OPPO BDP-83: A Truly Universal Blu-Ray Player

OPPO BDP-83 Blu-Ray Player

You may not have heard of the company, but among audio- and videophiles “in the know,” Oppo, a Chinese manufacturer, reigns as a “best bargain” champ among very high-performance disc-player brands. The company makes a noted effort to include high-quality parts and better-than-usual engineering designs to maximize both audio and video quality, plus, uses extensive beta-testing and consumer feedback to continually improve its designs—all at rock-bottom prices. So, A/V geeks are excited about Oppo’s first Blu-ray player, the BDP-83.

What’s really cool about the forthcoming player is that it also is one of the first universal Blu-ray players—not only compatible with DVDs and CDs, but also (as with Oppo’s other DVD players) with two effectively stillborn competing high-resolution audio formats from earlier this decade, DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD (SACD), that suffered a format war similar to the HD-DVD/Blu-ray war of the last few years (and fought by basically the same manufacturers…will they never learn?). So, there’s little the BDP-83 won’t play (namely the defunct HD-DVD hi-def format).

A couple of caveats: I have not reviewed the player, but am going on Oppo’s excellent reputation. And, the company has reported in an email to Sound and Vision’s Leslie Shapiro that at this stage in the BDP-83’s development, the player’s firmware currently only supports Blu-ray Profile 1.1, meaning some features of the Blu-ray spec will not be supported immediately out of the gate, such as some interactive and net-based features. Also, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio (both lossless, uncompressed audio formats in the Blu-ray spec) may not be supported via onboard decoding at launch, although these bitstreams will be outputted to your receiver or preamp/processor for decoding. However, the company promises a firmware update soon after launch to rectify these issues, and may offer a mind-blowing price at launch as an incentive for early-adopters who want to check out the interim feature set, knowing that these issues will be corrected via update in the near future. Look for the first incarnation of the player to land early in January in the $499-$599 range—easy to recommend assuming it’s a typically excellent Oppo product. Do check out the link above for more technical info. and the Oppo email.

Edit: The OPPO BDP-83 is now available for purchase on Amazon.com.

By Will Sullivan,
Contributing Writer, [GAS]





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10 Responses to OPPO BDP-83: A Truly Universal Blu-Ray Player

  1. I suppose it arguably would be irresponsible of me to fail to note that Denon–also a VERY highly regarded manufacturer in the high-end A/V field–also has announced a new “universal” player in the past week.

    The new Denon has an MSRP in the $3800 range…rather as expected–ahem…and then some!…hence my excitement about the Oppo, at perhaps ~$500.

    I do know that the Oppo uses the brand new “ABT” (Anchor Bay Technologies) video processing chip–also found in the new very-recently highly-regarded DVDO stand-alone video processor; I don’t (yet) know about the Denon’s components…when I do, it now seems best that I report such info. here…except that CES 2009 is coming up, so maybe you’ll see it “otherwhere” on this site, if I forget…do forgive me if so, I’ll try to remember to get back with you folks on this very post (and hopefully with a better–more realistic!–Denon MSRP, right?)

    More deets to follow, as I get ’em, here if I “remember to remember”!, and certainly otherwhere, onsite as I try to aggregate the best of the whole normal darned deluge of CES stuff, so…

    …thanks for bein’ patient, folks…

    Will

  2. I suppose it arguably would be irresponsible of me to fail to note that Denon–also a VERY highly regarded manufacturer in the high-end A/V field–also has announced a new "universal" player in the past week.

    The new Denon has an MSRP in the $3800 range…rather as expected–ahem…and then some!…hence my excitement about the Oppo, at perhaps ~$500.

    I do know that the Oppo uses the brand new "ABT" (Anchor Bay Technologies) video processing chip–also found in the new very-recently highly-regarded DVDO stand-alone video processor; I don't (yet) know about the Denon's components…when I do, it now seems best that I report such info. here…except that CES 2009 is coming up, so maybe you'll see it "otherwhere" on this site, if I forget…do forgive me if so, I'll try to remember to get back with you folks on this very post (and hopefully with a better–more realistic!–Denon MSRP, right?)

    More deets to follow, as I get 'em, here if I "remember to remember"!, and certainly otherwhere, onsite as I try to aggregate the best of the whole normal darned deluge of CES stuff, so…

    …thanks for bein' patient, folks…

    Will