Originally Posted by Neuromancer
The difference between me and some members of this thread is that I completely understand OPPO's position. I will not chastise them for enforcing the regulations which are clearly defined in their licenses.
I, for one, completely understand Oppo's stated position - I'm just not (yet) convinced it's the whole story. I think the analysis above strikes at the heart, as we're parsing a mixed message: they're either worried about the future with the BDA, or they've turned a new leaf and "seen the light" regarding region locking. You're making it sound to me like this is a fight for legitimacy, that the Oppo's not just going to be yet another Funai or Sorny, but a legit, name-brand player that's got to play by the rules or else... I'm not sure that narrative is required to account for the change - it could, in the end, be as simple as they received a general request from the BDA, they did the math, figured the risk/reward wasn't worth it, and moved to lock regions. The entire thrust of this discussion, then, is that for some of us we're leaning in other directions despite waiting patiently for this model release. In other words, their calculus may not have accurately accounted for the number of us that hold onto region-free SD as a must have in order to make the Oppo our key player.
Now (and this speaks to the other thread, and your experience), NONE of us have used this player for BD. It may very well be a total, no brainer when it comes to BD playback, simply destroying all comers (including the ubiquitous PS3). All of this may be moot, that the player is so fantastically great at its primary function that it becomes ridiculous not to add it to our systems for its primary roles. However, as it stands now, it's hard to see that this player is radically superior for core functionality (playing a disc, sending signals via HDMI to TV/audio system) than, say, the PS3... And that, perhaps, is too little to late to make this a must-have item.
I remain extremely hopeful that this device proves to be the rock solid player that the offerings for SD have been. I also hope that a keen and critical eye is given to any shortcomings for this player, and that we're not blinded by a love for this company, nor euqally blind to the positives due to pique felt regarding the SD region coding matter. Neuro, you've beat us all by having the player in your home for the last several months, and no doubt much of your frustration and enthusiasm comes from honestly working hard to make the player better, AND from a general interest and connection with the company. Note that our shared frustration with Oppo is not a personal attack upon you, or upon the people of Oppo. Skepticism about this so-called demand from the BDA isn't a slam against the company as a whole, but is a legitimate concern about this new direction the company has chosen, a direction that abandons some core features that built them up in the first place with early adopters of their equipment.
I appreciate greatly the posts by Videophilander et. al. that have done wonders to express the argument we share, one that's subtle and tenuous and easy to misinterpret as misanthropic or malevolent... This is disappointment, pure and simple, and not an unreasonable or unfounded disapointment....
Finally, regarding the price question, I don't think it's analogous in the way you are using the comparison, given that we've had hints for a long time about pricing, and that the cost falls within reason of the target expectation. Sure, some may grumble, just as if SD region free was provided but BD was locked some would grumble, but these factors were well taken into consideration by the more reflective members of this forum. If the price had surprised us dramatically (say, $6000, like the Denon), then you -would- have seen an explosion of discussions regarding this "outrageous" price. This is a surprise of that (hypothetical) nature, a kick-in-the-gut type of shock that is greater for many than if they would have completely dropped SACD and DVD-A (something that, for me, would have been equally inexcusable, while economically understandable).