Thursday, October 13, 2011

OPPO: BDP - 93

Recently I got to play with an OPPO in my own system. Whilst I have had experience with these players in other people's systems, I currently own one or experienced it in my own system. The only word to describe this player is "perfect". The player is heavy and you know from the moment you un-box it, this is a series piece of hardware.
OPPO have only released a very select group of products, starting with a DVD player several years back. All of their devices have been brilliant in both performance and build. The BDP-93 is another fine example of their quality.

My interest in this player is for both video and audio. OPPO have been active listeners to their customers and this BD player not only shifts sub-titles out of the black bars, it has a built in Vertical Stretch function for CIH systems that can't VS the image. A CIH owners dream machine!

It loads discs extremely fast, even the new Star Wars BDs which are for some reason exceptionally slow loaders. The set up menus are detailed offering options for everything including the level of video you want [0~255] or need. And it also supports 3D.

As mentioned, the player not only plays Blu-ray at what can only be described as "at reference video levels", it plays DVD-A and SACD as well allowing the high rez audio to be passed over HDMI. Typically DVD-A and SACD players must be connected to the system via analogue (6 leads) which to me kind of defeats the purpose of "pure" audio. Because in the end of the day, everything we listen too is a direct result of the interaction of the speakers and the room. Modern AVRs have room EQ functions to correct for anomalies that normally plague an AV system, and when using the analogue inputs for MC, the complex EQ settings are bypassed meaning that even whilst you have the purist audio, your room may just be the weak link. These players also have to handle bass management which is often not as good as the crossover in a good surround receiver - especially one that is THX certified as mine is. And not to mention their DACs are often not up to the task either. It was pure joy to listen to both an SACD and DVD-A disc in the digital domain.

I am very impressed with the OPPO BDP-93 and I want one as I now fully understand the talk about these players is not just hype.