Originally Posted by DLCPhoto
As release of this player gets closer, I'm having second thoughts about buying it vs some competitors (e.g. the Philips unit). Especially if it is going for $599 instead of the $499 that has been spoken of/hoped for. I know it's only $100 difference, but it did get my attention, and lead me to re-examine my plans.
I can think of 3 reasons for buying an Oppo:
1- you appreciate good design and build quality, and long term support. Oppo change their models infrequently whereas manufacturers like Samsung/Panasonic/LG change their models yearly. They introduce new features by introducing a new model so if you bought one of their players in 2012 when the 103 and 105 were introduced, you may have bought new models of their players in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 just in order to keep abreast of new features. Oppo has introduced more than a few new features over that time by firmware update at no cost to owners. The 103 and 105 would have cost you more than a Samsung/Panasonic/LG or whoever player back in 2012 but those cheaper players would have kept costing you money if you kept upgrading them to stay abreast of new features. The Oppo would not have cost you anything for new features over that period.
2- you're a videophile and you like having a lot of control over your player's output so you can ensure you're getting the best possible result. Oppo offers much greater control over output settings than other manufacturers, and gives you more information about what it's doing than the other players do. Oppos have also consistently delivered top quality video output.
3- you're an audiophile and you want the top Oppo model for it's enhanced analog audio output which leaves the analog output of the Samsung/Panasonic/LG and similar players far behind, plus the Oppo plays a lot more disc and audio formats than those players tend to play.
Yes, you pay more for an Oppo but it delivers more than other players and when you consider the fact that Oppo models have a model life of 3-4 years or more and that they keep adding features and enhancing functionality via free firmware updates over that period where the other manufacturers require you to buy a new player in order to get new features, there may very well be little difference in price over the life of an Oppo.
If you want objective data to support claims of picture superiority for the 203 you're going to have to wait for reviews and there are none as yet. There are reviews for the 103/103D/105/105D model Oppos and they all report extremely high picture quality, as do reviews on earlier models which demonstrates Oppo's long term consistency when it comes to providing the best picture quality you can get for the money. Given the consistency of that record there's no reason to assume that the 203 is not going to perform at a similar standard.
So those are the reasons I can see for buying an Oppo. That leaves the question of value for money, whether you are going to think that what you get by buying an Oppo is worth the increase in price over whatever alternative player you are considering. That's a personal value judgement. You may think it is and another person deciding whether to buy the Oppo or whatever other player you're considering may not think it is, or vice versa. Different people reach different conclusions when it comes to value for money. I don't think there is any doubt that Oppo deliver more than other manufacturers deliver, it's up to you whether you think they're delivering enough for the money.