OPPO BDP 83 Blu Ray Player Review
September 23, 2009
While not as widely known as Sony or Samsung, Oppo has made a name for itself with their high quality upconverting DVD players. Oppo is based out of China with many independent subsidiaries around World. Oppo Digital Inc. is a subsidiary based out of California and is responsible for producing the upconverting DVD players. Oppo DV-984H had excellent image quality to go along with SACD and 7.1 channel analog outputs. While it had great set of features, the main draw for the DVD player was its upconverted image quality. The upconversion of the standard DVD to 1080p resolution was one of the best in the industry. Given the track record, it is surprising that Oppo has waited long time to jump into the Blu-ray market. Nevertheless, Oppo has put together a very solid Blu-ray player.
Oppo has put together a standalone player capable of playing almost any format. This includes DVD, SACD, DVD-Audio, CD, and Blu-ray. It’s also capable of playing Kodak Picture CD, AVCHD, and MKV files from the disc or USB flash drive. While Samsung recently added MKV compatibility, it is rare to see MKV compatible Blu-ray player. The Oppo BDP 83 is a Profile 2.0 player with BD-Live capability. It can natively decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio as well as other audio formats. Also, Oppo has decided to include 7.1 channel analog outputs. Oppo BDP 83 is capable of switching between PAL and NTSC format. While this might not be an important feature for most users, people who enjoy movies from different region will appreciate the easy conversion between PAL and NTSC. The overall set of features is very comparable to Panasonic DMP-BD80 and Samsung BD-P3600.
The overall design of the Oppo BDP 83 is fairly standard affair. It is 17 x 13.25 x 3.0 inches in dimension. The dimension of the player is about the same as any other Blu-ray player. On the other hand, the player weighs in at 11 lbs. This is almost double the weight of most other players. This gives the player a real solid and well built feeling. The front face plate consists of brushed metal finishing around the LCD and loading tray. The right side of the front plate contains the general playback buttons and USB port with cover that makes it inconspicuous. The back of the player contains all the connectivity ports you can imagine. As befitting a high end player, it contains 7.1 channel analog output, HDMI port, USB port, RJ-45 port, composite and component outputs, and Digital audio outputs. As bonus, Oppo has decided to include RS-232C port and IR input and output ports for more advanced users.
Oppo has put in a lot of thought for their remote control. With some Blu-ray players, the remote control seems to be an afterthought. That is not the case with Oppo. The remote control has very well thought out button placements to go along with back lit buttons. And, the buttons themselves are large unlike some of the other remote controls. The numeric buttons and ON and OFF buttons located at the top of the remote with directional buttons in the middle. The bottom of the remote contains the playback function buttons as well as subtitle and various other functional buttons. There is dedicated button to turn on the backlight. Overall, the included remote was very easy and convenient to use. While it can’t compete with programmable remote controls, it is a very competent remote control.
The Oppo BDP 83 can handle almost any media formats excluding HD-DVD. It can handle DVD, Blu-ray, CD, SACD, and DVD audio media. Also, PAL and NTSC versions of DVD can be played without any difficulties. The overall video quality was excellent as expected. I used several different Blu-ray titles to test the Blu-ray playback. None of the movies showed any sign of processing defects. This is consistent with other major Blu-ray players. You won’t find too many defects or bad video processing with new Blu-ray players like you did on the first generation players. What sets this player apart from other Blu-ray players is the high quality upscaling capability. There is definite and noticeable difference between Oppo BDP 83 and other Blu-ray player’s upscaling of DVD discs. This is a definite plus for people with big DVD collections. Also, Oppo had the fastest loading time for Blu-ray discs. It even beat Samsung’s loading speed.
The audio quality was on par with most other Blu-ray players. The audio decoding option covered almost every known audio format including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Throw in 7.1 channel analog output and you won’t be left short for any audio options. The support of SACD and DVD audio format is a big bonus for audiophiles. While these formats are not very popular, the audio enthusiasts have embraced them as high definition audio formats. If you have collection of SACD or DVD audio discs, this player will fill in nicely.
The Oppo BDP-83 does have few drawbacks. First, it does not have WiFi connection. For people looking for wireless home theater solution, you will need to get extra equipment to make this player wireless. Second, the player lacks streaming contents. We come to expect Netflix, Amazon Video on demand, Youtube, or Pandora on the new Blu-ray players. Lastly, it is little more expensive than the comparable Blu-ray players. Comparable players from Samsung or Sony cost about $100 less than this player.
Other than Drawbacks...
This is a player for home theater enthusiasts. The overall picture and sound quality is marginally better than comparable players. However, it might be worth it for some users. Also, this player boasts the best DVD upscaling capability on the market. If you can overlook the price and lack of streaming contents this is a definitely a solid choice for your standalone Blu-ray needs.
OPPO BDP-103 Universal Disc Player (SACD / DVD-Audio / 3D Blu-ray)
Sale Price: $499.00
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