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Jul312009

Oppo BDP-83 Blu Ray Player: Podcast #384

It was in September of last year that we first got wind that Oppo was developing a Blu Ray player. Since then we have received a boatload of emails asking us when it would become available. The good news for those who have asked is the answer is it is available today! The BDP-83 can be found online for $499.99 and is available at the HT Guys store.

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Today's Show:

News:

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Oppo BDP-83 Blu Ray Player

(Buy Now $499)

It was in September of last year that we first got wind that Oppo was developing a Blu Ray player. Since then we have received a boatload of emails asking us when it would become available. The good news for those who have asked is the answer is it is available today! The BDP-83 can be found online for $499.99 and is available at the HT Guys store.


Features:

  • Universal Blu-ray disc player providing playback for a myriad of video formats
  • Supports Blu-ray, SACD, DVD-Audio, DVDs, and CDs
  • 24 Frames per second support
  • Two USB ports allow for playback of media stored on a flash drive
  • Uses award-winning video processing chip for a clear, true picture
  • Device measures 17.0 x 3.0 x 13.25 inches (WxHxD)


Setup:
It looks like Oppo has taken a page out of the Apple Playbook, minimalistic and elegant. Oppo includes a high quality HDMI cable with the product which is a nice touch. They want you to have a great out of the box experience. We connected power, Ethernet (required for automatic updates and BD Live capability), and HDMI. The HDMI was connected to our Pioneer receiver and we were off to the races. Our 65 inch Mitsubishi DLP TV is already properly calibrated so no tweaking was done to the player. But if you chose to you can adjust the player to dial in the picture.

Blu Ray:
The first thing you notice is that the player loads discs faster than any other player we have owned or used. This is nothing to just brush off. The Samsung 1400 that the Oppo replaced took so long that you could go an pop some corn before the movie was on screen. As far as video quality goes, it was quite good, but we wouldn't say it was any better than than other players in its class. Same goes for the audio. Both audio and video quality are a function of the mastering of the disc. We can say that the Oppo player did not affect the quality adversely. The player will decode Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio and send it to the receiver via HDMI in PCM format or through its 7.1 analog outputs. We chose to send a bitstream version of the audio to the receiver just because we like seeing "True HD" on the front of the receiver. If all things were equal vs other players we would recommend the Oppo based on load times alone. But there is more to love about this player. Keep reading.

Up Converting Standard DVDs:
This is where the Oppo outshines its competition. Oppo is know for building great upconverting DVDs players so we had high expectations when this unit arrived. The BDP-83 did not disappoint! The upconversion was as good as their former top of the line player the DV-983H because Oppo is using the same Anchor Bayde-interlacing and scaling technology. The Player easily passed all the tests on the HQV Benchmark Disc. Subjectively the player did a great job with the random DVDs we threw at it. With most of our discs you could see a noticeable improvement in quality. There was a small number of discs where it was harder to tell.

Media on External Devices:
Two USB 2.0 high speed ports are provided, one on the front panel and one on the back. That will allow you to play your high definition video, high resolution photos and music directly from the USB ports. Its as simple as plugging the drive into the USB port and navigating to the content. There was no album art displayed on the screen for audio files. And it was very simple to start a slide show with music playing in the background.

Odds and Ends:
The Oppo Menus are very clean and easy to navigate. The remote is a little busy not no more so than any of the other Blu Ray player remotes out there. The player was easily integrated into the Harmony remote so like all our other remotes it was placed in storage in the office. We are not big fans of BD Live but if you are the player fully supports it and it does not require you to add and USB stick for the storage. The BDP-83 comes with 1GB of on board storage. Not that many of you would need this but the player will allow you to output HD on component and HDMI simultaneously. There is support for RS-232 control for custom installers.

For those of you who have invested in a high quality video processor the BDP-83 has something called "Source Direct Mode" In this mode the video on the disc is sent to the processor unaltered. This way your video processor is working on the content exactly as it was recorded to the media.

Conclusion:
If you have a large investment in standard DVDs this player is a must for you. It will allow you to enjoy all your old DVDs with improved quality befitting your HD projector or large format TV. Plus its its a high quality Blu Ray player that supports the complete Blu Ray specification and plays SACD or DVD Audio discs. Add to that Oppo Digital's excellent customer service, you can't go wrong.

Download Podcast #384

Reader Comments (17)

Thank you guys for your review and awesome show! I absolutely love the new website look!

Do you know if BDP-83 has a code for multi-region unlocking? DV-981HD had this "hidden" option. I have found on the web this, but I am afraid to test it out:
http://www.codefreedvd.com/dvd_oppo_bdp83_multiregion_firmware.html

Hi Egils,

We have looked into this and if the BDP-83 has an unlock code for multi region support no one at Oppo is saying so. I would proceed with caution in this area.

Ara

July 31, 2009 | Registered CommenterHT Guys

Just purchased my Oppo BDP-83 earlier this week. Should be getting it from FedEx today. Can't wait to hook it up to my 50" 9UK display! It replaces a trusty and good Pioneer universal DVD player so it will be fun to see/hear differences between all formats.

July 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteroakleaf

I listened to this episode streaming it to my iPhone and for some reason the Starz.com ads would play twice, back to back (both the one at the top of the show and the one after news)... kind of weird. I wonder if anyone else experienced this or if it was a glitch in the streaming to the iPhone.

I love the show, please keep it up!

July 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAntonio

I have had my BDP-83 for about 2 weeks now and is everything it was hyped to be. Some of the testers were having some DVD-Audio problems but I have played dozens of my dvd-audio discs with no problems. The blue ray movies load much faster than previous players and the audio and video are excellent. Oppo promised an excellent product and they delivered.

July 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkatlon

For Nathan (who I believe was having a problem with audible noise floor - constant background "hiss" or "hum" ),

Ara and Braden suggested a power filter. There is a chance that "dirty power" could be the culprit, but in my experience, an audible noise floor is often caused by something other than the power.

Axiom Audio's Alan Lofft actually addressed this very issue in a recent e-mail newsletter. In part, he writes,

" It’s important to distinguish between “hiss”—the higher-frequency rushing sound—and hum, which is low frequency in nature, typically around 60 Hz or 120 Hz.

" Hiss is often a product of “thermal circuit noise.” What is it? It’s residual electronic noise generated in any electrical component or conductor (resistors, transistors, etc) caused by the random thermal motion of the electrons.

" The goal of careful electronic design is to keep thermal circuit noise at residual levels, below audibility at loud playback levels, but depending on parts and device quality and selection, as well as cost and design limitations, some audible hiss may intrude, especially in the gain stages of a preamplifier.

Hum is " low-frequency noise that is by far the most common, almost always caused by cable-TV feeds into an A/V system.

" installation of an in-line ground-isolation filter...on the incoming cable-TV line will eliminate the problem. "

In my experience, many receivers produce "hiss" - the higher frequency thermal circuit noise. You typically do not hear it until the volume knob is turned up quite high, but once you reach a certain point, many start to produce a clearly audible "hiss". Sometimes, simply connecting a stereo analogue audio source (like a CD player), turning on the player, but not playing anything - sometimes that will eliminate the "hiss". If this works, it basically just means that the receiver's input stage is "picking up" stray electrical noise in your system. But sometimes, the "hiss" does not go away no matter what. If that is the case, it's sadly just a matter of lower quality parts and construction that is allowing thermal circuit noise to become loud and audible.

I just wanted to point all of this out in the hopes that it might help :)

August 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob H.

I'm going to ditto Rob H.'s comment on the hiss, it more than likely is audible hiss, not ground loop hum.

There is a trick you can do to reduce the noise floor of the receiver's inputs, but it requires some electrical engineering knowledge, and will reduce the total amplification output/volume of the receiver, which is usually something you don't want. Especially considering that if you play music over the system, you usually won't notice the hiss.

August 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersheep

Thanks for your review of the OPPO BDP-83. I am confused about one thing. Can I take a cmputer video file (such as DivX, FLV, mp4, mov) copy it to a USB drive and then have the OPPO BDP-83 play the file to my TV? The manufacturer's web page is not clear about this and I could not find any list of video formats it would play other than the standard DVD and BluRay formats.

August 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPeter from California

Hi Peter,

The short answer is yes. I did not test DivX files but the mpeg 2 and mpeg 4 files I tested played just fine.

Ara

August 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAra Derderian

Thanks for the heads up on the Dish Platinum HD package. You saved me some $$$

August 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichael chiappini

Not even a picture of the Oppo? This new site (excellent though it is) must be complicated (no wysiwyg comment editor??) However, it is a nice surprise that DVD-A and SACD are supported, as I believe they weren't on offer initially. Well done Oppo. Now, if only they offered a non-US model.

Do you know if BDP-83 has a code for multi-region unlocking?

Here in Australia, we are being offered a chipped player for region-free at $1200 (Australian dollars), which sadly, puts it out of most people's price range. It appears to be this UK region chipped player (£600) imported, judging by the price.

That UK site sells a kit which requires soldering for the brave who wish to do the deed themselves. There doesn't appear to be an unlock code, like the pervious Oppo offering.

All in all, an unsatisfactory outcome for non-US customers, at the moment, despite being an excellent BD player. Maybe the next iteration from Oppo will be more kind.

Haven't heard the podcast yet, but I'd love to know if it loads faster than my old Sharp HP20. Sure it's not Profile 2.0, but it loads fast and it does uncompressed PCM - the only audio format that matters!

August 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGrant

Hi guys, Great Show! 1st time listener, lots of good info, I'll be sure to tune in more...

Question:

Any reason/benefit to upgrade to the Oppo Blue Ray over my existing PS3? I am considering this player due to the fact that I feel odd having a gamer unit in my home theater...am I missing something with the PS3, would I see any benefits with the Oppo?

August 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Rock

Hi Joe,

As far as Blu Ray goes, no you won't see any difference. The Oppo is a better upconverting DVD player plus it supports SACD and DVD Audio. If these things are not important to you stick with your PS3.

Ara

August 11, 2009 | Registered CommenterHT Guys

Thank Ara,

I appreciate your comments, the improvement in the upconversion factor with the Oppo speaks to me, we do have lots of standard DVDs and even some titles are still in DVD format from Netflix. The SACD and DVD Audio is a nice feature as well, gotta love a nice listen session in the HT...cool, dark, very relaxing! I think I'll go for the Oppo in the HT as it just may help with the standard DVD viewing on the big screen/projector and then I'll put the PS3 in the family room, it will look great on the new Samsung 55" LCD so my wife can play her gigs when ever she wants...RockBand on the PS3...what fun! Thanks again for your reply!

Joe

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Rock

I am happy to report that the BDP-83 is available in South Africa, but at a very steep premium of R9,500 which is around $1,000 US I read on local AV forums that the importer (Audio Tweaks in Cape Town) modify the unit to make it region free. They said that it is a hardware change which added around R1,000 to the price.

As much as I'd love to get the BDP-83, the price is just way out of my league. I might consider getting the OPPO up converting DVD player instead and when get my grubby paws on the Popcorn Hour C200, I'll get a Blu Ray drive which I'll slot into the unit. Just hope the unit is released soon and that there are people who will report back on how the Blu Ray functionality works with the C200.

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGlen

I am looking for the best image quality when I playback standard DEF DVD's. I already have a Sony BDP350 for Bluray, and I am wondering if it would be worth the extra money to get the OPPO bluray player, or if I would be better off with one of Oppos Standard DVD players?
I am also looking for audio quality as another primary interest and my old CD player seems to have better sound than my Bluray when I play back regualr cd's.
Am I missing a setting on the Sony?
its going through a Denon 2809ci

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKirby

Thanks very much for the review on the BDP-83. I will be purchasing this in the next couple of months, upgrading from my Panny BD30, which has been fine in most respects, but I do have some serious issues with in a few others.

I already have the Oppo 981, which is a super upconverting DVD player. The panny has poor performance in this area.

Wireless connectivity is important to me. With the panasonic I had to burn discs for firmware updates which is wasteful and time consuming. You mentioned a "Coronet Homenet" system recently. I couldn't find it on the web. Please correct the spelling and direct me if you could with this product. I presume you neglected to mention the WBK-1 Wireless Bridge kit Oppo itself is selling for this purpose at $80. If there is some deficiency with this product/solution please let me know as when I purchase the BDP-83 I plan on buying one of these kits.

I wonder why Oppo couldn't go the route TiVo did with its wireless network adaptor which connects to the unit by USB and then connects with one's router wirelessly - 1 device! Why go with a two component system? My knowledge of networking devices and this area is quite weak. Forgive me.

Any help clarifying here is appreciated! Keep up the great show guys!

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

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