The OPPO BDP-93 is a thing of beauty! With its superb sturdy design, brushed metal front plate and flush buttons this baby truly is the ultimate media machine. The BDP-93 supports all sort of audio...
Beautiful, sleek and silent. Plays everything you throw at it. Outstanding video processing and DVD upscaling.
A bit slow to load some titles. Somewhat cumbersome and too bulky of a remote.
The OPPO BDP-93 is a thing of beauty! With its superb sturdy design, brushed metal front plate and flush buttons this baby truly is the ultimate media machine. The BDP-93 supports all sort of audio formats and sounds great right out of the box but what truly makes it shine is the outstanding picture quality produced by its Marvell QDEO onboard video processing technology; Blu-ray titles never looked better and DVD upscaling quality is off the chart.
Connect a USB or e-SATA drive and, in addition to playing physical media the OPPO can now also handle MP3, WAV, FLAC and AAC for audio files, and MPEG-4, DivX, AVCHD and MKV for video files. Because I went for a slightly more expensive Multi Zone / Region Free player (I have quite a large European DVD collection) I can now literally throw anything at this player and it reads it (save for my aging Laserdiscs - they won't fit and that's too bad). This thing is a beast, and to top it all the BDP-93 also offers a wide choice of streaming and online capabilities with Netflix, YouTube, Vudu, FILM FRESH, Picassa and Pandora, and can hook up effortlessly to your network to access files if you have a PC property configured. Last but not least, it also has some 3D capabilities but, like many, since I'm old school and couldn't care less about 3D we shall bypass this feature entirely.
Setting-up the player is a breeze. Special kudos to OPPO for making the unpacking such a pleasant experience (one could compare it to unboxing Apple products), OPPO Digital really goes the extra mile with the black felt-like bag the player comes wrapped-in, as in with the wireless dongle, HDMI cable and real (and great) owner's manual they also include. Once out the player feels very dense, heavy (I like heavy gear), sturdy and built with the highest quality standards, reminiscent of German engineering.
This BDP-93 now sits on my older, but faithful, Yamaha RX-800 receiver (12 years old and going strong), linked via an optical cable and outputting to a 5.1 BOSE Acoustimass 1500 sound system (12 years old and going strong). On the video side I use the BDP-93 first HDMI output (beware - the only one supporting the Marvell QDEO processing) feeding video signal directly into a Panasonic PT-AE-4000U and projecting onto a fixed frame 16/9 106" VAPEX screen. Let the fun begin…
The user interface is great, the player boots pretty fast and 3 rows of 4 icons welcome you past the OPPO splash screen. Navigation is fluid, easy to understand and operate and menu designs look great on the big screen.
Let's quickly review the minor cons before heading for the performance. In my opinion the remote is too thick and too long (and I'm 6' 5", I have large hands) and somewhat cumbersome to operate, especially in the dark. Sure the buttons are backlit (a useful feature) but not the markings underneath, so it's still hard to see if you don't know your icons or haven't learn the symbols by heart. While on the downside I also notice some discs (Blu-ray mostly) are slow to load (even after turning off BD-Live features, as demoing some titles for friends was becoming excruciating). Finally I also really dislike the input and navigation in the YouTube interface; it's painfully unresponsive, let's hope that OPPO can fix this via a firmware update soon. Netflix, Vudu, Pandora and the rest work well for the most part, no complaints there.
Now for the performance and the reasons for this machine to exist. The setup menu was easy and pleasant to configure, no adjustments were made in the picture settings, it really isn't necessary. Note also that very little tweaking was done in the projector's picture settings - I watch under a CINEMA 1 preset - and the result; the picture is absolutely stunning! I output at 1080p and sit 15 feet from my screen, watching and testing all sorts of material under proper lighting conditions; DVDs, Blu-rays, Netflix streaming, MPEG-4s, MKVs, you name it; the OPPO delivers! I had a semi-pro audio videophile friend come over, and he called the picture quality "phenomenal." Sure my Panasonic projector is good but the driving force behind it is the OPPO BDP-93.
Of the Blu-rays titles I like to demo I always choose Avatar for the ultimate digital experience, and Gladiator (the correct mastering) for a true film-like experience. Both films display, well, like in a fine-tuned movie theater, there is really no telling. Color fidelity is outstanding, so is sharpness and contrast, and with film-like smooth pans and credits crawls the BDP-93 excels and delivers a true Cinema feel never seen before. As if it wasn't enough, the DVD upscaling is out of this world. If the DVD mastering permits it, you can actually fool people into thinking they are watching a Blu-ray. Case and point; the DVD Special Edition of Gladiator is one of the best transfer there is, virtually impossible to differentiate from its Blu-ray counterpart once processed and upscaled through the OPPO - seeing is believing.
Streaming Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch version) via Netflix looks extremely sharp but for some more fun and another comparison worth trying, pop-in the Game of Thrones Season 1 Blu-ray (outstanding mastering) and then switch to some downloaded 720p MPEG-4 or MKV digital counterparts, loaded and running from a USB 2.0 flash key; they will look, well, almost as good and very film-like - again, seeing is believing (I even tried a non-HD file of Season 3 finale and it was very decent over the 106" screen).
On the audio side all is good with the BDP-93, unfortunately my ears are not my eyes and my semi-pro friend tells me I could improve the sound calibration of my "movie room" a bit (maybe due to my aging receiver, or the placement of my speakers, or my ears). Yet testing those movies and playing them loud in 5.1 still sounds grand, undistorted and close to a theater-like feeling. Once again, the OPPO, via my noble and ancient Yamaha receiver, delivers. Testing more audio with BOSTON Mastersound Gold Collector's Edition CD, or again some FLAC files with Eva Cassidy - Live at Blues Alley is real fun, and once more showcase the solid audio output capabilities of the player (and makes it close to having a real concert at home; my wife approves, so does my friend - the neighbors, not so much).
In closing, the OPPO BDP-93 is one of the best purchased I have EVER made (April 2012 for $599), one year and going strong... And highly recommend.