While not a household name, Oppo Digital has made a name for themselves among both videophiles and audiophiles for their DVD players, which have combined top performance with great value. When I reviewed their last DVD player, the since discontinued DV-983H, I remarked that they had pushed the DVD format to its limits, as the 983H made a DVD look at good as it possibly could. So, the next logical step was to turn their attention to the Blu-ray format and the result is the new BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray player.
Oppo never rushes a product to market and the BDP-83 has been no exception. In an unprecedented move, Oppo had two prereleases of the BDP-83 in what they called their “Early Adoption Program”. In the first release, fifty customers (chosen at random from a list of interested customers) were given the opportunity to purchase the BDP-83 and report their experiences with the player (comments are posted on Oppo's website). This led to a number of firmware upgrades being issued (as with previous Oppo products the firmware is user-upgradeable) to improve performance. The first 50 were also asked to vote on whether the player was ready for a greater release. A supermajority of 70% or greater yes votes would lead to a second pre-release. This led to a second pre-release of 300 BDP-83s, whose owners would vote again for the general release. After some more feedback and a firmware upgrade or two, the BDP-83 was recently released for sale to the general public with an MSRP of $499 (plus $89 for the RS-232 control option).
I received the BDP-83 for review about the same time as the first group of early adopters got theirs, so it’s been interesting to watch the progression of the BDP-83 as various bugs have been identified and solved. The result is a world-class universal Blu-ray player with performance that is second to none. The implementation of Anchor Bay’s VRS video technology combined with flawless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio decoding results in a gorgeous picture and all-enveloping sound. SACD and DVD Audio sound quality is equally impressive. While $499 may seem high when there are Blu-ray players out there for as little as $200, rest assured that no player in the BDP-83’s price range matches its combination of performance and features. Read on to find out more about this great new Blu-ray player.