I had sent a PM to AB previously when he posted his problem, as I experience the same issues. Running the 103 directly to a high quality separate amp, the clicks and pops are quite annoying. Even playing a usb flac file results in the click between tracks. I also run Direct TV through the 103 for the improved video quality, the ability to have the 103 decode through the analog outs, create the 5.1 in the various formats. Having the excellent remote control on the volume is also appreciated as I used a separate preamp for my two channel audiophile listening before with my 83se without level control. And, as AB noted, the audio quality of the 103 into great equipment is, as I previously posted, stellar,
Unfortunately, the Direct TV source ends up with even louder pops and clicks. It also, as they already know, does not play back premium recorded shows without coming up with a message about your "TV not being able to handle the program, switch to component cables" or some nonsense. The trick is to leave the HBO or whatever show playing from your source, turn off the 103, and then back on, choose your hdmi source again, and the movie then is playing without issue. If you change to another movie, you have to go through the off and back on process again. I want to "y" the hdmi coming out of Direct TV with one hdmi to the TV, and one going through the 103 as I now have. I tried a passive hdmi splitter, and an amplified one and neither passed the signal. I wrote and OPPO said to get the 105 because I guess that has the capability of that which I hadn't read. I sent back a note saying I didn't wish to spend another $600 and could they just tell me that it was possible to split the hdmi and get the signal through. They said it was, but not how. I have ordered a more powerful splitter, as I want to watch bastketball games while listening to a CD or USB flac file. I sense, after having a 971, an 83, the upgrade to SE, that the problems being discussed are taking their toll on the engineers. Seems there are quite a few problems in quite a few areas beyond just the normal firmware upgrades of previous units. I sold my SE to get the capabilities of the 103 I listed, but it seems the list of issues is growing.
Have always been impressed with their attention and improvements, and hope they can resolve all these things because in my case, the audio quality direct to my beloved Apogee Duettas is, as AB mentioned, making me re-listen to my collection of audiophile discs of all formats. I, probably as some, run dual hdmi's from the 103 so I have a choice of inputs for the two processors on my LG, and am not as discerning about contrast and love the snap to the better chip, especially on the improvement from the Direct TV HDVR.