Neuromancer invoked my name a couple pages back so I'll post my assessment.
I've been involved in the Beta testing program for this player from the beginning -- over 6 months now. It has come a long way!
As shipped to the EAP purchasers the player has the feature set and performance that I believe justify the price and that continue Oppo's reputation for delivering the goods. It is a serious contender to become the Blu-Ray player I recommend, finally supplanting the PS3. What's more, it will likely become the first Blu-Ray player that I recommend for dual use -- both Blu-Ray and SD-DVD for folks who care about the quality of SD-DVD playback.
The only thing holding it back right now is that there are still bugs that need fixing.
I use only HDMI output from this player, so I won't offer any specific comments on the quality of its analog audio output.
Originally I used the player attached to my Anthem Statement D2 pre-pro (an HDMI V1.1 device). I now use it attached to my new Anthem Statement D2v pre-pro (an HDMI V1.3c device).
For comparison, I use a PS3 as a Blu-Ray player.
So some specifics:
1) Noise Level: The Oppo BDP-83 includes a fan. If I didn't tell you that you would likely never know. There simply isn't fan noise during playback. I have my Oppo sitting out in the open about 10 feet from where I sit. The only time you ever hear the fan is when the fan control logic resets itself briefly, as for example during the loading of a disc. I kid you not, some of the Beta testers have taken to mounting a mirror behind their Oppo so they can even tell when, if ever, the fan is spinning. The mechanism that opens and closes the disc tray is a bit noisier than I'd like but of course that's not a noise that happens during playback.
2) Speed: I ran a set of comparison tests between the Oppo and the PS3 that I last updated a month back. I've not re-run them with the latest firmware, but I have no reason to believe the answers would be different. The bottom line is that the Oppo matches or beats the performance of the PS3 in all but two categories: (1) Navigation through BD-Java disc menus is somewhat slower than the PS3, and (2) Initial loading of BD-Live stuff is slower than the PS3. In contrast, disc load times match or beat the PS3, disc menu loading matches the PS3, and navigation during playback (e.g., chapter forward/back) is dramatically faster than the PS3.
3) Feature Set: The Oppo is basically there now. BD-Java, BD-Bonus View, BD-Live, and lossless audio decoding (TrueHD and DTS-HD MA) are all in there and working now. Add to that Oppo's high quality playback of SD-DVD discs and CDs. Add to that the numerous other media formats the Oppo also handles. I'll let others talk about use of the other media formats.
4) Appearance: The Oppo is simple, clean, and unobtrusive.
5) Remote: Functional. Back-lit. Decent button layout. If you like to use the original equipment remote this one will work for you.
6) Upgrades: Supports new firmware installs over the internet or via USB thumb drive or disc. The internet support is direct wired ethernet (not WiFi radio networking), so if you prefer to use WiFi you will need to pair the Oppo with a Wifi access point of your choice. I.e., use mine with an Apple Airport Express.
I use my Oppo primarily in the Source Direct mode -- letting my D2v do the de-interlacing and scaling of SD-DVDs for example. But I have tested the de-interlacing of the Oppo and it is very good, and I have a similar reaction to the scaling in the Oppo. The de-interlacing is a little weak when the content is video-based, but worlds better than what the PS3 does in that case.
In Source Direct I get HDMI YCbCr 4:4:4 480i/59.94 video from the Oppo for SD-DVD playback. I get 1080i/59.94 or 1080p/23.976 video for Blu-Ray playback. The Oppo supports Deep Color output at either 30 or 36 bits.
Source Direct bypasses the video processor in the Oppo, meaning some of the picture adjustments are not available, but you still get basic functionality such as lip-sync adjustment if you need it or data format conversion.
You can change between Source Direct output and any explicit, fully processed, output resolution on the fly using a dedicated button on the remote.
You can also bring up the Oppo's Setup menu on the fly -- while disc playback is happening -- and make changes that way.
The player is sufficiently bug free at this point to be called "stable". You won't be fighting playback hangs or player crashes.
However there are still quite a few bugs being actively worked by Oppo.
For example, there are some cases where the Oppo choses the wrong aspect ratio for 4:3 content. There are audio tracks that result in momentary audio dropouts when bitstreaming audio. There are cases where secondary audio (director's commentary) is balky.
And the HDMI handshake is still not as robust as, for example, what the PS3 produces. You may need to force a new handshake (switch inputs in your AVR away from the Oppo and back), or even power cycle the Oppo. The typical results of a failed handshake are (1) no video lock at at all -- continuous retries, (2) "posterized" video, (3) video with colors swapped, and (4) distorted audio.
NOTE: Since I use Source Direct, I get a new handshake when switching between normal Blu-Ray content and SD "extras" content due to the output resolution change. So I see more handshakes than folks using an explicit, processed, output resolution.
But all of these things are being worked on. We Beta testers have been seeing weekly updates.
Any Blu-Ray player is a complicated product, and the Oppo is perhaps more complicated than most due to its ambitious feature set. But I've seen the progress Oppo has made over the past couple months and I have no doubt they will reach the finish line.
You Early Adopter Program owners are in for a treat! But the player is not yet ready for anyone who can't tolerate the remaining glitches.