Universal Players

OPPO BDP-105 Universal Blu-ray Player Review


The Design

The BDP-105's analog audio sections are based on the proven design of the BDP-95.  It uses the same ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC (ES9018) and same LM4562/LME49720 op-amps as in the BDP-95. The feature differences include (1) a built-in headphone amplifier based on the TPA6120A2 Hi-Fi headphone amp chip from Texas Instruments; (2) an asynchronous USB DAC input for computer audio use.  It also has coaxial digital and Toslink optical inputs for use with other digital transports.

In order to add the headphone amp and the USB DAC, OPPO made some changes to the design.  The BDP-95's stereo output stacks four DAC channels for each L/R output channel.  The idea of the stacked DAC design is to increase the output current from the DAC so a smaller I/V conversion resistor can be used (a smaller resistor has lower thermal noise).  When OPPO tried to utilize this design in the BDP-105, they found that the performance became worse.  The additional input and output made it impossible to design an optimized PCB layout if they maintained the stacked DAC channels, so a non-stacked DAC channel design was implemented.

In the 105, there is one pair of DACs for the RCA output, one pair for the XLR, and two pairs stacked for the headphone amplifier.  The new configuration minimizes interference and crosstalk.  A higher value I/V resistor (1.2 kOhm compared to 430 Ohms in the BDP-95) had to be used, but by beefing up the power supply and separating the stereo and multi-channel boards, audiophile-grade performance was maintained.

The BDP-105 is a step up from the BDP-103, which is also a new product, and both models have several new features, as follows:

(1) 4K upscaling and 2D->3D conversion.

(2) Two HDMI input ports (one front one back) so users can connect other devices to take advantage of the video processing capability.  This is also useful for a small installation such as bedroom where the TV is on the wall and an AVR is not required.  The user can connect through a single HDMI cable to the TV from the player, and connect other components such as a cable box or Roku/Apple TV to the player.

(3) MHL (Mobile High-definition Link) support. The front HDMI port is also an MHL input port.  Users can connect their smartphone, tablet, or camcorder to show their video on a large screen if the mobile device supports MHL.  There is a new product from Roku called "Roku Streaming Stick" that uses this technology.

(4) Audio return channel (ARC option of the HDMI 1.4 specs).

(5) Gracenote MusicID and VideoID service are integrated. If the player is connected to the Internet, you can get cover art, genre, artist, synopsis, and other information for CD, DVD, Blu-ray, music, and video files. When you put a CD in the player, you will see the cover art displayed on your TV.

(6) The startup and disc loading time have been reduced. This is because of the advancement in SOC designs. The main SOC is a dual-core processor instead of the single-core in the BDP-93/95.

Because of the multitude of inputs, just about any other digital source can be connected to the player, such as a different disc transport, a thumb drive with music files, a hard drive with music and video files (video files that are not copy protected, such as your home videos), and music files on your computer (via the wireless port on the BDP-105), I would refer to the BDP-105 as a Universal Server. As soon as the iPad app is complete, you will be able to scan the music file sources connected to the BDP-105 with your iPad (routed through your wireless computer network) and play any of them. Truly, the BDP-105 is morphing into a media server with a 3D Blu-ray player included.

Shown below is a photo of the rear panel.

From left to right, you can see the XLR/RCA stereo analog outputs, an Ethernet port, an HDMI input, Coaxial and Toslink Optical Digital outputs, A Video Diagnostics jack, Two HDMI outputs, two USB 2.0 jacks, IR in (for remote control), and RS-232 jack, Coaxial and Toslink Optical Digital outputs, a USB 2.0 Type B input, and at the top, a set of 7.1 analog outputs. The AC power jack is three-prong grounded.

The inside of the chassis is shown below. It is very neatly laid out, with components arranged in a modular and symmetric array.

The remote control looks similar to other OPPO remotes, with the addition of Netflix and VuDu buttons, and a few changes to the operation of the player.