If you're looking for a high-end audio player that happens to play DVDs and Blu-rays, British boutique manufacturer Arcam has a new component for consideration, the UDP411 Universal Blu-ray Player. With premium Burr-Brown DACs and a balanced analog output, it might just be the ideal complement to an audiophile-grade system.
OPPO continues its tradition of being leader of the pack with the introduction of the BDP-105 Universal Player. It has every type of input that one could want, making it truly a player that can handle all types of media and sources. The video quality is superb (video results coming in Chris Heinonen's review of the 103 which has the same video circuit as the 105), and the audio quality (tested in this review) is what we have come to expect from OPPO: audiophile-grade.
OPPO has just released its first universal 3D Blu-ray player, the BDP-93, and will shortly release the BDP-95, which adds a pair of balanced outputs (having their own dedicated DACs). At the same time, NuForce has released two upgrade boards that the consumer can install in a BDP-93 player, or purchase the player direct from NuForce with the card installed (Called the BDP-93NE and BDP-93NXE). This review will cover the audio performance of the three players (only the BDP-93NE, not the BDP-93NXE), as well as the video performence using our Benchmark tests. As you will see, OPPO has overturned price/performance expectations, and especially the BDP-95 is reference quality for less than $1,000.
Denon has long been a well-respected leader in the disc player market, producing some excellent universal disc players over the years. Just a few years ago, a universal disc player needed to tackle CD, SACD, DVD-Video and DVD-Audio. Today's disc player must now add Blu-ray to the list in order to claim the title of universal disc player. Such is the case for Denon's new BDP-4010UDCI. Read our review to see how it performs.
My wife often enjoyed making fun of how many optical disc players I had in my AV setup. When it was the most out of control, I had an HD-DVD player, a PS3 for Blu-ray movies, an Oppo Universal DVD player, and a Sony SACD changer for music. While DVD-A and SACD didn't catch on with lots of the public, some of us built up a collection of the titles that we want to be able to listen to, and we would like to avoid having an AV rack full of extra players like I do. Denon's new DVD-A1UDCI Universal Blu-ray player handles every format out there, including Blu-ray, SACD, and DVD-A, outputting the signals digitally through its HDMI port.
Oppo Digital is a very rare light among the stifling mediocrity found in most low to middle priced digital audio and video electronics. Readers of this website know that we all have a virtually uniform love for their products, and it is for extremely good reason.