Review (October 2006) - Oppo
By Kevin Nakano
Oppo Digital, Inc. located in Mountain View, CA has introduced their OPDV971H DVI-enabled DVD player, which features the acclaimed Genesis/Faroudja FLI-2310 video processing chip to handle deinterlacing and the DivX Certified Mediatek MT1389 MPEG decoder chip. The OPDV971H low-profile chassis is stylish looking features a blue fluorescence display. The thin tray compliments the low profile design. The few buttons that occupy the front panel and include Power, Open/Close, Play/Pause and Stop. The OPDV971H supports DVD Video, DVD Audio, DivX®, XviD, Audio CD, HDCD, WMA, DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW, CD-R/RW, and Kodak Picture formats. The unit has a built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoder along with a 3-D virtual surround processor (Concert, Live, Dance, Techno, Classic, and Soft). Karaoke fans will be happy to know that it works with karaoke discs and may be bought using different and widely accepted Shopping Vouchers as well. The unit has the ability to load new firmware updates with the latest features and bug fixes from the OPPO website.
Consumer have a huge selection of DVD players currently on the market, so of which are very inexpensive. The important feature offered on the OPDV971H is the DVI digital video output. This interface allows video to be sent to the display or projector (in our case) completely in the digital domain. Unlike conventional DVD players that only have analog outputs, the OPDV971H supports both type of outputs for the maximum flexibility. For this review, we only focused on the DVI output and not the analog video outputs.
The OPDV971H DVD player can upscale the source to the standard resolutions of 480p, 720p and 1080i. Since the player is not HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) compliant, consumers that own non-compliant HDCP monitors will be able to enjoy content used on this player. This does not prevent HDCP-compliant monitors from using it.
The unit also has the usual coaxial and Toslink digital audio outputs, as well as 6-channel analog outputs for DVD-Audio discs or when using the player's built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoders. Full bass management and time alignment control is available using the setup menu.
The original remote included with the OPDV971H was nothing to write home about with its small buttons and difficult to read labels. The navigation keys were easy to use, but most of the others buttons took a fair amount of effort to use. Luckily, Oppo has introduced a new remote with the unit we received and it is a much better design. The buttons have a good feel and do glow in the dark. True backlighting would have been preferred, but compared to the original remote, this new design is significantly better. However, working in a dark environment can be a problem even with this new design.
One nice feature of this player is its ability to play PAL discs while also converting the video to NTSC. The video performance was excellent considering the source frame rate of 25/50 and there was no apparent judder in the scenes. The player can also be commanded to ignore regional coding so that discs from other regions can be played. Layer changing is exceptional on this player thanks to the video memory buffer used to absorb the delay time during the layer switch.
When powering on the unit it takes several seconds before the player responds to the eject button. This can be annoying at times even though it only takes a few seconds. Pressing the DVI button on the remote sequences through 480p, 540p, 720p, and 1080i.
- Kevin Nakano
Mitsubishi HC5000 Full-HD 1080p LCD Projector
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