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The price of this Oppo does put it in that special category of "high end" players. It has some solid competition but overall, seems to win the hearts of many (including myself) who want to be sure...
Excellent disc playback of DVD, SACD and of course Blu Ray. Media streaming is some of the best I've seen.
Occaisional freeze up when searching for my 2 NAS (media files), remote will not adjust audio unless analogue connections.
The price of this Oppo does put it in that special category of "high end" players. It has some solid competition but overall, seems to win the hearts of many (including myself) who want to be sure that the basic features are top notch and also get to enjoy additional bells and whistles.
Where the Oppo shines is in its excellent playback of both disc and quality media files via network connection. As an owner it would be easy to be biased so I set up a comparison test of my original blu ray disc to an m2ts file extracted and played via network from NAS. Three friends had an opportunity to contrast and compare and were amazed to find out that the "repeat" was in fact a file and not directly from the disc. In short, media file playback (directly available through Ethernet) is not distinguishable from the disc according to at least myself and three people who simply like to enjoy the goondness of Blu Ray movies.
Moving on , we find that Oppo has provided a very usable remote control that has a look and feel similar to some of the Panasonic remotes for their plasma TV offerings. The overall learning curve of the remote is fairly quick and the usefulness is only limited by the fact that while the system can be set up to talk to an AVR, it will not control the volume of the AVR unless analogue connections are used. So if you are like many of us and like to use HDMI, it may not handle the volume and thus another remote would be needed.
As mentioned the Oppo can play media files via network and overall provides a very simple menu directory type of screen. I have two storage units (NAS) that creates from time to time a small issue of making the Oppo freeze up. This seems to have plagued a few other people who either have more than one storage unit or a complex directory structure of media files. When only one of the two NAS units are on line, the Oppo is very quick to find it and access it. It remains unclear where the real issue falls but I suspect it has more to do with the Oppo than say some other item on my network.
Like many other devices used in home entertainment (smart TV, TiVo, etc.), the Oppo provides access to various media source via Internet. As example would be Netflix streaming. My plasma TV, TiVo and a couple of other devices also offer up Netflix streaming but again, when doing a comparison - the Oppo had the upper edge on image, buffering and more. I can give a positive nod in favour of the Oppo as a vehicle for items such as Netflix streaming, Pandora etc.
So if the Oppo does such a great job with disc and playback of various forms of media, handles HD audio, and offers excellent input (2 HDMI, multiple audio including analogue) then what is not good about the Oppo? - Well, there are other makers of Blu Ray players that also provide excellent playback and bells and whistles such as Panasonic's top model and also Sony as well as every other known name that exists with TVs (LG, Samsung etc.) that offer also excellent playback at a lower price. Oppo tends to build very solid players and use excellent internals. They also do a good job of updating their firmware on an as need basis. Oppo provide BOTH high quality hardware and timely usable firmware upgrades. The Oppo however, will only shine when one has a TV to match for visual media and certainly audio system to match for quality sound.
If someone is using a small TV and using TV output, the Oppo would be over kill. For those of us who wish to be immersed in an excellent adventure in home theater experience - the Oppo 103 should be on your short wish list.
Last - the Oppo has 2 HDMI inputs, I have managed to plug the TiVo into the Oppo, set the TiVo to native display and allow the Oppo to do the heavy lifting for both video and sound. The Oppo did a good job of handling non-1080p and converting to 1080p for my 65" plasma. The difference between TiVo alone and TiVo going through the Oppo was readily seen. The one caveat is that it would be wise to consider a good universal remote to control the TV, AVR, Oppo, TiVo etc. My wishlist of changes to the Oppo is short - better handling of complex networks for media files, have the remote handle HDMI control of an AVR's volume and the menu directory of media files should be developed to be closer to something like say - XBMC or Plex.
Would I buy an Oppo 103 if I had to start from scratch today? YES top of that "short list" of must have.