Oppo Digital has released a more affordable Blu-Ray player to go along with their renowned BDP-83: the $289 BDP-80. In many ways the same player as the BDP-83, the primary difference is the lack of the Anchor Bay VRS video processing.
Oppo is touting this as a great “digital transport”, for use in any situation that doesn’t involve a very large screen or that doesn’t need extensive video processing by the player itself (for example, if you have an external video processor).
In my opinion, the main thing you lose is the superb scaling of standard DVD content to your HDTV, as well as the effectively perfect deinterlacing performance of the Anchor Bay chipset. If you have a small TV and want to attach a Blu-Ray player, or if you have a high-end system that does its own scaling and deinterlacing, then the BDP-80 is something you should take a look at.
Also, Oppo released late last year for analog audiophiles another variation of their player: the BDP-83SE. For $400 more than the standard BDP-83, you get a high-end analog output section using ESS Technology’s high-end Sabre32 DACs. If you’re using the analog outputs of your DVD player in your system, think about putting this player on your list.
More details on both players are available at Oppo’s website: www.oppodigital.com