McGary Audio

Essential Sound

Friday, November 19, 2010

Audiophile Preview!
Oppo Unveils 3D Blu-ray/Universal Player
With Audio/Video Upgrades, Streaming

by John Gatski

Oppo recently introduced a replacement for its ultra-popular BDP-83 universal Blu-ray/DVD-A/DVD/SACD/CD player, the BDP-93. The new $499 player features 3-D playback, Netflix Streaming, as well as an upgraded video processor and audio DAC. The player will go on sale in January.
According to Oppo, the BDP-93’s new audio converter section offers subjective improvements in listening tests and slightly better bench test numbers than the BDP-83; the Marvell Qdeo video processor is said to offer increased performance in contrast enhancement, color enhancement, and noise reduction, which benefits video streaming. An Oppo spokesman said the video de-interlacing and scaling are about the same as the 83, which was mighty good.

Besides the disc formats, the BDP-93 will offer NetFlix streaming, Blockbuster-On-Demand — and even FLAC playback for all you high-res downloaders.

The BDP-93 player sports dual-HDMI outputs, eSATA and USB inputs, Wireless N capability, Ethernet and RS-232 ports. Of course, the new model contains Oppo’s transparent SPDIF digital output, which can pass full-res 24-bit, PCM stereo audio through the optical or RCA jack. This feature enables Oppo players to output up to 24-bit/192 kHz audio to an external DAC. Every Oppo Blu-ray player has this capabiliy, including the basic $299 BDP-80.
According to Oppo, a replacement for the much-heralded BDP-83SE also is in the works. The BDP-83SE, if you recall, received a higher-spec converter and better power supply but still came in well under $1,000 For more info on the new player, click BDP-83 Update.

BDP-80, we hardly knew ya...
BTW, the entry-level Oppo BDP-80 was discontinued before I could get the review finished, but if you are lucky enough to find the baby Oppo, you won’t be disappointed. For $289, it is an amazing player. It does not have the upgraded DAC chips of the ‘83 or 83SE — or the Anchor Bay video processing — but its video and audio quality are not that far off its bigger brothers. It’s a budget, universal player that plays BDs, SACDs and DVD-As and computer audio files from USB drives with considerable quality.

The BDP-80 operation is exactly the same as its brothers; it just lacks the separate stereo output, high-end DAC and video processor. With basic connection options, such as digital and analog stereo outputs, HDMI and analog multichannel/stereo output, USB input, and the same transport as the BDP-83, the BDP-80 is well worth $289. Heck, I would pay that just for the unencumbered digital output.
Oppo no longer has any BDP-80s stock, but the player is worth seeking out — even as a used player. Maybe Oppo will make a successor.

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