UHD Blu-ray vs. Blu-ray - What's the Difference?

Many people have been wondering how to rip a 4K Blu-ray since 4K Blu-ray becoming more and more popular. It is very common to see people confused about 4K Ultra HD and regular Blu-ray, especially considering that both are essentially Blu-ray Discs. Therefore, we will help you to better understand both 4K UHD and Blu-ray by comparing them. We will also show you how to rip 4K Ultra HD or HD movies to other digital formats, as well as how to play 4K Ultra HD movies on your PC or Mac computer with the best 4K UHD player software.

Part 1: Comparison between 4K UHD Blu-ray and Blu-ray

What is 4K UHD meaning for? What is 4K Ultra HD? And What is 4K UHD Blu-ray? A UHD disc, or Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc are discs that are able to store ultra-high-definition (UHD or 4K) content, as well as advanced surround sound (such as Dolby Atmos and DTS-X surround sound). While assumed to be the same as traditional Blu-ray media, UHD Blu-ray Discs are different in the way they are executed. In the simplest terms, that means your traditional Blu-ray Player or your computer’s Blu-ray drive will need to be entirely replaced in order to support UHD Blu-ray Discs. UHD Blu-ray Discs will simply not work on Blu-ray drives, even though the discs are technically similar. Therefore, refer to the comparison table below to better understand 4K Ultra HD vs Blu-ray.


Here is a comparison table between 4K UHD Blu-ray and regular Blu-ray

4K UHD Blu-ray Regular Blu-ray

Employed laser type

405nm “blue" laser

405nm “blue" laser

Optical drive compatibility

UHD Blu-ray drives

UHD Blu-ray drives, regular Blu-ray drives

Storage size

Between 50GB and 100GB

Between 25GB and 50GB

Data transfer rates

Plus or minus 54Mbps

Ranges from 82Mbps to 128Mbps

Supported video resolution

Up to 2160p (4K, UHD)

Up to 1080p (HD)

Dolby Vision and HDR video support



Dolby Atmos and DTS-X surround sound support



Part 2: How to Rip 4K Ultra or HD Movies to Other Digital Video Formats?

How to rip a 4K Blu-ray movie? What kind of 4K UHD Blu-ray ripper software should you use? It’s been quite easy to rip 4K UHD Blu-ray movies now thanks to Leawo UHD Ripper, the best 4K UHD Blu-ray ripping software. As a professional 4K UHD Blu-ray ripper software tool, Leawo UHD Ripper could help you easily decrypt, rip and digitize 4K UHD Blu-ray movies to video files in various formats for different media players and devices, bypassing the AACS 2.0 protection upon the 4K UHD Blu-ray movies. It has the following features and advantages that should make you consider it for this task:

  • Leawo UHD Ripper
  • Leawo UHD Ripper

    ☉ Remove AACS 2.0 protection from UHD Blu-ray discs
    ☉ Decrypt and rip 4K Blu-ray discs, folders and ISO image files
    ☉ Convert 4K Blu-ray to MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, FLV, and other 180+ 4K/1080P/720P/regular files
    ☉ Convert 4K Blu-ray movies in Full Movie, Main Movie or Custom Mode
    ☉ Edit 4K Blu-ray movies like trimming, cropping, adding watermark, applying 3D effect, etc.

Step 1: Load the 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc

Insert the 4K Blu-ray disc into the drive (both copy protected and non-protected are supported), and then launch Leawo Prof. Media 11. Open the “Convert” module, and then click the "Add UHD/Blu-ray/DVD" button on the main interface to load source 4K UHD Blu-ray disc, folder or ISO image file for converting.


Step 2: Select the output format

Click the drop-down list next to the “Add Photo” button. Select “Change” to enter the Profile panel where you can choose the output format from the “Format” group or “Device” group, for example HD MP4 VIDEO from the “Format > HD Video” group.


Note: You can click the same drop-down list and click the "Edit" button to adjust the video and audio parameters of the output files. They include video and audio codec, bit rate, aspect ratio, frame rate, channel, etc.


Step 3: Start ripping your 4K UHD Blu-ray Discs

Click the green “Convert” button and then set the output directory to save the final converted Blu-ray movies in the “Save to” box. Click the button again and the ripping should start. The ripped videos will be saved onto your hard drive in the format you chose.


Note: Before you rip your 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs, you should first of all ensure that you have a 4K UHD optical drive, as regular Blu-ray drives cannot support this disc type. Second, you should also ensure that your 4K UHD optical drive is ‘friendly’. If your drive is ‘unfriendly’ (the type which implements AACS2 protection), this whole task will be impossible because the protection will prevent ripping or copying. What you will need to do in this case is to downgrade your UHD optical drive firmware with a tool such as Leawo UHD Drive Tool. This is a superb, yet flexible UHD drive tool that allows you to read, rip, or burn discs without any restrictions.

Part 3: How to Play 4K Ultra or HD Movies on PC/Mac

Playing your 4K Ultra movies on your Windows or Mac computer just got easier, thanks to Leawo Free Blu-ray Player one of the best 4K Ultra HD player. Why should you consider this media playback software? Have a look at its features and advantages:

  • Blu-ray-player

    Step 1: Load the 4K UHD content. Open Leawo Blu-ray Player, click the green "Open File" button to browse and load the videos for playback. Insert the corresponding DVD disc into the disc drive, or drag the file directly into the player. You will see the media on the playlist.

  • playback-setting

    Step 2: Set the playback options. There will be a bunch of custom features for you to use, including subtitles, audio output, snapshot, DVD Blu-ray and so on. Click the settings button to enter the window for these features.

  • play-the-movie

    Step 3: Enjoy the 4K UHD content. Click the start button to play the movie. You will be able to watch the most cinema-like movie streaming at home theater.

If you notice that your 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies cannot play on Leawo Blu-ray Player, it could probably be, because of your UHD Blu-ray drive. Basically, there are two types of UHD Blu-ray drives, that is the ‘friendly’ and ‘unfriendly’ drives. In this case, your drive could be ‘unfriendly’ (which implements the AACS2 protection, thereby blocking some Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs even for playback). The solution to fixing this problem is to downgrade your UHD Blu-ray drive firmware, and you can also use Leawo UHD Drive Tool for the task.

  • Leawo UHD Drive Tool
  • Leawo UHD Drive Tool

    It supports a wide range of 4K UHD drives.
    It enables you to downgrade UHD-unfriendly Firmware on Blu-ray drive to a compatible version for 4K UHD Blu-ray ripping, copying or playing via certain programs.
    It has an intuitive interface
    It can provide you with detailed information about your UHD Bu-ray drive, as well as a helpful log when you use the software.
    It supports Windows 7/8/10 and macOS 10.13/10.14/10.15/11.



With long-term dedication into the latest market demands and technologies, the author has become an expert in posting practical, in-depth and user-oriented how-tos, tutorials, recommendations, reviews, and more digital multimedia solutions in Blu-ray, DVD, video, audio, picture, Apple utilities, etc.

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