Digital, Inc. located in Mountain View, CA has built a strong reputation
among audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts as a company offering high-value
products with superior performance for the dollar along with excellent
customer service. The company has been hard at work and has recently unveiled the highly anticipated BDP-83 Blu-ray player. OPPO's new player is a culmination of their experience in making
products that directly result from customer feedback. The BDP-83 supports
Blu-ray, DVD Video, DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD (SACD), CD (including HDCD),
and AVCHD (HD camcorder) discs. The BDP-83 offers the latest Blu-ray
features including support for BD-Live (BD-ROM version 2, profile 2) for
full interactivity. BonusView (BD-ROM version 2, Profile 1 version 1.1/Final
Standard Profile) allows Virtual packages or Picture-in-Picture functions.
The BDP-83 has a beautiful black anodized aluminum front panel
with few buttons (power, tray open/close and navigation
controls). The display is easy to read and can be dimmed or completely
turned off (except when receiving commands) for home theater environments.
Latest OPPO BDP-103 Reviewed
the BDP-83 was ready for prime-time, OPPO ran two Early Adopter
Programs (EAPs) to get feedback from a broad base of users. This was an
important step for the company to determine any possible compatibility
issues with other electronic components or media. The outcome of the EAPs
was a big success and is most likely the reason why the BDP-83
has evolved into such a winner.
a brand new unit that came well packed in a 17 pound box. The player was
wrapped in a reusable carrying
bag with a protective film on the front face. An operating manual
and two Blu-ray test discs (Spears
& Munsil - HD Benchmark and AIX
Records - Calibration Disc / HD Music Sampler) were also included
with the player. A separate box in the package contained the remote with
batteries, power cord, HDMI cable, and standard A/V cables.
The BDP-83 has many interface options on the back of the unit. HDMI, component
and composite video connections are provided. The ethernet port handles
Blu-ray's BD-Live and BonusView interactivity as well as firmware updates.
There is a USB port and IR input and output jacks. Both coaxial and optical
(toslink) digital outputs are provided. A set of 7.1 and stereo analog
outputs provide audio from the built-in decoder. The detachable power
cord is a bonus for custom installations. OPPO offers an optional RS232
port for wired control of the player. There is a cooling fan on the back
of the unit, but I never heard it turn on. The player ran fairly cool,
so the thermal controller never needed to activate additional cooling.
The good news is that if users place the unit in a confined space, the player
has a way to keep itself from overheating.
The BDP-83 has a nice layout with each board carrying out a specific
function. The switching power supply occupies the right side and has the
ability to work worldwide accepting voltages from 100-240VAC at 50/60
Hz. The video processing board located just behind the Blu-ray drive handles
all of the audio and video decoding and processing. The left board handles
all of the audio D/A conversion functions and interfaces directly to the
rear audio connectors. OPPO was smart to keep the sensitive analog audio
electronics away from the switching power supply to minimize noise
entering the circuits. The player also has a Pure Audio mode that shuts
off much of the video to minimize possible noise in the audio.
The A/V processing board located in the center of the unit has a SATA
connection from the Blu-ray drive. The BDP-83 uses a custom decoder
chip, which is a special version of the Mediatek MT8520 along with the
latest Anchor Bay ABT2010
video processor. The customization features of the Mediatek MT8520 include
supports for SACD and DVD-Audio, as well as hardware changes needed to
support the new Anchor Bay ABT2010 video processor. Both the large
ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) require heatsinks mounted
on top to dissipate the heat generated from these powerful and power hungry
devices. The Anchor Bay ABT2010 chip features all of the processing power
of Anchor Bay's Video Reference Series (VRS)
technology, including Anchor Bay's proprietary Precision Deinterlacing
that provides five-field motion adaptive and edge adaptive processing.
The ABT2010 also supports HDMI 1.3 with 12-bit output resolutions.
is processed by the ASICs, the Silicon Image SiI9134
sends the video signal out of the HDMI connector. The SiI9134
is an advanced HDMI 1.3 transmitter designed to support high-definition
audio (Dolby® True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio) and Deep Color (up
to 36 bits). The HDMI transmitter also has an integrated High-bandwidth
Digital Content Protection (HDCP) encryption engine with a pre-programmed
and unique HDCP key. Decoded audio is sent to the Audio DAC board through
multiple PCM interfaces.
The audio DAC module has RCA output connectors mounted directly on the
board. The lower portion of the board has all of the power forms for both
the analog and digital circuits. The circuit design uses several linear
regulators with ferrite beads on the incoming power forms to provide clean
voltages to the audio electronics. Digital audio enters the board on the
right connector (sent from the A/V board) through a ribbon cable for D/A
conversion. The 7.1 analog outputs are handled by a single Cirrus Logic
8-Channel D/A Converter (CS4382A).
The two-channel outputs use a Cirrus Logic CS4398
dual channel DAC. Both devices can handle 24-bit data at rates as high
as 192 kHz and feature advanced multi-bit delta sigma architectures. All
analog outputs pass through dual high-performance low noise (5532) operational
amplifiers before exiting the gold-plated RCA connectors.
The BDP-83 remote is the best remote OPPO has come out with thus
far. The full-size design has a rounded back that gives it a more ergonomic
feel. The remote has large buttons that have identifying symbols and are backlit on top
making them easy to see in the low light
environments of home theaters. Pressing
any button on the remote triggers the backlighting for 8 seconds. OPPO
has also included a three position switch inside the battery compartment that allows the user to change
the command set so that it does not interfere with other OPPO products.
We found that the remote's default setting (position 1) also controlled
our DV-981HD DVD player. The Top Menu and Pop-Up Menu buttons are
located on the upper left and right sides of the navigation buttons. Setup
and Return are located on the lower right and left of the navigation
buttons. Stop, Play and Pause are larger buttons
for common control. Pressing the Resolution button allows the user to select from Auto, 480I/576I, 480P/576P, 720P, 1080I, 1080P, or Source Direct.
We connected the BDP-83 to our Denon AVR-5308CI A/V receiver using
the HDMI cable provided to carry full bandwidth audio and video. We also
connected the analog outputs to the Denon to test OPPO's internal audio
decoder and DACs. OPPO provides a heavy 14 gauge AC power cable for their
player, something not often seen on a player at this price point.
AVR-5308CI A/V receiver mated to a Parasound HCA-2205AT five channel amplifier
to drive our M&K 5.1 speaker system. The AVR-5308CI uses a THX crossover
set at 80 Hz and works well with our speaker configuration. The receiver
is capable of decoding all of the latest surround formats over HDMI and
also has the option for analog 7.1 inputs, so we can test the player's
internal decoding, DACs and analog section. Our projector, a Mitsubishi
HC5500 1080p LCD unit, projected onto a 100-inch Stewart FireHawk. Walls
were covered with Echo Buster sound absorption panels. This helps
eliminate slap echo and significantly reduced the RT60
time in the room. As a result, secondary reflections, which often blur
the sonic image are largely reduced or eliminated.
on, the BDP-83 walks the user through a series of settings, making
it easy to get started. Video connections and resolution are selected
along with aspect ratio and audio options. This will get the vast majority
of users up and running in little time. Users can also dive deep into
the Setup Menu to better define their audio and video settings to maximize performance and to set common preferences.
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
OPPO has vastly improved the look and functionality of the GUI on the
BDP-83 with a logical and easy to use menu system. This is where
many companies fail even though the product may work well. OPPO has done
an excellent job crafting a set of menus that work both for the novice and
the advanced user. Moreover, the fonts are softer and more pleasant on the
eye than any earlier GUI we have seen from the company. Best of all, the
user can access the menus without having to stop playing the disc, which
is a great feature only found on very few expensive players. To simplify
the configuration process, OPPO has the Easy Setup Wizard.
Easy Setup Wizard
The Easy Setup Wizard is designed to walk the user through some initial settings to get the most out of the player quickly.
Oppo calls it the Initial Wizard in the GUI and it consists of 6 basic steps that require little input from the operator.
First the user needs to define the video output. The user can choose between HDMI and components video. Whenever possible, the user should always select HDMI unless the display being used does not support it. HDMI has the handshake for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), so resolution will be limited if the HDMI digital interface is not used. The user can select the video output to be Source Direct, 480I, 480P, 720P, 1080I, 1080P or Auto. Once the TV output mode is changed the player will ask the user to confirm the setting before making the change final. If the user does not confirm the new setting, the player will revert back to the previous video mode. This prevents the player from using a video mode that leaves the user without a picture.
The next step defines the aspect ratio of the display. Displays with a 4:3 aspect ratio can select Letterbox or Pan & Scan. Those with the newer 16:9 HDTV's can choose Wide or Wide/Auto with the latter mode placing side borders on 4:3 source material.
Finally, the user needs to select the audio mode. The Compatible mode is designed to work with most displays and receivers. However, there is also an advanced setting for HDMI 1.3 compatible receivers. More advanced users should use the Audio Settings in the Setup Menu.
The intent of the Wizard is to get the user up and running quickly. Without it some less savvy users may find themselves searching through the manual to get a picture. We think it is a great idea for the general public, but would recommend users become familiar with all of the features available (there are many) on this player. The Setup Menu controls all of the player's features.
The Setup Menu on the BDP-83 has six categories and provides
the user with advanced control of the unit's operation. Each menu (Playback
Setup, Video Setup, Audio Format Setup, Audio
Processing, Device Setup, and Network Setup) has
an extensive set of parameters that can be adjusted for optimal performance.
The Playback Setup menu defines the Language, Parental
Control (based on ratings) settings, and screen Markers
for Angle, PIP (picture-in-picture), and SAP (secondary audio programs). The markers are indicated on the screen when these options are available on the disc being watched. SACD Priority
can be set to multi-channel, stereo or CD-mode. The DVD-Audio Mode
selects how DVD-Audio discs will be played (DVD-Audio or DVD-Video). Much
depends on how the user's system is configured and what it supports. Auto
Play and Play Back Control (PBC) can be set to on or
The Video Setup menu adjusts all the video parameters. The Picture
Adjustment panel allows the user to standard and advanced picture settings.
Primary Output determines the video output (HDMI or Component). When using
the Component Output the VRS video processing is completely bypassed. The
HDMI output should always be used for maximum video performance. When
HDMI is selected there are many options available. De-interlacing Mode
(Auto, Film Bias Mode, Video Mode, 2:2 Even, or 2:2 Odd) selects the type
of de-interlacing algorithm to be used. CUE Correction (Chroma Up-Sample
Errors) can be set to Auto, On or Off and applies
chroma filtering to problems related to the MPEG encoded video. The Color
Space (Auto, RGB Video, RGB PC, YCbCr 4:4:4, or YCbCr 4:2:2) is also
selectable. Finally, Deep Color (Off, 30-bits, or 36-bits) can
be set to match the display for smoother color transitions and seamless
The Audio Format menu sets the Secondary Audio (on/off), which
mixes the secondary audio with the main audio. HDMI Audio (LPCM/Bitstream/Off)
can be set based on the equipment or preferences of the user. We ran our
outputs in the bitstream mode and let the Denon receiver do all the decoding.
The SACD Output (PCM/DSD) can also be set to output a raw DSD stream
or converted PCM data. The Coaxial/Optical Output (LPCM/Bitstream)
selects whether the player converts
the audio to PCM or allows the receiver to decode the raw bitstream. The LPCM Rate Limit (48kHz, 96kHz, or 192 kHz)
sets the maximum sample rate for compatible equipment. This prevents the
player from sending higher resolution data than is supported over the digital outputs.
The Audio Processing menu defines the Speaker Configuration
of the system and allows each channel to be set to large or small and
adjusted for level and distance. The Speaker Configuration only
applies to the analog outputs and does not affect the digital bitream
or LPCM outputs. The Down Mix Mode can be set to 7.1CH, 5.1CH,
Stereo and LT/RT. This mode will down mix the source material to the specified
mode. Dolby Pro Logic II processing can be set to Music, Movie, or Off. The Dynamic Range Control
can be set to Auto, On or Off.
The Device Setup menu controls the Dimmer settings (On, Off,
Auto), OSD (on screen display) Mode (Normal or Silent), Remote Control Code
(1, 2, or 3), HDMI CEC (On/Limited/Off), Persistent Storage options (clear memory),
and Reset Factory Defaults. The user can display the current firmware
information (see below) as well as initiate a firmware update (Ethernet, USB or Disc) from this menu.
The Network Setup menu configures the ethernet connection features
that allow access to BD-Live content as well as firmware
updates. The user can choose manual or auto (DHCP) IP configuration. The
current IP Address, Subnet Mask, Gateway, DNS 1, and DNS 2 are displayed.
The BD-Live network access can be turned on or off. The Connection Test will run a check to verify the network connection is working properly. The user can select MAC Address to display the MAC (Media Access Control) address of the player.
Anyone who has been following Blu-ray for the past couple of years knows
how important firmware updates can be on Blu-ray players. Our PS3 has
had more updates (some of them BD related) than we would like to have,
but the fact remains that this is a great capability. While it is possible
that there are bugs in the BDP-83 firmware, we didn't run into
any during the course of our review. Regardless, the BDP-83 offers
several ways (CD, USB or network) to update the firmware
to keep the unit current. We checked our unit using the ethernet connection
and the player indicated we had the latest update.
We have always been big fans of ABT's (formerly DVDO) video processing
algorithms, so it was no surprise to see the same high level of performance
on the ABT2010 ASIC that we have been used to seeing with their products. Scaling
of standard definition DVD content looked great with the 1080p
output mode. Support for 1080p/24 for Blu-ray and DVD showed the benefits
of this video processor with smooth panning and lack of de-interlacing artifacts.
The 1080p picture produced by the BDP-83 was reference quality with smooth gradations and excellent resolution. Colors were rich and skin tones took on a natural appearance. Animated movies such as Kung Fu Panda on Blu-ray had fine detail not possible with the standard DVD format. However, DVD scaled nicely on this player and produced an impressive picture.
Multi-channel audio discs such as John Mayer's Heavier Things on SACD sounded fantastic in our system. As a bonus,
the screen displayed Artist, Album, and Track
information along with the current track time and format (5.1). Not all discs display this information, yet many carry this data and the player takes advantage of it. The BDP-83 supports a DSD or PCM stream over HDMI depending upon whether the user has a DSD decoder in their processor or receiver. If the PCM output is selected for SACD Audio in
the Audio Settings menu, the player
converts the DSD data to 88.2kHz PCM data. Sonically, this player produced excellent
audio quality whether we used Denon's DSD decoder or the player's built-in
decoder with the PCM conversion. It was refreshing to have this
single player support so many different formats and it greatly simplified our set up.
When it comes to Blu-ray players, access times can be significant due
to the internal processing required along with Java-heavy titles. The
BDP-83 is one of the fastest machines we have used and it rivals
even the PS3 in speed. The table show various disc formats
and titles with access times. Note that Disc Recognition (time
player took to recognize the disc type) and Start Play (time
to start playing the disc) are shown separately. Times were recorded using
a stop watch from the time the disc tray closed.
|| 48 sec
||Eagles - Hell Freezes Over
||Eagles - Hotel California
||John Mayer - Heavier Things
||Sampler Volume 2
DVD Layer Switching Times
While the focus of this player has been largely on Blu-ray discs, traditional DVD performance and speed are equally important. DVD layer switching times were observed and appeared to be quite fast, yet noticeable. Our test included Indiana Jones - Raiders of the Lost Ark where the layer switch appeared at 50:45 seconds. A one-half second pause was observed during this layer switch, which is normal for most good players we have seen.
Oppo has matured as a company and it shows with the release of their latest
BDP-83 Blu-ray player, which not only supports Blu-ray, but also
plays DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD, CD (HDCD) and AVCHD. The unit is designed
to be extremely flexible with support for varying levels of the user's audio
components. The full potential of sound quality can be realized when connected
to a more advanced preamp processor or receiver, yet the on-board DACs
and analog electronics performed very well. The unit played anything we
threw at it including recordable discs and had some of the fastest access
times we have ever seen in a player. Anyone disappointed with access times
on Blu-ray players needs to audition the new OPPO BDP-83. Video
performance was excellent with a wide range of test material and real-world
audio sounded fantastic on this player and allowed us to take full advantage
of the decoding in our Denon AVR-5308CI receiver. Those who lack the latest
decoding, whether it is DTS (Master Audio or standard), Dolby Digital
(TrueHD or standard), SACD or DVD-Audio, can take full advantage of the
built-in decoder and use the digital (PCM) or analog outputs. The point
is this player offers a lot of flexibility for a wide range of users.
Those looking to upgrade in the future can simply change the output modes
on the player as their system matures.
So one may
ask - Where could the unit use improvements? Heavier chassis construction
and a more solid disc tray comes to mind, yet these are largely cosmetic
and do not improve the experience we had with the unit. Considering the
$500 price tag, it is difficult to point out any
significant flaws in the design. OPPO placed emphasis in the right areas,
with features, performance, functionality, and looks at the top of the
list. So far the unit has greatly succeeded in these categories based
on our experience.
It is amazing
that this level of performance is available for under $500. The Anchor
Bay VRS video processing did a superb job and the flexibility of the unit
allows for a wide variety of receivers to be used with maximum performance.
OPPO has once again outdone themselves with the BDP-83 and it is
likely to be one of their most successful products. We would not be surprised
if this unit becomes one of the best selling Blu-ray players to date.
We have now officially made the OPPO BDP-83 our reference Blu-ray player and the choice was not difficult.
Check out our recent review of the new BDP-83SE Special Edition.