Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray Player
Oppo has been around since 2004, about a year longer than the HT Guys. We’ve watched them go from a company that built high performance upconverting DVD players to one that builds high performance Blu-ray Players. Today we take a look at the latest in the Oppo lineage, the BDP-93. The player is all black with a brushed aluminum face. The fit and finish is first rate and looks great in our equipment stack. The BDP-93 has a MSRP of $499.99 and is available today.
The BDP-93 is just as easy to setup as any other Blu Ray player. Oppo has included a setup wizard to make the task easy. The wizard asks you six questions about how your player is connected, what resolution you want to output, aspect ratio, and so on. When that done you are ready to go for basic playback. If you want advanced features like streaming video you will need to go into the setup menus.
Getting the unit onto the Internet is easy and the people at Oppo have given you two options, wired and WiFi. If you go the WiFi route you will need to connect the included wireless N dongle.
Oppo has added an additional HDMI output to the BDP-93 so that if you want to enjoy 3D and next generation audio with your non-3D compliant receiver, you can route one of the outputs to the TV and the other to your receiver.
Oppo includes options for custom installers as well. There is an IR in port on the back of the unit so that you can install the player in an out of the way area and still use it with an IR remote control. There is also an RS-232 control port so that the player can be integrated into a home automation environment.
We expected a lot out of this player because of its name and price. With Blu Ray players in the $150 range that give you BD-Live and Netflix Streaming why would you pay $300 more for this player. Well that’s simple. because its some of the best video we have seen on our displays! If you are into quality video you may want to consider this player.
The key to the high performance is the Marvell Kyoto-G2 video processor with the second generation Qdeo™ technology. We saw a demo of their first generation technology at CES in 2008 and were impressed with what it did to content on an iPod. Adding this processing to Blu Ray made for some incredible images on our displays. For your DVDs, the Oppo performs Per-pixel motion-adaptive de-interlacing and advanced scaling to upconvert the source. Then the Kyoto-G2 applies its technology to create some of the best upconverted content we have seen in a Blu Ray player.
We watched all movies at 24 frames per second. The unit does an excellent job of reproducing a theater like experience at that frame rate. However, you do need a display/projector that can accept a 24 fps signal. Most newer LCDs and plasmas will.
You’ll be surprised by what blew us away. We watched a few scenes of the Rocky Horror picture show. Ara had seen that movie dozens of times in the 80’s (at his girlfriend’s insistence of course) and he couldn’t remember it being so vivid. The colors were incredible and so clear. We kept looking for things that couldn’t have been detected in the original film. Speaking of color, the BDP-93 has custom picture adjustment section. When Ara had his projector calibrated by Ray Coronado, he went into the picture adjustment section on Ara’s BDP-83 to make sure that the player was at its best. If you are not using a professional calibrator we recommend leaving the player in the default settings.
In general, we found the Oppo did well with everything we threw at it. Of course a player like this really shines when its mated with a large HDTV. Because of the price we recommend that you should consider this TV if you have a 50 inch or larger display. The benefits on smaller displays are hard to distinguish.
DVD performance was equally impressive. While we won’t say that the DVDs were turned into high definition we will say the picture vastly improved. With that said, we still find that some DVDs upconvert better than others. More modern titles seem to look better than some older ones we have. The higher the quality of the transfer results in a higher quality upconversion. We figure the newer titles look better since they were mastered for Blu Ray and then downconverted for DVD.
Odds and Ends
There are a lot of Blu Ray players out there, many of which cost less, but if you want the highest quality picture with Blu Ray and Standard DVD, you only have one choice. The Oppo BDP-93!
Posted by The HT Guys, January 28, 2011 2:22 AM
About The HT GuysThe HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.