Oppo BDP-83

Like most readers at Secrets we too have been more than anxious to get our hands on Oppo’s much anticipated new Blu-ray player and to our extreme delight, it’s here. Secrets is fortunate enough to have a couple to audition so do expect information over the next few days on this blog as we prepare a full-out benchmark of the BDP-83.

Superfluous to say, most know of Oppo’s stellar reputation for developing affordable ultra-high performance DVD players.

The unit is much taller than typical Oppo players but similarly adorned on the front with minimal controls. Interesting enough though on the extreme right is a USB port.

Anyone who’s ordered an Oppo DVD player will know how it arrives packed – the unit is wrapped in a canvas bag, comes complete with an HDMI and typical RCA cables, instruction manual and nicely designed remote.

The rear sports audio analog 7.1/5.1 for those who want the Oppo to process the HD audio codecs for older AV receivers that cannot process lossless signals, as well as stereo outputs. Additionally are digital coaxial and optical outputs. Composite and component video outputs compliment the HDMI output. Also you notice an Ethernet port, a USB 2.0 port and finally IR IN and Out ports.

The remote control is extremely functional and logically arranged. Touching any button will automatically make it glow amber. The larger stop/play/pause buttons are easily found in the dark and the 4 colored buttons functions vary by content. All in all it feels good in your hand and working with the new GUI (more on that later), makes navigating the menus quite easy.

Piero Gabucci

A lot of us have wanted to see an all-in-one solution Blu-ray player that not only delivers Blu-ray movies in stunning picture and sound but also provides extra features like Internet download capability and proper standard DVD deinterlacing, and perhaps some versatile audio options as well. Looks like the BD-83 is gearing up to be just that kind of a player with features like BD-Live, bitstream and internal decoding of next gen audio formats, USB Stick support (for audio, picture, and video) SACD playback in bitstream format, and standard DVD deinterlacing capabilities. As we are just getting this player on the bench, it looks like Oppo has been wanting to maintain their reputation for excellent deinterlacing and the player is soaring through many of our benchmark tests.

Added March 15

Two features that the BD-83 supports are BD-Live capability and USB ports, which are used for enjoying picture, audio, and video media. Both the front and rear USB ports on this player are designed to be used with flash drives as they only can supply 5v, 500mA of power but external hard drives can be used as well if they have their own power supply. Navigation occurs through an easy to use on-screen menu. There’s not a comprehensive list of all the file formats that the player supports available at this time, but you can bet that there is support for all the major ones like .jpg, mp3, and DivX. We are glad to see the BD-83 support USB devices as it makes the player more of a one stop location for all your media playback.

BD-Live is just now making more of an appearance on Blu-ray releases and a lot of studios are even converting HD-DVD interactive features released on previous titles into a BD-Live format. There’s a lot of development in the works for BD-Live to get it to a point where the interaction is more worthwhile and fun but the capability is definitely a welcome addition on the BD-83. BD-Live is made possible on this player via an Ethernet port on the back of the unit and a useful feature that the BD-83 supports is the ability to filter or turn off BD-Live activity entirely. It’s especially nice for those concerned about network activity that is initiated without consent such as BD-Live titles that begin downloading material as soon as the disc loads. The Ethernet port on this unit also enables firmware updates via download, and grants the possibility of additional network based features released in the future. Big kudos to Oppo on that.

Adrian Wittenberg