Product Review (January 2010)
OPPO - BDP-83SE (Special Edition)
Blu-ray Player with DVD-Audio/Video/SACD

By Kevin Nakano


OPPO BDP-83SEOppo Digital set the bar high last year with the release of their highly regarded BDP-83 universal Blu-ray player we reviewed back in August 2009. Consumers and the press alike, agreed that the BDP-83 ($499) offered the best bang for the buck with excellent performance, fast access times, and impressive build quality for a Blu-ray player at this amazing price point. The company has built a strong reputation among audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts over the years with their product line and continues to provide excellent customer service. OPPO has taken their popular BDP-83 to a new level with the introduction of the BDP-83SE (Special Edition) by improving the analog audio performance. Changes to the baseline design include an upgraded audio processing board with ESS DACs and an improved power supply design. The benefits of the BDP-83SE ($899) does not affect the HDMI audio, so there is no compelling reason to upgrade to this model if you do not benefit from the analog connections.


Latest OPPO BDP-93 Reviewed


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Like the original BDP-83 model, the BDP-83SE Special Edition supports Blu-ray, DVD Video, DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD (SACD), CD (including HDCD), and AVCHD (HD camcorder) discs. The BDP-83SE 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. Rather than cover the same features we reviewed on the original BDP-83, we will try and focus on the differences between the two units.


OPPO BDP-83SE Rear Panel Back Panel
The BDP-83SE has the same interfaces found on the back of the baseline design with the addition of the RS232 port, something that is optional on the baseline BDP-83. HDMI, component and composite video connections are provided along with an ethernet port for handling Blu-ray's BD-Live and BonusView interactivity as well as firmware updates. The USB port can also be used for updating the unit as well as an interface for media. Both coaxial and optical (toslink) digital outputs are provided along with a set of IR input and output jacks. The 7.1 and stereo analog outputs are where the improvements have been made on the Special Edition unit. Unfortunately, OPPO did not upgrade the connectors for the 7.1 and stereo output connections on the BDP-83SE. Since this model is geared more for audiophiles who use heavy interconnects such as our Ultralink Ultima MkII cables, some may expect to see stronger RCA connector jacks.


OPPO BDP-83 Inside ComparisonChanges Inside
The BDP-83SE looks similar to the original design, but does show significant differences on the power supply and audio DAC boards. This concurs with OPPO's description of the upgrades made to the latest BDP-83SE model. When OPPO developed the original BDP-83, the focus was on making a high performance Blu-ray player while keeping the cost reasonable for most home theater enthusiasts. While almost everyone agrees that they have been very successful in doing this, some audiophiles wanted even more from the unit. After all, the player is one of the few that supports so many high-resolution (niche) formats and still remains at an affordable $499. OPPO answered the audiophile call and rolled out improvements in the analog domain. Simply changing parts (DACs) alone in the unit was not enough for OPPO. Instead, the power supply was redesigned as well as the audio DAC board. The basic topology remains the same, but the improvements require a complete re-spin of both the power supply and audio printed circuit boards. The photos of the inside of both units reveal the slight differences in the two models with the audio board having more obvious changes from the earlier design.

OPPO - BDP83 Power Supply ComparisonPower Supply Upgrade
The updated power supply design in the BDP-83SE is similar to the original design and still occupies the same real estate on the right side of the chassis. The updated design still works worldwide by accepting voltages from 100-240VAC at 50/60 Hz. All switching power supplies have more EMI (electro magnetic interference) than their linear counterparts, so OPPO made sure that the sensitive low level audio circuits are kept away from the noisy power forms. OPPO has accomplished this by placing the quieter (secondary) linear power supplies on the audio board away from the noisier switching supplies on the main power supply board. The result is an audio module with quiet power rails for optimal audio performance.

Updated Audio Module
The audio processing board in the new BDP-83SE has significant changes from the audio board used in the original BDP-83. The Cirrus Logic 8-Channel D/A Converter (CS4382A) has been replaced with an ESS Technology (ES9006) Sabre Premier DAC.
The Cirrus Logic CS4398 dual channel DAC has been replaced with an ESS Technology ES9016 SABRE32 Ultra 8-channel DAC featuring 32-bit resolution. The stereo outputs have four stacked DACs per channel for improved signal-to-noise performance. Both DACS use ESS' patented Hyperstream™ architecture that is said to provide unprecedented dynamic range and low distortion. They also include patent-pending Time Domain Jitter Reduction technology designed to minimize clock jitter, thereby simplifying the system design and layout. The new audio board in the BDP-83SE also has about twice the number of 5532A dual opamps along with substantially more audio-grade signal capacitors. There is also a pair of 2C Form relays on the new design that were not present on the original BDP-83 model. The relays can be heard when the mute is enabled or disabled. Many audio components simply use a transistor to mute the audio signal to ground. While this works, many higher end designs including the BDP-83SE incorporate relays to minimize signal degradation in the audio path.


System Configuration
We connected the BDP-83SE to our Denon AVR-5308CI A/V receiver using the HDMI cable to carry full bandwidth audio and video. This connection relies on the Denon receiver to decode the bitstream and perform the D/A conversion on each channel. We also connected the 7.1 and stereo analog outputs on the BDP-83SE to Denon's external analog inputs to test OPPO's new audio DAC board.

Our Denon AVR-5308CI A/V receiver is mated to a Parasound HCA-2205AT five channel amplifier to drive our M&K S-150THX 5.1 speaker system. The AVR-5308CI uses a THX crossover set at 80 Hz that works well with our speaker configuration. We compared the analog audio performance of the two OPPO units (BDP-83SE and BDP-83), but we also listened to the HDMI input using the DACs in our Denon receiver for another data point. We tried to match levels as best we could between the two inputs for a fair comparison.


BDP-83SE versus BDP-83 Audio Performance


John Mayer - Heavier ThingsSACD Audio Performance
John Mayer's Heavier Things on SACD is one of my favorite and familiar recordings that often gets played on any review system. Compared to our reference BDP-83, the BDP-83SE offered an improved level of transparency when using the analog outputs in my opinion. Since the analog path of the A/V processor or receiver in the system along with the speakers play a big role in the overall sonic experience, it is important to remember that this new BDP-83SE only really benefits when using the analog audio outputs. If you plan to have your front-end component perform the D/A conversion using HDMI or the digital audio connections (coax or toslink), then it is recommended you stay with the original BDP-83 and save your money. Even OPPO recommends this to their customers on their website. We find the sound quality of the analog outputs on the BDP-83SE similar in character to the DACs in our Denon AVR-5308CI receiver and maybe even better on some material.

Bonnie Raitt - Road TestedDTS 5.1, CD & DVD-Audio
When comparing the BDP-83SE to the BDP-83, female vocals such as Bonnie Raitt's Road Tested in DTS 5.1 exhibited a smoother upper midrange at high volumes resulting in less fatigue during longer listening sessions. We noticed similar attributes with Rebecca Pidgeon's Spanish Harlem on Chesky Record's CD; her voice actually sounded better defined using the analog inputs versus Denon's internal DACs. The bass extension was tight and articulate on both OPPO units in our listening tests. Fleetwood Mac's Rumors on the DVD-Audio format had a sound that was reminiscent of a good vinyl system. Stevie Nicks' voice in Dreams (track 2) was reproduced amazingly well without any edginess found in some recordings of this song. Based on all of our listening tests, we were convinced that the analog output stages on the new OPPO BDP-83SE improved the sound quality of our source material, whether it came from SACD, DVD-Audio, or standard CD formats.

Conclusion
For those looking to decide between the original Oppo BDP-83 and the Special Edition BDP-83SE (audiophile version), it really comes down to whether you plan to use the analog outputs on the back of this unit or not. Our $5500 Denon A/V receiver does a great job decoding and converting to the analog domain. However, the sonic quality of the new OPPO BDP-83SE is so good that I would easily switch to using the analog inputs on the receiver to benefit from the BDP-83SE's sonic character. In fact, many audio purists may prefer to keep the audio analog through the front-end electronics and will certainly benefit from OPPO's attention to detail with the new ESS DACs and supporting electronics.

Since this review only focused mainly on the difference between the standard and Special Edition BDP-83, we recommend you read our review of the original BDP-83 player first. Features common to both units are covered in that review. We can easily recommend the new OPPO BDP-83SE to audiophiles wanting a universal player that has high performance analog audio outputs. The audio quality is remarkable and worth the extra cost in my opinion if you have a high performance audio system. However, those planning to only use the digital interfaces will not hear any advantage on the BDP-83SE over the original BDP-83 and will save the extra cost of $400.

- Kevin Nakano





OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player




Review System

Projector: Mitsubishi HC5500 1080p LCD Projector
Screen: Stewart Filmscreen 100" FireHawk Screen on a Luxus Deluxe ScreenWall
A/V Receiver: Denon AVR-5308CI THX-Ultra2 7x150W Receiver
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Thermal Management: Active Thermal Management Cool-it II Equipment Cooler
Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box: Dish Network ViP922 SlingLoaded HDTV Satellite and Terrestrial Receiver
Remote Control: Remote Technologies Inc. T4 Controller
DVI Cable: AudioQuest DV-1 20m DVI-D Cable
HDMI Cables: VizionWare Hi-Wirez 20-meter, Accell 45-meter UltraRun HDMI Cable
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables
Audio Analyzer : Sencore SP295C SoundPro Contractor Version
Video Generator : Sencore VP403 Multimedia Video Generator
Color Analyzer:
Sencore OTC1000 ColorPro Optical Tri-stimulus Colorimeter


Review - At a Glance


OPPO - BDP-83SE Special Edition
Blu-ray Disc Player


Specifications

Designs and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Disc Types* BD-Video, DVD-Video, AVCHD, DVD-Audio, SACD, CD, HDCD, Kodak Picture CD
CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL, BD-R/RE
BD Profile BD-ROM Version 2 Profile 2 (also compatible with Profile 1 Version 1.0 and 1.1)
Internal Storage 1GB (Actual available storage varies due to system usage)
Output Analog Audio: 7.1ch or 5.1ch, stereo
Digital Audio: Coaxial, Optical
HDMI Audio: Stereo, up to 7.1ch high-resolution PCM, up to 5.1ch DSD, bitstream or LPCM conversion of Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Analog Video: Composite, Component Video (Y/Pb/Pr, 480i/480p, 720p/1080i available for non-restricted content only)
Digital Video: HDMI with HDCP (NTSC: 480i/480p/720p/1080i/1080p/1080p24, PAL 576i/576p/720p/1080i/1080p/1080p24)
Video Characteristics Composite Video Amplitude: 1.0Vp-p (75Ω)
Component Video: Y: 1.0Vp-p (75Ω), Pb/Pr: 0.7Vp-p (75Ω)
Audio Characteristics** Frequency:
Stereo: 20Hz - 44kHz (±0.2dB), 20Hz - 96kHz (±1.1dB)
7.1 Ch: 20Hz - 44kHz (±0.4dB)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >117dB (A-weighted)
THD+N: < 0.002% (1kHz at 0dBFS, 20kHz LPF)
Dynamic Range: >104dB (24-bit unweighted)
Channel Separation: >106dB (24-bit unweighted)
General Specification Power Supply: ~ 100V - 240V, 50/60Hz AC
Power Consumption: 35W (0.5W Standby)
Dimensions: 430mm x 336mm x 77mm, 16-7/8 x 13-1/4 x 3 inches
Mass: 5.1kg / 11.2 lbs
Operating Temperature 5°C - 35°C
41°F - 95°F
Operating Humidity 15% - 75%
No condensation

* Compatibility with user-encoded contents or user-created discs is on a best-effort basis with no guarantee due to the variation of media, software and techniques used.

**Nominal specification.


Media Support

  • Blu-ray Disc - The high definition Blu-ray Disc format provides pristine video and audio quality for your home entertainment.
  • BonusVIEW - BD "Profile 1.1" enables "picture-in-picture" and secondary audio features for viewing director or actor commentary while the main movie is playing.
  • BD-Live™ - The BDP-83SE support BD "Profile 2.0" and contains all necessary hardware - audio/video decoder, Ethernet port, and 1GB of internal storage - for BD-Live.
  • DVD Up-Conversion - The BDP-83SE uses the same VRS by Anchor Bay (DVDO) de-interlacing and scaling technology as in our award-winning DV-983H DVD player. The up-converted picture quality bridges the visual gap from your current DVD library to Blu-ray discs.
  • DVD-Audio - The BDP-83SE plays DVD-Audio and supports both stereo and multi-channel high resolution audio programs. Users can select whether to play the DVD-Audio or the DVD-Video portion of the disc.
  • SACD - The BDP-83SE plays Super Audio CD (SACD) and supports both stereo and multi-channel high resolution audio programs. Users can select whether to output the DSD (Direct Stream Digital) signal in its native format or convert it into PCM.
  • Additional Media Formats - Additional disc and file formats, such as audio CD, HDCD, Kodak Picture CD, AVCHD, MKV, and other audio/video/picture files on recorded discs or USB drives can be played back on the BDP-83SE.

Video Processing

  • VRS™ by Anchor Bay - The BDP-83SE incorporates Anchor Bay's award-winning Video Reference Series (VRS) technology, and delivers a picture that is cleaner, smoother, true-to-life and free of artifacts.
  • Full HD 1080p Output - The BDP-83SE features user selectable video output resolutions, including 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and up to 1080p 50 or 60Hz.
  • True 24p™ Video - Many Blu-ray Discs are recorded at 24 frames per second, the same frame rate as the original movie's theatrical release. The BDP-83SE can faithfully redeliver the original frames using 1080p 24Hz output (compatible display required) for smoother motion and a flicker-free, film-like home theater experience. It can also restore the original 24 frames per second progressive-scan video from well-authored DVDs and output as 1080p 24Hz.
  • Source Direct Mode - For users who wish to use an external video processor, high-end audio/video receiver or display, the BDP-83SE offers a "Source Direct" mode. The original audio/video content on the discs is sent out with no additional processing or alteration.
  • Multiple Zoom Modes - The BDP-83SE supports multiple levels of aspect ratio control and image zooming, including a vertical stretch mode for customers with a 2.35:1 CIH (Constant Image Height) display system.
  • HDMI - HDMI is an all digital interface for the cleanest possible connection. It delivers high-quality digital video and audio through a single cable. The BDP-83SE features an HDMI v1.3 output with 30-bit and 36-bit Deep Color support.

Audio Features

  • Dolby® TrueHD - Dolby TrueHD delivers lossless studio master quality audio designed specifically for high definition entertainment. The BDP-83SE supports bit-stream output of Dolby TrueHD via its HDMI 1.3 output. It can also internally decode Dolby TrueHD into LPCM and output via HDMI or the 7.1ch analog audio output terminals. Other varieties of Dolby Digital audio formats are also supported.
  • DTS®-HD - DTS-HD delivers up to 7.1 channels of surround sound and audio that is indistinguishable from (DTS-HD High Resolution) or identical to (DTS-HD Master Audio) the original studio master. The BDP-83SE supports bit-stream output and internal decoding of DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio. Other varieties of DTS audio formats are also supported.
  • 7.1-Channel Analog Output - Individual analog 7.1-channel surround outputs are ideal to connect to a 7.1-channel or 5.1-channel surround sound system. The BDP-83SE delivers an incredible sound stage and an immersive surround experience. The outputs use an 8-channel ESS Technology ES9006 DAC.
  • Dedicated Stereo Output - The BDP-83SE features a dedicated 2-channel analog output with specially optimized ESS Technology Digital-to-Analog Converter (ES9016, 4 DACs per channel) and output driving stage.
  • Digital Optical and Coaxial Outputs - For simple and easy connection to more traditional A/V receivers, the BDP-83SE features both optical and coaxial outputs for digital audio.

Convenience

  • Dual USB Ports - Two USB 2.0 high speed ports are provided, one on the front panel and one on the back. Users can enjoy high definition video, high resolution photos and music directly from their USB drives.
  • PAL/NTSC Conversion - The BDP-83 supports NTSC and PAL systems for both disc playback and video output. It can also convert content of one system for output in another. (Subject to DVD and BD region restrictions.)
  • Back-lit Remote Control - The BDP-83 comes with a fully back-lit remote control for ease of use in dark home theaters. With its ergonomic button layout and clear labeling, operating the Blu-ray Disc player is easier than ever.
  • Universal Power Supply - The BDP-83 features a wide-range world power supply that is compatible with the AC power of all regions. No worries about damaging the player due to incorrect power voltage.
  • External IR - For integration into home theater control systems, the BDP-83 provides external IR remote IN and OUT ports.
  • RS232 Control - For custom installations, the RS232 control is a must.
  • HDMI CEC - HDMI Consumer Electronics Control simplifies the home theater by allowing a single remote control to operate multiple devices.

Company Information

OPPO Digital, Inc
2629B Terminal Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94043 USA

Phone: 650-961-1118
Source: Manufacturer Supplied
MSRP: $899

URL: www.oppodigital.com
Email: service@oppodigital.com


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