Oppo is well known for its excellent Blu-ray players, so it’s no surprise the AVS Forum community has waited with bated breath for the company to release its first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the Oppo UDP-203. Today, Oppo’s CTO & VP of Product Development, Jason Liao, issued a press release announcing that the new player is ready and that the company expects to ship units in early 2017.
The UDP-203 ($549 MSRP) is more than just an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, it is a universal disc player that also supports HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, and audio CD playback. It also sports three USB 3.0 ports—one on the front panel and two in the back—for local media playback from USB hard drives or thumb drives. Furthermore, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and gigabit Ethernet allow the UDP-203 to play media stored on computers and servers found on the network.
Notably, this player does not include streaming apps. Oppo says this was done to keep the focus on “a premium user experience with quick start-up times and fast response.” Instead, the player provides an HDMI 2.0 input for connecting an external streaming device such as an Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, PS4, Xbox One, etc. The company notes that with this approach users can still take advantage of the player’s video-processing and audio-rendering capabilities.
At some point in early 2017, the company says it will offer a firmware update to bring Dolby Vision support to the UDP-203. Dolby Vision is a proprietary HDR format that provides optimized picture quality when played on compatible televisions.
This 4K UHD Blu-ray player outputs 3840×2160-pixel resolution and supports both high dynamic range (HDR) and wide color gamut (WCG) video. The unit sports two HDMI outputs, one of which is HDMI 2.0 compatible while the other is a HDMI 1.4 port that’s used for sending audio to AVRs and pre-pros that don’t support the latest video formats.
Since this is an Oppo player, its support for audio formats is unsurprisingly comprehensive. The UDP-203 can decode AIFF, WAV, ALAC, APE and FLAC files. Furthermore, it directly plays DSD audio files in stereo DSD64/128 or multi-channel DSD64. It includes Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and it can pass bitstream audio for compatibility with immersive-audio formats including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. You also get 7.1-channel analog outputs, fed by a 32-bit DAC from AKM.
Custom installers and integrators will be happy to hear that the player includes RS-232 control, an IR sensor on the back panel, and support for third-party IP control. As a result, I’m sure it will find a spot in the rack of many home theater systems.
Here is a summary of the player’s primary features in Oppo’s words:
– Universal disc playback for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and many other formats
– High dynamic range with HDR10 and firmware upgradable to Dolby Vision
– Two HDMI outputs – HDMI 2.0 for UHD and HDMI 1.4 for audio
– HDMI 2.0 input for external streaming devices or set-top boxes
– Two USB 3.0 ports for media-file playback
– High-resolution audio with lossless decoding for PCM and DSD
– 7.1-channel analog-audio outputs with premium 32-bit “Velvet Sound” DAC by AKM
– Excellent audio and video performance
– Upgradable and dependable
Finally, Oppo notes that in addition to the UDP-203, it plans to release a successor to the BDP-105, the UDP-205. This model is currently under development; it will offer upgraded audio performance, and it will become available in early 2017.