John E. Johnson, Jr. (Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity)
"The tentative release date of the Oppo DV-983H is March 10, 2008, and if you’re looking for reference video playback performance, this is it. Oppo has produced one heck of a machine. Its performance matches any design I’ve tested to date, and its performance via HDMI with both video and audio is outstanding. My highest recommendation."
CNET (David Katzmaier) Review - 8.4/10 Score The good: Excellent image quality on DVDs; can upscale to 1080p; plays DVD-Audio and SACD discs over HDMI output; 7.1 analog outputs; USB port for playing DivX, MP3 and JPEG files; excellent aspect-ratio controls and zooming; can be made region-free with a simple hack; also plays PAL discs.
"First of all, while I was testing the audio, I took the opportunity to enjoy DVDs as well, and I must say, I have not seen SD DVD look any better than this. I did not see any problems at all. So, it looks like this will be our reference DVD player for reviewing SD DVDs in the Movie Renter's Guide."
"While it is likely we will all be using HDMI from our DVD players to send both audio and video to our SSPs or receivers in the near future, measurement of the analog performance of players is still an indicator of build quality, and the Oppo DV-983H is excellent in this regard."
PlayBack Magazine - 9/10 Overall Value
* Pristine video performance
* Bargain upconverting player
* Standard power cable
* Tough sell in current marketplace
* Rudimentary bass management
* Fixed crossover (when engaged)
Gonk's DV-983H Review
- Killer DVD image quality that really shows what a good upscaling player can do.
- Sound quality hinges on good resolution, vibrant tonal colors, and terrific three-dimensionality -- a sweet combination if ever we heard one
- Excellent user interface
- Can sometimes sound slightly brihgt on CD playback
- Makes more costly players nervous -- very nervous
After over a year and a half of turmoil, posturing, and conflict, we have come to the end of the HD format war. As a side-effect of the war and Blu-ray's final victory, there has been something of a decline in effort being put into standard DVD players by some manufacturers. It is into that environment that OPPO Digital is introducing a statement piece: a universal DVD player with a potent video processing section and a bit more polish than earlier OPPO players. At a price point of $399 for a DVD player in 2008, it's clear that OPPO doesn't expect this to be a player that sets sales records for them (that's what the 980H is for). Instead, it has been developed as a flagship player, and in that role it excels. If you aren't ready to buy into Blu-ray or if you want a player that will wring the most performance possible out of your existing DVD library, the 983H is a player that could serve you well for many years to come.
About.com (Robert Silva)
We really liked the Oppo Digital DV-983H. So who should spend $399 on it? If you are really into movies and have a large collection of DVDs this is the player that will do the best with everything you have. If you have a front projector and don't want to spend $3000 on a video processor this player will do the same thing, at least for your DVDs, for a fraction of the cost. If you are a videophile and you want the absolute best video performance the 983 is for you. Finally, if you just can't bring yourself to buying a Blu Ray Player this is the unit for you.
HDTV Solutions (Dick De Jong) Review
... the DV-983H produced excellent results in terms of detail, color, video noise reduction, moire pattern detection and elimination, and frame cadence detection. The video quality also bore out in real world DVD playback as well ...
Audio performance of the DV-983H was also excellent. Dolby Digital/DTS surround sound options worked well, with excellent imaging. CD, DVD-Audio, and SACD playback audio reproduction was solid. I did not sense any shortcomings that could be attributed to the DV-983H.
DVD Times (David Mackenzie) Review
In the world of upconverting DVD players, the OPPO DV-983H is a videophile's dream machine
Oppo’s DV-983H is one hell of a DVD player. If you don’t already have a Blu-ray Disc player, I’d advise that you put one of those on your shopping list before you go after DVD near-perfection ... When the time comes to squeeze more performance out of your standard-def back catalogue – or if you aren’t ready to take the Blu plunge just yet – then put the 983 at the top of your list. I would be lying if I were to say the player was perfect (in particular I’d like to see it’s auto-detection for PAL film content improved). But I’d also be lying if I were to say I could think of a better overall DVD player than this.
2. More Reliable Detection of DVD Aspect Ratio (4:3 or 16:9)
This version contains adjustment to HDMI audio information exchange with A/V receivers equipped with HDMI ports. The improvement solves the audio drop-out issue that a few users experience with their Pioneer VSX-94TXi and VSX-84TXSi receivers at 1080p resolution.
3. Bass Management for 96k Source
This version enhances the detection of DVD aspect ratio. OPPO beta test participants and some users have identified a limited number of DVD discs that contain inconsistent aspect ratio flags. When played on a DV-983H with previous firmware versions, these discs could be displayed with an incorrect aspect ratio. For example, a 16:9 movie could be displayed as 4:3. This version resolves the issue. The issue only affects users who set the "TV Display" setup menu option is set to "16:9 Wide/Auto". With this setting, the DV-983H automatically detects the aspect ratio of the DVD video program. If the program is 4:3 aspect ratio, the player adds borders in order to display the video correctly on a 16:9 screen.
4. Improved Transition between CD Audio Tracks
This firmware version optimizes the DSP (Digital Signal Processor) usage and adds bass management for audio sources that are encoded in 96kHz sample rate. When the front speakers are set to "Small" and subwoofer is set to "On", the DV-983H can redirect bass from the front channels to the LFE subwoofer channel. This improvement applies to DVD-Video and DVD-Audio discs. It is in addition to bass management already supported in previous firmware releases for sources with less than 96k sample rate (CD, DVD-Audio/Video and SACD).
5. Improvements Based on User Provided Materials
This firmware version improves the transition between CD audio tracks. The improvement is noticeable on certain discs that have very tight transition between two tracks, and discs that start with a very strong note.
This firmware version includes improvements made to enhance compatibility with some user provided materials. Although the product specification disclaims "Compatibility with user-encoded contents or user-created discs is on a best effort basis with no guarantee due to the variation of media, software and techniques used," OPPO tries very hard to accommodate customers' reasonable compatibility requests. This firmware version enhances compatibility to some DVD+R and DVD-R media, large Xvid files on USB drives, visibility/color of SRT subtitles, and recorded DVD with MPEG2 audio. These improvements are based on materials submitted by users. Thanks to all who provided materials for testing.
Version: DV983H-07-0619, 07-0709, 08-0709
This version contains adjustment to HDMI video clock timing to enhance compatibility with certain combination of HDMI A/V receivers and displays. By adjusting the relative timing between the video clock and video data, the new firmware leaves more safety margin for clock and data time variation along the HDMI signal chain. As a result, the audio/video drop-out issue that some users reported has been fixed.
2. Sample Rate for 176.4kHz DVD-Audio Discs
With this version, when a user selects an SACD layer (Multi-channel, Stereo, CD Mode) using the "AUDIO" button during SACD playback, the selection is no longer permanently stored as the "SACD Priority" setup menu choice. The change also resolves a problem of inadvertently changing "SACD Priority" when an SACD disc without a certain layer is played. Users can use the "SACD Priority" setup menu to specify a general preference of which layer to play by default, and can temporarily change the selection by pressing the "AUDIO" button during SACD playback.
Previous firmware versions down-samples 176.4kHz DVD-Audio to 44.1kHz. This version no longer does it. When a connected HDMI receiver can handle 176.4kHz sample rate, the audio is sent over HDMI at 176.4kHz sample rate. Other sample rates do not have the down-sample problem, and are not affected by this version. DVD-Audio discs using 176.4kHz sample rate are rare but a few titles were released this way.
2. Proper Aspect Ratio for Analog Video Output
This version enhances the detection of PAL DVD aspect ratio. When played on a DV-983H with previous firmware versions, some PAL 4:3 DVD discs could be displayed with an incorrect aspect ratio. For example, a 4:3 movie could be displayed as 16:9 even when the "TV Display" setup menu option "16:9 Wide/Auto". With this firmware version, the DV-983H automatically detects the aspect ratio of the DVD video program. If the program is 4:3 aspect ratio, the player adds borders in order to display the video correctly on a 16:9 screen.
Previous firmware versions always output full screen video through the player's analog output (Component, S-Video and Video), simply because the DV-983H is designed to be used with an HDMI-equipped display device. Users can override the full screen output by setting the "TV Display" setup menu option, but any interruption of playback will restore the video to full screen. With this firmware version, when the "Primary Output" setup menu option is set to "Component" and no HDMI cable is plugged in, the aspect ratio chosen by setting the "TV Display" setup menu option will be applied. Interruption of playback, such as pausing, fast forwarding or reversing will not change the selected aspect ratio. The user still needs to select the aspect ratio at the beginning of the playback by changing the "TV Display" setup menu option. OPPO is working on applying automatic aspect ratio detection to the analog output.
When playing certain SACDs and the player encounters an encoding error on the disc, previous firmware versions skip to the next track. This version handles the situation more gracefully - it ignores the error and continues to play the track. So far only two such SACD titles are identified - "Heathen by David Bowie" and "All the Way ... A Decade of Song by Celine Dion". Our test indicated that when the error is ignored there is no audible glitch.
Firmware Upgrade Instructions
In the previous Beta Firmware, the player would not produce a HDMI image you had the ABT1018/102 hardware revisions and pressed Power on the remote control or the front panel of the player. It required that you press Eject to turn On the player. This firmware fixes this error, so Power will now properly engage the HDMI output for all hardware revisions.
No SACD DSD
Many of you asked about a 1080p 24Hz mode. The ABT1018 scaler and frame rate converter in the 983H is capable of generating the 1080p24Hz timing and converting 50Hz or 60Hz input to 24Hz. However the frame rate conversion is not locked to the original cadence of the program. This is due to the ABT1018 scaler/frame rate converter is a separate chip from the ABT102 de-interlacer, and there is no cadence information passed between the two chips. As a result, the 1080p 24Hz output will have judder. This defeats the purpose of having a 24Hz output for film-based material. We decide not to offer 1080p 24Hz output on the 983H.
No 480i/576i Over HDMI
Due to the insertion of the ABT video processor chipset in the signal path, the DV-983H cannot output DSD in its native format via HDMI. This is because adding the video processor chipset requires an external HDMI transmitter, but the decoder chip does not have native DSD output to feed into an external HDMI transmitter. The DV-980H uses the HDMI transmitter built into the decoder chip, and can get DSD data internally.
DV-980H. No Custom Resolutions
Again due to the insertion of the ABT video processor chip, 480i/576i over HDMI is not possible on the DV-983H. 480i/576i over HDMI requires pixel repetition and double clocking. This is not possible because the output from the decoder chip is not pixel repeated.
Beyond this, 480i/576i is not necessary for this product. You are purchasing the DV-983H for its ABT de-interlacing and scaling prowess. If you are looking for a video transport, there are cheaper alternatives, such as the
The ABT1018 scaler has some potential to support custom resolution. A major limitation is that the video timing clock must be derived from the input video clock using a PLL, which has a limited range. Due to the variation of custom resolution timing in different display devices, we will not officially offer custom resolution support. The DV-983H will initially offer no custom resolution support. After we get the standard features released, we will work with ABT to develop output timing for a limited set of custom resolution. Some custom resolutions may not be support due to the PLL cannot generate the required clock. The DVDO VP30/50 series video processor uses an external clock synthesizer chip to generate clock for custom resolutions. The external clock synthesizer solution is too expensive to put into the DV-983H. It is also too difficult to set up for non-expert users.