No player unfortunately is the best fit for me. Shoddy engineering and design has become common in the consumer AV industry since margins have dried up considerably in this sector.
I didn't denounce the product entirely, just that the most obvious poor design decisions are being swept under the rug by folks that could easily be described as fanboys.
That is highly subjective IMO, and Oppo is actually known for taking public feedback and suggestions into consideration when it comes to designing their players. They do extensive beta testing and try to include features that people want most.
Obviously it's impossible to make a player that is a perfect fit for everyone. There will always be compromises on both sides.
I would like to see actual criticism by actual Oppo owners in order for the company to improve.
There is actually another thread on AVS dedicated to asking what features people want in the Oppo's next generation of players. It has gotten some good feedback and criticism too. You may want to check it out.
In either case, my wish list is simple:
1. flawless bluray playback (my oppo-93 freezes every couple of months inexplicably).
Every couple of months? That's quite a long span of time, and I think it's pretty normal for such a device to experience that once in a while. TVs, cable boxes, disc players, streaming devices, etc... all do it.
FWIW, the newest 10x players are more advanced with more processing power, and less subject to some hiccups.
I also have a -93 though too, and though all the years I have had it, I only recall such anomalies happening once in a while.
2. If they are going to do streaming, I would be much happier with discreet IP controls that take you directly to netflix or whatever.
Not sure exactly what you mean by that. There is a button on the remote that takes you directly to Netflix or Vudu. They also have an app that can control the player for those purposes too.
I think you could also add your own IP control from 3rd party software if that is your passion.
They already have discrete commands for their products, and more info can be found on their website or by contacting Oppo directly.
3. integration with major control systems like Crestron and Control4 would be easier to accomplish if the company just worked with integrators to provide them with drivers when the unit is introduced. Sony, Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Integra, for all their flaws, got this part under control. Oppo consumers are high end consumers that are more likely than owners of other brands to own a control system.
AFAIK this type of integration is already available. More info can be found on Oppo's website or by contacting them directly. The RS-232C port on the Oppo players is what makes that possible.
4. rack mount standard size 2u would be perfect for all products with standard side mount rack mount ears that come with the product
I have heard no previous complaints for the last few generations of Oppo players having issues with pro rack mounting. Oppo does have a general rack mount kit available for purchase on their website. For specific brands of racks, those brands also offer custom mounting brackets and plates that fit Oppo players.
5. 3d playback of course
This already exists in their players.
6. Able to play Atmos encoded discs without stuttering
Oppo players do not have any issues with Atmos encoded discs (so far).
They do sometimes have issues with discs that have Dolby TrueHD 7.1 tracks that use a specific authoring technique called "Seamless Branching". This is easily sidestepped by using LPCM output in their older model players.
Some of those discs though may have ATMOS audio on them, and perhaps that is where you confusion lies.
If the Seamless Branching issue coexists with an ATMOS track, then that may have the problem you mention.
...and since ATMOS requires you to bitstream the audio to an external decoder, then the sidestep/workaround doesn't work.
However the issue doesn't even exist in their current line of 10x model players. So it's already cured in those players.
7. A version of the Oppo with a simple HDMI output and no analog outputs (save some money)
When Oppo designed and released their current model players, as well as previous generations, there was still quite a large
demand for users who needed to use the player with legacy gear that doesn't have HDMI inputs.
So the only way to use that gear and still get lossless audio codecs from Blu-ray, was to use multichannel analog audio output.
I think the need for it with legacy gear has gotten less needful over the past couple years as more people buy into newer technology,
but for some people it's still needed. It may be a good suggestion for Oppo to drop that feature from at least one version of the next generations models, but at the same time it depends on how much money it would actually save.
They would literally have to design and manufacture a different player just for the sake of making one without that feature.
So who knows if it would be worth it or not.
8. Continue with the otherwise good fit and finish
Yep. They have been pretty good at designing players that are aesthetically pleasing IMO.
9. Near instant load times
Not sure exactly what you mean by that, but Oppo is pretty spot one when it comes to competing with other OEMs and their players' load times. Yes, faster would be nice... I also don't like waiting... but I think "near instant" may be a bit unrealistic. Who knows what it will be like when it comes to UHD BD playback too. We'll find out in about a year I guess when UHD BD players start hitting the streets.
10. A player that can skip over previews and other junk on the disc and take you straight to the menu
This was possible when they made stand alone DVD players, and IS still possible for DVDs on their BD players.
I believe you can do so by hitting the yellow button on the remote when loading a DVD.
(I THINK that is how it's done. It's been a long time since I tried it.)
However for BD, it is not possible due to the way the discs are encoded. I am pretty sure no player out there has accomplished it either.
11. Keep the version with DAC's and audio circuitry a separate version
As an extension against the response for multichannel analog audio output above... this is dependent on whether the player does have analog output or not. If they eliminated the analog output, they would thus by default eliminate the DAC as well.
Again, whether such a move would actually impact the retail price enough to make it worth while, only Oppo would really know.
12. improve the software interface for all streaming options with discreet IP commands to activate each of the streaming services and the transport controls for them.
Already addressed above in #2.
For streaming services, there are a LOT of options these days. In my view OPPO isn't even close to the best out there. The Samsung Blu-ray player does a decent job for most people. The Playstation platform is pretty good as well despite the fact that integrator options for PS4 suck as far as I can tell.
Oppo does not focus on loading their product with tons of streaming apps that most people don't need or use.
In cases where the user wants a large host of apps, the user can easily add any 3rd party streaming device to their current 10x
model players via the 2 HDMI inputs. Oppo has even included the option of adding a Roku MHL streaming stick that can actually be operated with the Oppo remote that comes with the player. A very nice feature they added to the current models.
It shocks me that so many companies do such a poor job with the software component. It's amazing how quickly companies have been caught off guard with the progression of software interfaces. The factory stereo in my $70k Audi Q5 and my brother's Audi R8 sports car both suck... The software in particular is straight up stupid. I work in hospitals and the software interfaces are horrifically poor... almost every one of them.
Yes unfortunately many things in the industry are like that. For those of us that have a perfectionist type of thinking and pay attention to all things with detail, it can be frustrating to say the least. Most businesses design some things just "good enough" for the way most people use them, and sometimes that falls way short from the potentially better product it could be. I honestly don't think Oppo Digital falls into that category. They do try to make their product the best it can be within reasonable expectations.
There is always room for improvement, but to what end?... there has to be a line somewhere or else the player would cost double, triple, or even more than what they cost already. Again I think Oppo does a good job meeting the expectations of most consumers who are will to pay for a great universal player, and again, as we have said so many times before, just because it's a great player doesn't mean that it's a great fit for everyone. Everyone has to make that choice based on their own particular needs and wants.
I would like to see a FLOOD of improvements in the next Oppo device in terms of this list I just provided. These are not rocket science issues, but it does require a certain level of obsessive attention to detail. I don't think anyone in this thread would be opposed to any of those improvements/refinements. None of the suggestions that I named are technically impossible either.
If I had written off Oppo entirely, I wouldn't be writing all this...