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Oppo UDP-203 -> Yamaha CX-A5100 -> Sony XBR-75X940C; Mediabridge 6' and 15' HDMI cables.
What's not to love?
Oh wait, you wanted a "marketing" answer?
Hmmm, they offer consistently innovative players with legendary customer service, at prices which are considered bargains by folks who actually want all that these players bring to the table. To do this, they don't try to hit ALL the price points the usual name brands are trying to fill, and they don't bring out a whole crop of new players every couple months rather than fixing issues in players people have already purchased.
Or was it that you wanted a "technical" answer?
Well that's tricky, because any feature I might toss out (e.g., try to find a Sony player that plays DVD-Audio discs), you might readily say, "But that's not something I want to do." And that's fine. It is the COMBINATION of this stuff -- stuff you would use the player for now, and stuff you'd have the option of exploring later -- that makes the difference. Any of your other Blu-ray players play DSD files from hard drives? You may not even know what that means, and again, no argument. But ask folks who DO care and you'll find it a big deal.
The vast majority of players being sold today also give short shrift to Analog audio output. Maybe you don't want to use that. But if you do, there's a HUGE difference between Analog audio implementations out there, and the OPPO players are typically rated up with players costing several times their price.
Picture Quality is much tougher to get your arms around. Most players will do a competent job of rendering what's on the disc, particularly for Blu-ray discs (which are easier to deal with than Standard DVD discs). The differences are often technical and usually subtle. Most people won't be sensitive to the differences. Far and away the most important factor in Picture Quality is getting your entire chain of video hardware properly "calibrated" to display this stuff correctly -- the player, the Receiver, and the TV. There are certainly examples out there of players that screw up, but most of the time, if you have a Picture Quality problem it is because something is not set up right in your video chain.
Another factor is performance. The current OPPO players are about as fast as you can get at the moment.
Really the thing to do is go to the top of the first post in the OPPO BDP-103 or BDP-105 thread and check out the Unofficial FAQ for a quick look at technical capabilities. You can also download the Manual for both players (PDF files) from the OPPO Digital web site.
Then start browsing the owner's threads and ask questions if you get confused. And perhaps the most confusing thing ABOUT those threads is the wide variety of different TYPES of uses people are tackling with the players.
But perhaps that's too MUCH information. What you really want is a player just to play Blu-ray discs and keep it simple. Well, you really may be happier with one of the $100 players out there. Lots of people are -- way WAY more of those players are sold than OPPOs. But keep following along and if something comes up that intrigues you, maybe that's the time to try an OPPO. They offer an easy, 30 day return policy if it doesn't work out (all you risk is the shipping).
Oh, and the name really is still cute if you spell it upside down.
My problem is the price. I can't afford to put $500 down on a player. If I had the money to burn, I would jump on the BDP-103. It has everything I want. The 105 is nice, but I will never need that kind of stuff.
HD DVD - 13
Blu-Ray - 88
That's were people hang out who like to opine on such stuff.
I have given this a thought or two in the past. Now I have used several of their models and they are very nice and in many cases the perfect choice for someone. With this in mind I think these are a few factors (among others...)
- Believe it or not the packaging - I can never understand why people go on and on about being placed in a bag.
- Expensive enough that everyone won't buy one and not expensive enough that one can't buy one if they really want one.
- Exclusive - you can't buy them at a store so you're smart to find out about them and take advantage of what they offer.
- Like old school construction - it's more than performance. Higher quality build material is superior in and of itself.
Sure many take advantage of their unique features however at the same time I think a great many simply enjoy being connected to their mantra.
My #2 reason for buying an Oppo Blu-ray player was that the analogue audio output section was good enough to justify replacing a standalone CD player. I don't consider myself a golden-ears audiophile, but having experienced CD audio over Toslink on old Denon DVD and subsequent Samsung Blu-ray players I kept going back to a standalone CD player for quality analogue L/R audio. After reading reviews of Oppo players and finally picking one up for Blu-ray playback, I found that it did CD playback very well - on par with my dedicated player (now passed on to a friend).
My #3 reason for buying an Oppo Blu-ray player was the network media support via DLNA, which admittedly isn't on the same level as my HTPC, but I didn't have the HTPC at the time I originally bought the Oppo. The Oppo gave me access to all of my MP3 and FLAC media files stored on a NAS.
My #4 reason for buying an Oppo Blu-ray player is build quality. Solid construction, understated design, quiet and smooth function. By comparison the two Samsung Blu-ray players I've historically owned generated all manner of whirs, buzzes and disc noise - and BOTH of which failed within 2 years.
Even with 93 my family immodestly noticed video quality difference when I switched back to my old Panasonic bd-30
I sold my receiver and got 105 and never looked back
I've only used Oppo players (blu and dvd) over the last few years and here's some of the reasons why:
1) Full size (or nearly so) components... I cannot stand these little sh***y players that are sold by nearly every other manufacturer. A personal quirk of mine :-)
2) subtitle shift... we have a 2:35 aspect screen with anamorphic lens in our home theater and watch enough movies with subtitles that sometimes require the subtitle shift feature the Oppo provides.
3) source direct capability
4) Oppo seems to stand by their product... I just had our BDP-83 serviced (faulty disk tray) at no cost (other than the cost to ship it to them)... they acknowledged the well known disk tray problem with the 83 and fixed it for free (nearly) even though the warranty expired over 2 years ago.
1) They tend to have every feature I'm looking for, plus about twice as many features I wasn't looking for. Of the features I wasn't looking for, I end up making use of a few of them in the long run. Some would say I'm wasting money on features I won't use, and they'd probably be right. But sometimes I just don't know what features I'll want a few years in advance.
2) They tend to be built like tanks. Fine, sleek, elegant tanks, but tanks nonetheless. They will outlast your need for them. Again, some would consider it a waste to buy a device that lasts for 10-15 years if you're going to replace it earlier--but I can't predict what I may want to do with it a few years down the line.
3) They have excellent service. For the odd time when you get a lemon, their replacement policy and service is really top notch. Even for lesser service calls, their customer service just can't be beat. And don't forget--all Blu-ray players are effectively obsolete the day they stop getting firmware updates, due to loose authoring standards. I don't particularly like this fact, but it is some consolation that Oppo provides good-quality long-term firmware support for their gear, and it will still work well for discs released years from now.
4) They tend to be mod-friendly. If you watch a lot of foreign films, region mods are a necessary addition. And of course good support for PAL-encoded video, etc.
5) They strive for A/V perfection. No device is ever perfect, but Oppos are consistently top-tier for A/V quality. You mentioned that all mainstream Blu-ray players have the same video quality--while this is true for Blu-rays (notwithstanding some minor colorspace issues where Oppos tend to be better), it is decidedly NOT true for DVDs.
All of these things a reasonable person could decide to do without, but for me they provide enough value to be worth the cost. Also, this is not so much about brand loyalty as it is about proven track record. Should quality start slipping for them, I wouldn't hesitate to look elsewhere. In 10-15 years when this one finally dies
They are overly expensive, most of the features of note offered on an Oppo are not used by 99% of the blu-ray watching population, their firmware seems to be fairly buggy necessitating constant firmware updates & there are a fair number of other manufacturer's models available that do everything 99.9% of the blu-ray watching community cares about with perfectly fine quality and reliability at far less than half the price of an Oppo blu-ray player.
However, some earlier comments have pointed out the "exclusive club" dynamic that seems to surround and envelope Oppo owners - and I have often read that there is value in feeling good about how your "stuff" looks and makes you feel. I feel that way about my sports car (terribly inefficient, mediocre reliability, attracts state troopers like ants to sugar . . and I love it!), so I can understand.
Not for everyone to be sure, but I've had an on-again / off-again AV hobby since the later 60s and Oppo is touh to beat for that portion of the market that appreciates measurable performance.
Lots of good players out there, Oppo may not be the best fit for everyone.
Wow - I had no idea the Oppo 105 blu-ray player includes pre and power amplification, device switching, hard drive, FM tuner, etc. Pretty cool.
My response is, your taking things out of context. I would not expect someone who bought a $600 tv to go out and buy a $500 blu ray player but it would be silly for someone who has spent $5,000 or more for a display or projector to go out and buy a $100 blu ray player. Yes the lower priced player may be as good but purchasing an Oppo gave me peace of mind. I know the Oppo has reference quality playback, build quality, customer service and that was easily worth the extra cost. So to answer your question OP, what makes the Oppo so special. For me, it's peace of mind and you can't put a price on that.
|Oppo Bdp 103 3d Blu Ray Player , Oppo Bdp 105 Blu Ray Player|