OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray 3-D player (Home Theater magazine review link) - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:57 AM
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Default OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray 3-D player (Home Theater magazine review link)

OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray 3-D player Home Theater magazine review link is located toward the bottom of my summary

Home Theater magazine just published a review on the OPPO BDP-103. While there are many positive improvements made with the OPPO BDP-103 there are also many negative things that are not offered on the OPPO BDP-103 that the old OPPO BDP-93 offers. The reason why I and some family members did not upgrade (or downgrade) from the OPPO BDP-93 to the OPPO BDP-103 is because of exclusive features only offered on the OPPO BDP-93. Every consumer is different and some consumers might prefer the OPPO BDP-103 and can live without some of the features that were exclusive to the OPPO BDP-93. The main features I am talking about on the OPPO BDP-93/95 is DSD output on HDMI port one, 3Gbps e-SATA II Jack, and double the internal memory (2GB).

Also the Home Theater magazine review on the OPPO BDP-103 has some minor spelling errors and some incorrect information in the published review. I do not care that much about the spelling errors since I once and awhile make them myself and perhaps the Home Theater magazine review will be edited in the future to fix them (spelling errors are rare for Home Theater magazine). There are many positives regarding the OPPO BDP-103/105, below I mention the negatives first before getting into the positives:

Some negative features regarding the OPPO BDP-103

1. Wrong info “BD-Live compliance isn’t an issue due to the player’s internal 1 gigabyte of storage” This quote from Home Theater magazine is incorrect information. The OPPO BDP-103 requires a minimum of 1GB of external USB storage to meet the profile 2.0 BD-LIVE specifications. Yes the OPPO BDP-103 has 1GB of internal storage however only 512MB is used if BD-LIVE storage and the other 512MB is used for buffering for video streaming services like VUDU and Netflix. This is disappointing since in the past all prior OPPO Blu-ray players had 1GB of internal memory reserved for BD-LIVE in order to meet the profile 2.0 BD-LIVE specifications without the need for an external USB drive. In fact, the OPPO BDP-93 has double the amount of internal memory compared to the OPPO BDP-103. The OPPO BDP-93 has 2GB of internal memory with one 1GB reserved for BD-LIVE and 1GB reserved for streaming services. In theory if some Internet providers are slow during certain hours the 1GB of buffering available in the OPPO BDP-93 would offer better quality buffering during congestion on the Internet compared to 512MB used for buffering on the new OPPO BDP-103. OPPO Digital INC claims that the reason there is only half the memory in the BDP-103 is because it is faster more expensive memory. While it is nice to have faster memory in a 2012 model Blu-ray player they should have included the same amount of memory that is located in the 2010 OPPO BDP-93. OPPO Digital INC could have raised the price from $499 and instead sold the OPPO BDP-103 for $525-$549 and included 2GB of fast memory in the Blu-ray player to take advantage of the new 1080P Netflix interface that supports 1080P with 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus (Also the new OPPO BDP-103 supports VUDU 3-D with 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus). For a player that suppose to have better video streaming quality it would have been ideal to not cut the buffering memory in half.

2. The old Sony Playstation 3’s made back in 2006 and all PS3’s every made supports 1Gbps networking speeds however every OPPO Blu-ray player on the market including the new OPPO BDP-103/105 only offers up to 100Mbps wired networking speed. 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.

3. 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. Also instead of offering USB 3.0 5Gbps interfaces, OPPO decided to stick with the slower USB 2.0 interfaces.

4. 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.

5. The new OPPO BDP-103/105 only offers 480i diagnostic composite video output for the setup menu and no true 480i composite video output for video sources. 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 manufactured 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.

Some positive features regarding the OPPO BDP-103

The Home Theater magazine review mentions many positives regarding the new OPPO BDP-103. The VUDU and Netflix interface has been improved and the OPPO BDP-103 streaming services can be upgraded with the new Roku streaming video stick when plugged into the OPPO BDP-103 MHL input port. Also the OPPO BDP-103 is a faster Blu-ray player for loading Blu-ray movies and boot up time when compared to the OPPO BDP-93. Also the new remote with remote IR sensor is stronger on the OPPO BDP-103. The picture and sound quality of the OPPO BDP-93 and OPPO BDP-103 are exactly the same when using the HDMI output, however the OPPO BDP-103 offers better 2 channel analog output when compared to the OPPO BDP-93. The build quality of the OPPO Blu-ray players are excellent. While the OPPO BDP-103 offers 4K (quad HD) upscaling, no professional review has tested how well this feature works. One of the reasons for this is until recently 4K (quad HD) equipment cost a minimum of $25,000 for the cheapest models. Now some quad HD displays have fallen in price around $17,000 with a possibility of under $10,000 quad HD displays starting in late 2013 or 2014.

Also according to Home Theater magazine reviews the Sony VPL-VW1000ES has a much better quality 4K video processor when compared to the first generation 4K video processors located in the high-end 4K Onkyo A/V receivers. It is a possibility that the Sony VPL-VW1000ES might offer a better 4K upscaled picture quality compared to the OPPO BDP-103/105 Blu-ray players (in that case the OPPO Blu-ray players offer a native source direct feature to allow the consumers 4K display or 4K A/V receiver to do the upscaling). We need to see a review on how well the OPPO BDP-103/105 upscales when compared to the cheapest 4K projector on the market that accepts a 4K input. Consumers can use their 4K display to upscale, 4K A/V receiver to upscale, or 4K Blu-ray player to upscale native 1080p/24 signals to 4K.

The OPPO Blu-ray players are very popular for their ability to convert 50Hz Blu-rays and DVD’s to 60Hz with its built in PAL/NTSC conversion feature (The 50Hz Blu-ray or PAL DVD movie needs to be region free in order to play the disc in a Region A USA Blu-ray OPPO Player). People that collect international movies from around the world purchase the OPPO Blu-ray players for this reason alone since USA Panasonic and Sony Blu-ray players do not offer a 50Hz to 60Hz conversion feature. Also the OPPO Blu-ray players will output native 50HZ 1080i and 50Hz PAL SD for those consumers that own displays that support 50Hz HD and SD signals.

The following are select quotes from the Home Theater magazine review link

“You won’t find a component video connection on this or any new Blu-ray player since new copyright protection rules kicked in as of January 2012, although there is a composite video output you can use for diagnostic purposes.”

“Impeccable build quality”

“As with all of Oppo’s previous players, the BDP-103 sports fantastic build quality and weighs in at a solid 10.8 pounds.”

“Inside the secondary box, you’ll find a grounded power cord (an upgrade over the BDP-93)”

By the time you read this, Roku will have released its Streaming Stick, which will be able to utilize the port to expand the Oppo’s streaming options. Once the Streaming Stick is available, we’ll test it with the BDP-103, so be sure to check HomeTheater.com for the latest news.”

“The commercially available services on the player include Netflix (with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio), Vudu (with up to 7.1 channels of Dolby Digital Plus and 3D movies), Film Fresh, YouTube, Pandora, and Picasa. There’s no Amazon VOD, but that should be available via the Roku Streaming Stick if you want to add the service.”

“The Qdeo offers a superior video processing solution, so that’s the preferred choice for most users, with one caveat—if you have a large SACD collection and want to send the native DSD signal to a surround preamp-processor that can handle it, you should use HDMI-2 for audio because the Qdeo chip doesn’t support this output.”

“For buyers planning on installing a constant-height projection system using an anamorphic lens, the player also offers the vertical stretch processing required by such a setup. But subtitles often disappear in a constant-height configuration, since they are usually located in the black bars of a 2.35:1 source and those bars are cropped off in the vertical stretch processing. The Oppo’s subtitle shift feature can move these subtitles up and down to keep them visible.”

At some point in the life span of every Blu-ray player, a firmware update will be needed. The Oppo will automatically update itself if it’s connected to the Internet, or you can go the self-service route and download it directly from Oppo. There wasn’t an update during my evaluation period, but Oppo’s previous players have been painless to update, and it usually takes less than five minutes to accomplish the task.”

“The BDP-103 has a new remote that now includes direct-access buttons to both Netflix and Vudu. It fits nicely in my hand and includes a backlit, easy-to-navigate button layout. The only criticism I had of the BDP-93 (and BDP-95) were their weak IR receivers, but thankfully Oppo has addressed that with the BDP-103 with an increase in remote sensitivity and, especially, range.”

“Testing and Real-World Performance It came as no surprise, given the known quality of its video processing and the performance of past Oppo players, that the BDP-103 sailed through all of our standard- and highdefinition benchmarks. More important, its video performance with real-world material was impeccable. Although I couldn’t test its 4K scaling capabilities,…”

“One thing I noticed when I first used the player was how much faster it booted up versus the previous-generation players”

“Furthermore, with the dual-core SoC (System on Chip) processor, the disc loading times are lightning fast, and navigating through Blu-ray menus and the Vudu interface is much snappier than I was used to with other Oppo players.”

“While I would love to say the BDP-103 improves the picture quality of Blu-ray Discs to a level I’ve never seen before, that would be a lie. The video from all of the Oppo players I’ve used in the past has been as near perfect as I could wish for, and this new model was no exception.”

“On the audio front, the BDP103’s analog two-channel performance shows an improvement over the BDP-93. Although it uses the same DAC as its predecessor, Oppo has changed the configu-ration of the DAC chip and added a new analog buffer and filter stage following the DAC output. “Hotel California” on the Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over CD exhibited a warmer soundstage with some added depth compared to the BDP-93. If you’re a two-channel audio buff, this alone may be reason enough to invest in this player.”

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Old 01-15-2013, 09:14 PM
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The January 2013 Widescreen Review magazine review on the OPPO BDP-103 was very good

In a prior post I gave my reasons why I and some other family members are keeping the OPPO BDP-93 Blu-ray players because it has some exclusive features that are missing on the new OPPO BDP-103. There are pluses and minuses with the new OPPO BDP-103/105.

The purpose of this post is to let everyone know that in the January 2013 Widescreen Review magazine on pages 26,28,30, and 31 there is a comparison between the OPPO BDP-93 and OPPO BDP-103. According to the Widescreen Review magazine review the OPPO BDP-103 has a little bit better analog audio output when compared to the OPPO BDP-93 (HDMI audio was exactly the same). Also the Silicon Optix HQV Benchmark DVD tests were just a little bit better on the OPPO BDP-103 when compared to the OPPO BDP-93 when it came to DVD upscaling quality.

To read the Widescreen magazine review on the OPPO BDP-103 one needs to have a subscription to the magazine:
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