Hello all! Brand-new member here!
I took delivery of my all-region-modified Oppo 103 from Bombay Electronics on January 17th... so I've had it for about six weeks, now. At the same time, I bought a new Yamaha RX-A2010, as an upgrade from my eight-year-old RX-V750. My TV is a 2009 Samsung 58" Plasma PN58B860. I subsequently calibrated the Samsung/Oppo combination using the Disney WOW calibration Blu-ray disc... but I'm still tweaking the brightness/contrast a bit.
About two weeks before I received the BDP-103, I started reading every post in this thread, from the beginning... and finally "caught up" four days ago. While my head is still spinning somewhat, I have to say that this is the most amazingly knowledgeable and helpful group of people I've ever encountered. The amount of understanding that I've gained from all of you -- with special emphasis on Bob and Bill -- is both incredible and invaluable. So first off... my deepest thanks.
I'm certainly no AV engineer, but I will say that from the standpoints of build, sound, and picture quality, I am completely blown away by the Oppo. I love its clean, understated, minimalist design, its solid-as-steel construction, and its completely silent operation. Loading times -- compared to the Philips BDP5012 which the Oppo replaced -- make me feel like I've shifted into warp six. The Oppo loads BDs faster than my Toshiba HD-XA2 HD-DVD player loads standard-def discs!
For picture and sound output, I'm running the "split" HDMI 1 & 2 output configuration. The picture on the Samsung, with all of the Oppo's picture-adjustment settings left at their defaults, is jaw-dropping... and CDs and SACDs are cleaner and purer-sounding than I have ever experienced. Hi-def audio tracks from Blu-rays are astonishing (If you haven't yet done it, try the "Jeff Beck performing this week... Live at Ronnie Scott's" Blu-ray. UNBELIEVABLE).
Regarding the all-region mod by Bombay... it works flawlessly. I have many SD-DVDs from several different regions -- PAL and NTSC -- and they all play perfectly, without any user input necessary; just pop the disc in. Playing Blu-ray discs from regions other than the one the player is currently set to, is as simple as turning the player on without a disc in the tray, pressing a few buttons to set it to the desired region (either A, B, or C), turning it off, and turning it back on again. Again, all of mine have played flawlessly.
Bombay's modification is an internal one, and carries a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser. Also, it does not at all affect the Oppo two-year manufacturer's warranty, nor (they claim) is the modification affected by firmware updates. I have not yet had a chance to test this, because my unit arrived with the lastest (38-1220) version already installed. Whether this turns out to be true or false, I will definitely post about it after my first upgrade. I can say that I have contacted their customer service by e-mail several times, and have always gotten a same-day response.
Like many, I initially balked a little at the price of the 103. WOW... am I glad I changed my mind! I couldn't possibly be happier.
By way of a slight diversion from topic, for a moment, though:
Regarding the aspect-ratio issue that was brought up by ss3740... is it really possible that this person has never been to a movie theater or an art museum, or looked at a magazine or a photograph or a painting or a print, in his entire life?
If he HAS been to a movie theater, one wonders how many times he's stood up at the beginning of a non-16:9 feature film and shouted at the projectionist to "ZOOM IN!"
And if he's been to an art museum... is he equally disturbed by the fact that nearly every painting or photograph is a different shape? Has he asked the curator of the museum to crop them all to 16:9?
Anyway... I'm very happy to be a part of this AVS forum. Hopefully I can one day contribute something worthwhile. In the meantime... I'm loving my Oppo 103!