Some comparisons between the OPPO BDP-93/95 and OPPO BDP-103/105
The OPPO BDP-93/95 Blu-ray players were first manufactured around October-December 2010 and they are no longer in production. The $999 OPPO BDP-95 just offers better analog audio output quality when compared to the $499 OPPO BDP-93, plus an added fan to keep the audio board and entire system cool. For someone that only plans on using the digital audio outputs the OPPO BDP-93 and BDP-95 sounds exactly the same.
The new $499 OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray players will begin shipping on or around September 28th 2012 for customers that pre-ordered the Blu-ray players with wide release estimated to be around the middle of October. It was mentioned by OPPO Digital INC that the analog audio outputs on the BDP-103 has a slightly better sound quality when compared to the old OPPO BDP-93 (Digital audio output sound quality are identical on the OPPO BDP-93 and the new OPPO BDP-103).
The $1,199 OPPO BDP-105 Blu-ray players might be released as early as December 2012 or sometime in the first quarter of 2013. Both the BDP-103 and BDP-105 sound quality are identical when using digital audio outputs. The advantage of the BDP-105 according to OPPO Digital INC is the improved analog audio performance when compared to the BDP-103. Also the BDP-105 in some ways is like a A/V receiver since it supports digital coaxial input, optical input, and asynchronous USB in. Also the BDP-105 will have a headphone amplifier jack which to my knowledge will be the very first Blu-ray player on the market with a headphone jack (which is a nice feature for consumers that do not own a A/V receiver or do not want to turn on their A/V receiver late at night to listen to movies or music).
A list of some features exclusive on the old OPPO BDP-93/95 that the new OPPO BDP-103/105 does not offer
1. Exclusive analog video outputs on the OPPO BDP-93/95: The old OPPO BDP-93/95 offers a 1080i component video output (480i,480P,720P, and 1080i is outputted depending on menu settings). In addition, the old OPPO BDP-93/95 offers a 480i composite video output. These features are only important for consumers that do not own a modern HD display with a DVI or HDMI input with HDCP (The new OPPO BDP-103/105 requires a display with a HDMI input or DVI input with HDCP). Around Jan 1st 2011 all new Blu-ray player models introduced limited the component video outputs to 480i quality, or like Panasonic Blu-ray players the component video outputs were completely removed starting in 2011. Per the AACS licensing agreements all consumer Blu-ray players manufactured or introduced after Jan 1st 2014 are not allowed to play AACS Blu-ray discs using analog video outputs. The reason the AACS Analog Sunset rules are in place is to prevent the possibility of someone making an unauthorized 480i SD or 1080i HD copy to an external recording device that removes analog copy protection. Technically manufactories can leave 1080i component video outputs and 480i composite video outputs on Blu-ray players if they are restricted to streaming service like VUDU or 480i DVD watching but doing so would cause consumer confusion if the consumer can use the 1080i component video outputs and 480i composite video outputs for everything except Blu-ray movie watching. So all Blu-ray players manufactoried after Jan 1st 2014 because of the AACS agreement are now being forced to make Blu-ray players like the OPPO BDP-103/105 with no analog video outputs at all. It is not Jan 1st 2014 yet but some manufactories like OPPO Digital plan on still producing the OPPO BDP-103/105 beyond the year 2013 so they decided to start early by not offering any 480i analog video outputs. The new Sharp Blu-ray players also only contain HDMI outputs with no analog video outputs at all.
2. OPPO BDP-93/95 can send DSD signals using both HDMI 1 and HDMI 2 ports: The OPPO BDP-93/95 Universal Blu-ray players and every other brand of dual port HDMI Universal Blu-ray player on the market that plays SACD’s can send DSD from both HDMI ports as far as I am aware. The following is only an issue for those consumers that listen to Super Audio CD’s and plan on using the DSD feature. One of the negatives of the new OPPO BDP-103/105 is due to a limitation in the hardware, HDMI 1 does not support DSD signals from SACD’s, only PCM. The work around to the OPPO BDP-103/105 hardware limitation is consumers are forced to send DSD out of HDMI 2 port if they have the equipment that accepts a DSD signal. Since HDMI 1 has a superior Marvell QDEO video processor compared to HDMI 2 that means consumers with modern A/V receivers will be required to plug both HDMI 1 and HDMI 2 into their A/V receiver if they want to have the best video quality and want to listen to the native DSD signal from the SACD’s. When SACD’s are listened to with DSD then the input selector on the A/V receiver needs to be changed. When done listening to the SACD’s then the input selector on the A/V receiver needs to be changed back to OPPO BDP-103/105 HDMI 1 source for the superior video quality. Some consumers that do not want to give up the DSD feature and that have no spare HDMI ports available on their A/V receiver and will be forced to upgrade their A/V receiver to one that offers more HDMI inputs since the BDP-103/105 requires the use of two HDMI ports to deliver the full video and audio quality to ones A/V receiver.
3. OPPO BDP-93/95 has 2GB of built in flash memory compared to only 1GB of built in flash memory for the new OPPO BDP-103/105: The BDP-93/95 has a total of 2GB of flash memory reserved for internal storage. 1GB is used for BD-LIVE persistent storage and 1GB is used for buffering streaming services. According to my communications with OPPO Digital INC the new OPPO BDP-103/105 will only have 1GB of internal flash memory (512MB is used for BD-LIVE persistent storage and 512MB is used for buffering streaming services). To meet the Profile 2.0 specification a USB external storage drive that is 1GB or larger is required. This is a disappointment since all prior OPPO Blu-ray players had 1GB of internal storage reserved for BD-LIVE. The new OPPO BDP-103/105 cuts the internal storage in half for both streaming services and BD-LIVE.
4. The OPPO BDP-93/95 has an exclusive e-SATA II interface: On the existing OPPO BDP-93/95’s the Blu-ray players have an e-SATA II interface. e-SATA II interfaces support 3Gbps speed which is much faster compared to USB 2.0 480Mbps. This e-SATA II interface allows consumers to connect e-SATA III, II, and I hard drives. Some consumers use a 2TB e-SATA hard drive for HD and SD BD-LIVE downloads when the drive is formatted as FAT32. The new OPPO BDP-103/105 Blu-ray players do not have an e-SATA II interface which is a disappointment. If OPPO Digital INC was going to remove the e-SATA II 3Gbps interface then they should have given consumers a USB 3.0 port that supports 5Gbps speed. Under real world conditions a modern 2TB 7,200RPM hard drive using a speed test program on a computer will offer around 30-35Mbps transfer speed using USB 2.0 port and around 150Mbps transfer speed when using a USB 3.0 port. Verizon FIOS offers Internet speeds up to 300Mbps and a faster storage drive would be ideal for BD-LIVE HD downloads. I liked the e-SATA II 3Gbps hard drive interface on the old OPPO BDP-93/95. I know that the e-SATA II interface has caused some confusion with some OPPO BDP-93/95 owners and maybe that is one of the reasons the new OPPO BDP-103/105 does not offer e-SATA II. The problem is some consumers do not understand that e-SATA II is not hot swappable. The e-SATA II hard drive and/or OPPO Blu-ray player can become damaged if the consumer does not power down both the OPPO BDP-93/95 and the e-SATA II hard drive when connecting and disconnecting the hard drive from the Blu-ray player. OPPO Digital INC could have replaced the e-SATA II 3Gbps interface with USB 3.0 5Gbps ports but instead the e-SATA II jack was replaced by adding one extra USB 2.0 480Mbps port to the OPPO BDP-103/105.
5. The Sony Playstation 3 offers exclusive 1Gbps networking speed (Note: the OPPO BDP-93/95 also does not offer 1Gbps networking): Since the launch of the original Sony PS3 back in 2006 all versions of the PS3 offer 1,000Mbps (1Gbps networking speed). All standalone Blu-ray players on the market including the new OPPO BDP-103/105 limit the wired networking speed to 100Mbps. Verizon FIOS nationwide now offers 300Mbps Internet down load speed and some Internet providers offer 1Gbps internet speed. If BD-LIVE download features or current streaming services starts offering 50GB Blu-ray images for download to a secure 2TB hard drive then Blu-ray players with 1Gbps networking speed will be important when downloading large BD-LIVE files or streaming HD files. The funny thing is the Wireless N adapter on the OPPO BDP-103/105 is rated at 150Mbps which means under ideal conditions the wireless networking is 50Mbps faster than the Ethernet connection since 1Gbps Ethernet was not part of the hardware design.
6. The OPPO BDP-93/95 passed DivX certification: According to OPPO Digital INC, Divx and Divx HD Plus certification will most likely be a feature mentioned in the specification once the OPPO BDP-103/105 passes Divx certification. It is unlikely that the new OPPO players will fail the ongoing Divx certification.
Some positive features of the new OPPO BDP-103/105 that are not offered on the OPPO BDP-93/95
(A few negative comments might be mentioned with the positives)
1. 4K Up-scaling: The new OPPO BDP-103/105 offers 4K Quad HD up-scaling of both 1080P Blu-ray’s, 480i DVD’s, and all video sources. Like most current generation 4K up-scaling technology 1920 X 1080P Blu-ray’s will be converted to a simulated 3840 X 2160P image for those consumers that own 4K Quad HD displays. Currently the cheapest 4K projector on the market that accepts native 4K signals is $25,000 but in the years to come under $10,000 4K projectors and displays will most likely become a reality. Maybe around 2016 OPPO Digital INC will offer a Universal optical player that plays native 4K optical discs if a consumer 4K optical format is released. The old OPPO BDP-93/95 only offers 1080P Up-scaling.
2. 2D to 3D conversion: The new OPPO BDP-103/105 will convert 2-D video sources like 480i DVD’s and 2-D 1080P Blu-rays to simulated 3-D quality for those consumers that want to watch 3-D all the time on their 3-D display. The old OPPO BDP-93/95 only played native 3-D Blu-rays in true 3-D quality and did not offer a 2-D to 3-D conversion feature.
3. Native 4K YouTube videos are not supported: The OPPO BDP-103/105 does not support any native 4K sources including 4K YouTube. Both the OPPO BDP-103/105 and the old OPPO BDP-93/95 will play native 720P and native 1080P YouTube videos when YouTube LeanBack decides to send the HD videos. No consumer Blu-ray player is capable of manually selecting the video resolution like a Windows PC. Consumers will either get HD videos sent to them at 1080P or 720P quality at 60Hz. The streaming providers like VUDU, Netflix, and YouTube do not allow the OPPO Blu-ray players to display onscreen information regarding the video codec, resolution, or audio format that is being played. VUDU and Netflix streaming services can be watched anywhere in the world as long as the consumer has a US address when signing up.
4. Improved VUDU video and audio quality on the OPPO BDP-103/105: The OPPO BDP-103/105 supports VUDU 3-D and 7.1 surround sound. The old OPPO BDP-93/95 will not be getting a firmware update to support VUDU 3-D with 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus (The old OPPO interface only offers VUDU 2-D with 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus) . One big negative with all Blu-ray players on the market is that VUDU requires that the native 1080P/24 HDX programs to be converted to 60Hz by all Blu-ray players on the market according to OPPO Digital INC. The advantage of owning a 1080P HDTV with built in VUDU service is that TV manufactories are allowed to show the VUDU programs in multiplies of 24fps without a 3:2 60Hz conversion. It is a disappointment that VUDU forces Blu-ray player manufactories to convert the native 1080P/24 VUDU signal to 60HZ inside the Blu-ray player regardless of menu settings. I understand that many first generation 2005 and 2006 1080P displays will only accept a 1080P input at 60Hz and not 24Hz. However, the year is 2012 and most if not all consumer displays will now accept a 1080P/24 input. So hopefully consumers will complain to VUDU so that in the future Blu-ray players will have the option to switch between 1080P/24 and 1080P/60 when a VUDU HDX movie is being watched.
5. Improved Netflix video and audio quality on the OPPO BDP-103/105: The OPPO BDP-103/105 supports Netflix at 1080P quality with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound. According to OPPO Digital INC the Netflix 1080P sources that they have seen so far are 60Hz but they claim the OPPO BDP-103/105 will support Netflix at 1080p/24 and output at native 1080p/24 when and if Netflix starts sending native 1080p/24 material instead of 1080P/60. Unlike VUDU, Netflix does not require 1080p/24 content to be converted to 60Hz inside the Blu-ray player. The old OPPO BDP-93/95 will not be getting a firmware update to support Netflix at 1080P with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound (The old OPPO interface only offers Netflix 720P with 2.0 Dolby Stereo).
6. The OPPO BDP-103/105 might see more streaming services added in the future: The old OPPO BDP-93/95 most likely will not be getting any new streaming services or major improvements to the existing VUDU or Netflix interface. It’s unknown what new streaming services will be offered to OPPO BDP-103/105 owners in the future but Amazon might be a possibility but that is not official.
7. USB keyboards are now supported on the new OPPO BDP-103/105: According to my conversations with OPPO Digital INC consumers can now plug in a USB keyboard just like the latest Sony 2012 Blu-ray player. This is ideal for using services like YouTube or for searching the many thousands of streaming movies on VUDU or Netflix. It is my understanding that the old OPPO BDP-93/95 will most likely will not be getting USB keyboard support.
8. Triple USB 2.0 ports: While I would have rather seen USB 3.0 ports which are backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 devices, it is nice to have 3 USB ports on the OPPO BDP-103/105. Consumers can plug in a total of 3 2TB hard drives at once for video and audio media reading. Another use would be to have a USB 2TB hard drive for BD-LIVE storage plugged into USB port 1 in the rear and then the wireless N adapter plugged into USB port 2 in the rear. That leaves USB port number 3 in the front free for other hot swappable media drives. Personally I am on a 100% wired 1Gbps network and prefer to use the Ethernet connection on all Blu-ray players. The old OPPO BDP-93/95 only offers 2 USB 2.0 ports (one in the rear and one in the front). Both the new OPPO BDP-103/105 and the old OPPO BDP-93/95 require FAT32 or older versions of FAT to be used for BD-LIVE reading and writing. NTFS is a read only file format on the OPPO BDP-103/105 and the old OPPO BDP-93/95.
There are most likely several new features on the OPPO BDP-103/105 that I have not mention in detail like:
Dual HDMI Inputs (For those that do not own A/V receivers with 4K upscaling they can feed HD satellite and HD cable HDMI inputs into the OPPO BDP-103/105 and use the OPPO Blu-ray player as a A/V HDMI switcher that will upscale to 4K).
Gracenote MusicID® and VideoID (This sounds like a cool feature that will display Cover art, title, and artist for audio CD’s played).