In the market for Blu-Ray?

August 7th, 2009

Oppo Digital has released their new BDP-83 Blu-Ray player. I received one of these a few months ago and think it is worth a serious look! It is fast, has all the calibration settings you would ever need, and has crystal clear DVD up-conversion. Oppo Digital also has top-of-the line customer service.

Many of you who have worked with Blu-Ray players up to now most likely have been extremely frustrated with their speed. Too long to load a disc, too long to get to the menu, and too long to get a movie started. This player takes care of that – it is fast! I haven’t done any exact measuring, but it feels as fast as a decent standard DVD player. No more waiting! This alone makes it worth considering, but the picture and sound quality it produces, as well as the fact that it can play just about any disc out there (other than HD-DVDs), makes it a killer product for the price.

If you’re in the market for a DVD player, you should seriously consider this one. At $499, it competes with players costing thousands more.

Quote from HomeTheaterReview.com’s website (Full Review Here):

“The Oppo BDP-83 is a great player that does a lot and does it really well. This single unit replaces the need for separate high-quality CD, DVD, SACD, DVD-A and Blu-ray players. The BDP-83’s analog audio outputs are extremely good, pushing the border of reference grade at an entry-level price. Its multi-channel digital audio outputs are just as good as those of any other player or transport I have had in my system. As for video, the Oppo’s performance is phenomenal. Other, more expensive players have equaled the Oppo’s video performance in my system, but none have surpassed it.”

For more details, check out the HighDef Digest BDP-83 Review. Or look at Oppo’s website: http://www.oppodigital.com.

You can buy it at http://www.htguys.com/shop/. Search for “BDP-83” under “Electronics”

Oppo DBP-83 front photo

Oppo DBP-83 front photo

7 Responses to “In the market for Blu-Ray?”

  1. Robert Says:

    What do you think about the new reduced price Sony Play Station 3 Slim? They’re going to sell for $299.

  2. XrstalLens Says:

    The PS3 (regular or slim), are a pretty good option for a Blu-Ray player. The advantages are they’re fast, and because they’re Sony you can be assured of having the latest Blu-Ray features through PS3 updates.

    There are a couple significant negatives just as a standard Blu-Ray player, though. The first is that you can’t use a standard universal remote without a special adapter (The PS3 has a Bluetooth remote). These can add up to $100 to the cost. If you choose not to go this route, then controlling it is rather cumbersome through the PS3’s controller. Second, the PS3 does not support bitstream audio output, even through the HDMI connection. This is not a major deal for most people, but some may prefer to have their receiver do the decoding instead of the PS3. Finally, you cannot typically just insert the disc and you’re up and running. You have to navigate the PS3 menus to play the disc, which could be a problem for the kids or houseguests.

    Compared to the Oppo player specifically, The Oppo has substantially better upconversion of standard DVD content, much better picture controls, and much better analog outputs (if you don’t have a receiver with HDMI input). The PS3 also does not play DVD-Audio discs, some PS3s don’t play SACD discs (the slim probably won’t), and it may not play some others (not sure about AVCHD content, etc.). Depending on what you listen to and your connections to the player, these factors may or may not come into play.

  3. XrstalLens Says:

    There is more information out now about the PS3 slim. Turns out it does support bitstreaming audio. Also, Sony does have a bluetooth remote specifically for DVD watching that you can get for about $20. You can see more info here: http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/news/show/Sony/PS3_Slim/Is_the_PS3_Slim_Better_for_watching_Blu-ray_discs/3348

  4. Alex Lee Says:

    I have a Denon 5308ci AV receiver and a PS3 (not a slim) as a Blu-Ray player. I also have the Denon do the upconversion on SD discs. I also have a 60″ Pioneer Pro 151FD Plasma. I’ve been kicking around whether or not to get the Oppo, but I’m wondering if the Oppo would provide a noticable difference on the SD discs vs. the Denon video processor (Silicon Optix Realta chip). Also on Blu-Ray do you think there would be a noticable difference with the Oppo vs. PS3 in my setup? I have the PS3 pass through a 1080p:24Hz signal to my Denon and have the Denon convert the signal to 1080p 60hz. I tried passing it straight through to the Kuro and using the Cinema Advanced feature to set the refresh rate to 72hz, but I found that I was sensitive to motion artifacts that it seemed to bring out in my viewing. So I would probably pass through the Oppo at 24 Hz and let the Denon change the refresh to 60Hz, so the Oppo wouldn’t be doing any conversion on the Blu-Ray signal either.

    One last question, in your opinion, do you think there is any noticable difference between having a LPCM stream out of the PS3 (with Dolby Tru-HD or DTS-Master Audio) or doing a bitstream and having the AV receiver convert it? I’ve heard mixed things on this. I’m thinking the higher quality system you have the more evident this might be, but theoretically aren’t you just passing bits along in either case and with the PS3 basically being a computer, it should have the processing horsepower to decode things pretty accurately? That being said, I could swear I hear a slight improvement when I pass a bitstream Dolby Digital or DTS signal to the Denon vs. sending it as a LPCM signal from the PS3. Thanks for your feedback in advance!

  5. XrstalLens Says:

    Alex,

    I have not done an evaluation of the Silicon Optix Realta’s upconversion abilities, so you’ll have to look online for reviews. Whether it would be a noticeable difference I can’t say. What I do know is that the Oppo does a fabulous job. Good quality SD content looks almost HD on a large screen. In my opinion, the usability, speed, and customer support of the Oppo make it worthwhile just for that, not counting the video aspects. I think you will notice an improvement in color saturation on the Oppo vs. the PS3 even on Blu-Ray.

    If I were you (and you decide to go with the Oppo), I would configure the Oppo to output via HDMI at the native resolution of your Kuro and set the Denon to pass the picture straight through without conversion. You definitely want to pass the 24Hz signal without conversion unlike you are doing currently as converting to 60Hz can worsen judder. This will give you the most accurate picture. For non-24Hz material (SD DVDs, mostly), you should let the Oppo do any conversion, de-interlacing, and 2-3 pulldown removal. If you’re not happy with the Cinema Advanced feature, you should just turn it off, as it is interpolating frames and not all algorithms do a good job of it. Even so, you should still pass the 1080p/24Hz signal as the Kuro can display it natively.

    The only possible thing I could think that would be different between decoding audio on the PS3 vs Denon would be timing errors between the channels when the PS3 decodes it. This could cause a loss of focus and clarity in the sound (albeit very slight). Theoretically it should make no difference where it is decoded. I personally do all the decoding in my receiver, even with the Oppo.

    Don’t forget to calibrate your Kuro, as that is a fabulous TV and can really benefit from being tuned – both in picture quality but also in the lifespan of the display and energy usage. It also has all the ISFccc features and will fully calibrate to both day and night viewing modes.

    Enjoy your system!

  6. Alex Lee Says:

    Thanks for the feedback, I will put the Oppo on my ‘wish list’ to add to the system. I’ve heard similar comments about the color saturation improvement on the Oppo vs. the PS3. If that is truly the case, it would make the Pixar movies more incredible they they already are on the Kuro and that would just be amazing.

    Here is another technical question related to 24fps detection. If I’m using the Denon to convert at 24hz bluray signal to 60hz, is the 24hz flag still being passed through to the Kuro and causing the Kuro to try to apply it’s algorithms to try to match the 24hz refresh rate? The reason is I’ve changed the settings on my PS3 to detect 24hz bluray discs and the Denon has a good status menu where I can check the incoming and outgoing HDMI video and audio signals. I’ve tried doing pass through straight to the Kuro and used the 72hz cinema advanced refresh rate and the 60hz rate on the Kuro and for my eyes, the Kuro seems to do better doing the 2-3 pulldown removal and outputting it at 60hz with the 24hz incoming signal.

    I see what I think is more judder with Cinema Advance on and also with it turned off. The least amount of judder seems to happen with I have the Denon convert the 24hz signal to 60hz with the Silicon Optix processor. The trade-off there is the color signal is reduced from 12 bit to 10 bit in the conversion process and the Kuro is getting 10 bit color (the display says 30bit color because I believe there are three color signals it received.

    I don’t think I notice any degradation of the color because of it and I think I’ve read that commercially authored discs don’t have that much color information anyway. So it seems as if the color trade-off is worth it to decrease the perceived judder on the set. Is there a test disc that has good judder test on it?

    I have done a self-calibration on the Kuro with ControlCal software and and x_rite EyeOne Pro meter, but I’m just a hack calibrator and I do intend to have a professional come out to the house to to a proper calibration on the set. I’ll definitely give you a call when I’m ready to do that.

    The Kuro is an amazing set. There is an ISF ‘Auto’ mode where you give it a reference calibration setting to base it’s adjustments off of and then it uses it’s light and color sensors to adjust the light output based on room light and adjust the color as well. It’s different from the ‘Optimum’ mode they have that also is supposed to adjust the color and light output. Optimum is an OK setting, but the ISF auto with the sensors enabled is just incredible. I calibrated for something around 48 foot lamberts of light output (basically the ISF day setting and set the gamma to about 2.2 with the temp at D6500, copy over the calibration settings over to the ISF Auto memory and activate ‘intelligence’ on the set. The Kuro takes over from there. I get a punchy and bright picture during the day with a lot of ambient light in the room and for critical viewing with the room shades drawn and/or at night, the light output is adjusted and the colors are adjusted to match a dark viewing environment. It’s sad that Pioneer is out of the Plasma business now and they are just selling out the remaing stock on the Kuro’s. I think this is the pinnacle of excellence if you want the most accurate TV set possible. Technology will move forward and eventually we will get sets that match or exceed it, but that is a ways away in my opinion.

    On the audio side keep us all updated on when you will be able to calibrate the Audyssey system. I’m running a 9.3 system and would love to get it dialed in more than I can do with standard Audyssey calibration available in the Denon. It’ has MultEQ pro capability built in for professionals to utilize.

    Thanks again for your insight, really appreciate it!

  7. XrstalLens Says:

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the feedback! I’ll send you a private email reply with regard to your questions.

    Lyle