February 25, 2009 by Arlen Schweiger
Oh Oppo Digital, you keep teasing with your Blu-ray player status emails. Last night’s came with the subject line “Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Early Adoption Program” and described how I could be one of 50 randomly chosen customers this week to get a preview of the company’s Blu-ray player.
I’ll let the email speak for itself: We have decided to take a democratic, by-the-people approach to the implementation of the Early Adoption Program. For the initial batch we will randomly choose 50 customers to participate in the Early Adoption Program. These 50 customers will have the opportunity to purchase the BDP-83 for $499 before the official release. After using the player for about a week, they will be required to vote on whether the program should be expanded or suspended based on end-user experiences. If a supermajority (at least 70%) votes in favor of expanding the program, we will expand the Early Adoption Program by another 100 randomly chosen customers. The player will be shipped with a pre-production firmware version. Firmware updates will be available from time to time.
If you are one of the chosen (and today could be your lucky day), you have to place your order by Feb. 27, and vote on whether to expand the program by March 15.
Oppo goes on to say that a preliminary features and spec list will be available on its website on March 3, so look for an update then. Right now the BDP-83 has BD Live (profile 2.0), internal decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
The kicker for a lot of Oppo loyalists may be the inclusion of DVD-Audio and/or SACD support. Some audiophiles still invest in these niche formats—lots of good jazz and classical releases—and they’ve been around on Oppo’s acclaimed upconverting universal DVD players that run less than half the price of the BDP-83.
Oppo says it is “working diligently” on implementing DVD-A, which would seem to up the ante since as far as we can tell only Denon’s $3,800 DVD-A1UDCi also does that and Blu-ray (and SACD).
Sorry, Oppo, against the Denon you’re a bargain but I can’t shell out the $499 right now to be an early adopter. What about you guys—this has been one of the more highly anticipated product releases, perhaps more so because it seems like it’s been prolonged. You hoping to have the BDP-83 en route as an early adopter?
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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