Last year we reviewed the Oppo DV-983H universal DVD player which, while a couple years too late to market, was still an impressive product that redefined the price points for universal players. Now, with the only other universal Blu-ray/DVD player coming in at almost 10x the price, Oppo has finally beat the market and brings a true universal disc player to the home theater market that not only plays Blu-ray discs, but also DVD-Audio, SACD and, of course, DVD videos and CDs.
This is exciting for a number of reasons. First, a universal disc player means that you only need one piece of hardware on your shelf in order to play back anything from CDs, to DVDs to SACDs, DVD-Audio discs, and now Blu-ray discs. Those of us who have been chasing technology for years (not to mention plain old early adopters) have quite the collection of players on our shelves. Replacing these with a single device is extremely enticing and getting a top-notch Blu-ray player in the process is just the gravy on top.
Unpacking & Build Quality
I don’t normally include pictures of packaging, but the Oppo BDP-83 showed up with such flair and overly attractive packaging that I simply had to include some shots. First off, the player comes in an earth-friendly bag that is the same type they allow you to buy for your groceries in lieu of paper or plastic. The player is padded on three sides by foam and a printed box bearing the Oppo logo contains the included HDMI and analogue video cables, remote and two-prong power cable. The user manual sits on top and a 4-color graphic of the player sits atop and is the first to greet you when the box is opened. Oppo has also included the new Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark Blu-ray Edition.
The player itself looks great. The front features brushed aluminum, with the tray and display panel flanked by the IR sensor and Eject button. A four-way navigation control pad sits to the right of the front panel and there is a front USB connection for quick viewing of flash drives. The power button, which sits on the bottom left of the player glows red when power is connected and lights up blue when pressed and the player powers up. You can’t power up the player any other way than activating the power button or pressing the Eject button on the player or via the the remote. Hitting Play, for example, simply won’t work.
As we mentioned above, the player has front USB connections. On the back there is another USB connection for playback of movies, music or photos. The reason for both connections is to allow for more flexibility and both can actually be utilized at the same time. On the back panel you’ll also find HDMI, component video, and composite video connections. For audio, Oppo has 7.1 analogue audio outputs as well as a dedicated pair of analogue stereo outputs. On the digital audio side there are both optical and coaxial digital for use with legacy systems. With a player like this I would imagine (and recommend) most users stick to using the HDMI and analogue audio outputs. The HDMI is sufficient for all modern AV receivers and processors and the analogue audio outputs are perfect for legacy systems.
Click here to read the complete review on Audioholics.com.
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