Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity - John E. Johnson, Jr.
OPPO’s latest player, the UDP-203, will play Ultra-HD 4K Blu-ray movie discs as well as 1080p movie discs. It also plays high resolution music, such as 24/192 and SACD.

OPPO has released its latest player, the UDP-203, priced at $549 directly on-line from OPPO, which plays UHD Blu-ray (4K), Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, AVCHD, SACD, CD, Kodak Picture CD, CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL, and BD-R/RE. The audio spec is HDMI Audio: up to 7.1ch/192kHz PCM, up to 5.1ch DSD, Bitstream.

OPPO UDP-203 4K Player Preview

So, it pretty much plays everything.

I tested the audio performance, and it sounds great. For the listening tests, I used my collection of CDs, DVD-Audio discs, and SACDs.

I don’t have a 4K display yet, but it played my HD 1080p movies nicely. For my 4K TV, I am waiting for OLED technology to mature, and specifically, I want to get an 84″ 4K OLED Ultra-HDTV. I will hang it behind the projection screen that I use with my Sony 1080p projector. The projection screen rolls up into the ceiling when I am not using it.

Chris Eberle will be performing the 4K video bench tests, and he has a 4K display to see how well the UDP-203 performs with 4K movies. His full review will be published soon. The rest of my audio bench test results will be in that review as well. Two of the spectra are included here in this preview.

From the audio bench test spectra shown below, it is obvious that the UDP-203 has very low distortion. The largest harmonic is second-ordered, and it is minus 110 dB, so distortion is well below audibility for 24/192 as well as Redbook CDs. The noise floor is at about minus 130 dB for 24/192 and minus 115 dB for 16/44.1.

OPPO UDP-203 4K Player - On The Bench

I highly recommend this player for those early adopters who have an Ultra-HD 4K display, but also to those consumers who don’t have a player for high resolution music. You can connect a USB 3.0 hard drive to one of the two USB 3.0 ports on the rear panel and play high resolution, as well as standard Redbook 16/44.1 music files, stored on the USB hard drive, by selecting them from an OPPO Media Center app that resides on your smart phone or tablet, going through your wireless home network. You can also connect two hard drives if you wish, one to each of the two USB 3.0 ports, and the Media Center app will show them both, so if you have several terabytes of music, this option is available to you. The OPPO Media Center app for the UDP-203 will be available in a month or so.

See the complete review of the OPPO UDP-203 4K Ultra-HD Blu-Ray Disc Player

OPPO UDP-203 4K Player - On The Bench

  • Troy

    “I want to get an 84″ 4K OLED Ultra-HDTV” even when the technology supposedly matures, that size OLED will still be in the tens of thousands. 4K PJ tech will mature as well and for that kind of money I’d rather go bigger; better cinematic feel and immersion and you get usually get better viewing results on larger screens with higher resolutions like 4K, just my take.

  • David Musoke

    Thanks for the preview John…

    Now, you list the 16-bit noise plus distortion(THD+N) as 0.017%, which translates to a bad figure for SNR+D of 75dB, yet the noise floor is very very clean. How can that be? Did you miss a zero somewhere as in a THD+N of 0.0017% (which implies a 95dB SNR+D) which would make more sense?

    Also did you listen using its analog outputs, since you said it sounded great?

  • John Johnson

    I did not miss a zero in reading the distortion measurement for the 16/44.1 test signal. I listened using the RCA unbalanced outputs and also used the RCA outputs for the bench tests. I could not hear any distortion. If you look at the distortion peaks in the 16/44.1 spectrum vs. the 24/192 spectrum, you can see that the levels of the the second and third harmonics are the same. The fourth harmonic is not visible in the 16/44.1 spectrum because it is buried in the noise floor, and it is the higher noise floor in the 16/44.1 spectrum that is giving the higher THD+N reading, not a higher amount of distortion.

  • David Musoke

    OK, testing over the standard 80 kHz bandwidth invites more noise in the measurement as expected. Do you have a ‘seat-of-the-pants’ formula to see what that reading would translate into if a 20 kHz BW was used? When do you plan to release the full measurements tests? I think the UPD-203 has similar specs to what the audiophile BDP105 did with its then top of the line ESS dacs. I wonder if the UDP205 will up the ante…

  • John Johnson

    I no longer have the 203. It has been sent to one of our video experts for the 4K video bench tests.

    I would say that the 16/44.1 distortion measurement would definitely go down if I used only a 22 kHz bandwidth, perhaps to 0.002%.

    There just may be a few more noise spikes in the 203 way up in the inaudible range, say, at 60 kHz.

    The settings were not off. I am very compulsive about being precise.

    The 203 is a landmark player in its price class. Audiophile quality for way less than a kilobuck. OPPO does it again.

  • John Johnson

    I would estimate that the THD+N for 16/44.1 would go down to about 0.002% if I used a 22 kHz bandwidth, but that is not standard laboratory procedure. There may just be a few more spikes far out of the audible range, say, at 60 kHz.

    The full set of audio bench tests will be published in the complete review that contains the subjective 4K video appraisal and video bench tests.

    My statements above are just the preview.

  • David Musoke

    Thanks John. Maybe next time measurements are made, the display graphs should show the full 80 kHz measurement bandwidth (regardless of signal bit-depths and sampling rates) so that we know what full noise noise spectra our pre-amps, processors and amplifiers (in case of direct connection) may have to deal with. I assume your analog listening tests were done through a pre-amp and not direct connection of the Oppo to your amplifier?

  • John Johnson

    If i showed the display graphs for 1 kHz all the way out to 80 kHz, it would be very difficult to see the second and third harmonics. The best way to look at the 1 kHz test signal is the one I use now, a linear (rather than logarithmic) X axis.

    I listened to music using the analog outputs for the RCA front left and right channels on the 203 connected to a two-channel preamplifier (Pass Labs Xs) and i also listened with the HDMI output on the 203 connected to a Classe SSP-800 surround sound processor, playing some Blu-ray 7.1 music. It was awesome.

    Although I do not have an Ultra-HD TV yet to experience 2,160p video (I am waiting for OLED technology to mature), this player also supports HDR, which really adds a lot to the video image quality, but that discussion is for one of our video experts in the full review. Take a look at our technical article on HDR, as it is the most comprehensive review on this subject ever published.

    I am really looking forward to testing the 205 when it becomes available. I suspect that it will become the “gold standard” for playing high resolution music.

  • David Musoke

    John, I truly understand the need to show the principle harmonics of a player under 20kHz as that’s very useful information we need to see and know about. So, how a graph (or two) of just the ultrasonic side of the spectrum from 20KHz to 80kHz? We don’t need to see every harmonic in this range…just need to see the overall noise envelope so that we understand what kind of signals are being fed into our preamps and amplifiers. A graph representing the analog outputs (1 channel) and another for the HDMI output? Many preamps and amplifiers have bandwidths well beyond 100kHz and we’d rather have that bandwidth as part of the musical information embedded in the source signal and not due to noise from the player’s circuitry itself such as DC-DC power supply switching noise, ADC and DAC spectral noise, etc… Thanks for listening!