Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray 3D Player


Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,199 At A Glance: Reference audio and video processing for other components • Asynchronous USB DAC • Bit-perfect video playback performance

Last year, I had the opportunity to review the Halo P 7 multichannel preamplifier from Parasound (Home Theater, June 2012). For that review, I mated the P 7 with Oppo’s then flagship Blu-ray player, the BDP-95, and it was a match made in heaven. I didn’t do a formal review of the BDP-95, but I made sure I conveyed how highly I thought of the reference Blu-ray player in the review and how its outstanding analog audio section was one of the best I’ve used. For this review, I got to try out Oppo’s successor to the BDP-95, the BDP-105, which builds on the BDP-95’s design and adds some features I honestly never thought I’d see in a Blu-ray player. In fact, I don’t even know if I would categorize the BDP-105 as a straight Bluray player, as it could easily be identified as a digital processor given its new connectivity and processing features for both audio and video. Whatever you want to call it, the BDP-105 shows once again that Oppo isn’t afraid of disrupting the industry and raising the already incredible bar set by its previous products.

The Goods
Oppo’s first Blu-ray player, the BDP-83 (Home Theater, September 2009), was a pixel-perfect Blu-ray player that’s just as much a reference 2D Blu-ray player today as the day it was launched. This creates an interesting issue when reviewing Oppo players.

All of them from the start have been as good as it gets for video playback, so the only real things to talk about are the added features. When you have bitperfect video every time, the only reason to spring for a new player is for something other than video performance. Later came the BDP-93 (Home Theater, May 2011) and BDP-95 (Home Theater, October 2011), which added some streaming features along with 3D playback support and a new chassis. Again, you could stop there and still have one of the best Blu-ray players available today. I honestly didn’t know what Oppo would bring to the table to improve on the last crop aside from simple functionality updates or more streaming features. But my, oh my, how Oppo stepped up.

The BDP-105 shares the basic DNA of the BDP-103 with a few new goodies. In his recent review of the BDP-103 (Home Theater, January 2013), David Vaughn found it to be a top-performing player that continues the tradition already set by Oppo’s previous offerings. But these players are so much more than just standard Blu-ray players. The BDP-103 and BDP-105 share a pretty exciting feature: two HDMI inputs, one on the front and another on the back. These inputs not only allow for switching of two other sources, they give you the ability to utilize the outstanding Marvell QDEO video-processing chip inside the player to deinterlace or scale whatever source you have attached. The new players use an updated QDEO chip from the last generation that scales sources up to 4K resolution. This is a better video-processing chip than what’s found in most AVRs or surround processors on the market today and is more in line with what you’d find in a high-end standalone video processor. The player will also decode legacy surround sound formats or accept highresolution PCM audio from another Blu-ray player. The front HDMI input is even Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) compatible, giving you the opportunity to use the Oppo with your compatible cell phone or something like the new Roku stick to add even more streaming functionality to the player.

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But the BDP-105 takes things even further than the BDP-103. Adding to the HDMI inputs are three audio inputs. On the back panel, you’ll find a TosLink digital connection, a coaxial digital connection, and a USB asynchronous audio input that supports high-resolution digital audio files up to 24 bits/192 kilohertz. This lets you take advantage of the BDP-105’s custom analog audio section, which sports one of the most lauded digital-to-analog converters on the market today, the Sabre32 Reference Audio DAC. The player features two of these DACs, one for the dedicated two-channel output and one for the seven-channel output. Taken all together, you have a very capable audio/video processor here that could easily replace a digital pre/pro, depending on your needs.

The BDP-105 shares a bit of the BDP-95’s aesthetics, though it stands a bit taller than its former sibling. Its front face sports a very elegant and simple design with a machined-aluminum panel and touch-sensitive buttons for most of the controls. In addition to the HDMI input mentioned earlier, there’s a USB input and headphone jack.

Gone are all the analog video outputs included on the BDP-95 with the exception of a diagnostic composite output for using the menus if you get in a tight spot. You still get the dual HDMI outputs and two USB inputs for external drives or Oppo’s included Wi-Fi dongle. The analog audio outputs include RCAs for 7.1 playback, plus a dedicated two-channel output via either XLR or RCA. The XLR outputs are truly balanced differential outputs, which is a rarity for a Blu-ray player (or any other device for that matter). The new features are the second HDMI input and the digital audio inputs mentioned above.

The BDP-105 uses the same Sabre32 Reference Audio DAC used in the BDP-95, but some minor changes have been made. The configuration of the DAC’s channels has been altered to accommodate the new headphone amplifier. The Sabre32 is an eight-channel DAC, and some of those channels are now allocated to the headphone amp as opposed to using all of them for the two-channel output. Oppo also changed the power transformer (previously built by Rotel) and went with the company’s own design. Furthermore, the BDP-105 is a passively cooled player that doesn’t employ a fan like the previous model. I never had an issue with fan noise with my BDP-95, but I’ve heard others comment on it, so I’m sure this will be a welcome addition.

The Best Keeps Getting Better
I won’t go into the BDP-105’s video playback. It’s exactly the same as the BDP-103, and you can read about it in David’s review (available at HomeTheater.com). It’s bit perfect in every way. In other words, you won’t find a better Blu-ray player for reference-quality video playback. I do wish I had the chance to try out its new 4K scaling, but alas, I don’t have a 4K display handy. I can say that I never once had an issue with any material I watched, whether it be 2D or 3D, and the image quality was what I’ve come to expect from Oppo.

COMPANY INFO
Oppo Digital
(650) 961-1118
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COMMENTS
selarom's picture

"The Sabre32 is an eight-channel DAC, and some of those channels are now allocated to the headphone amp as opposed to using all of them for the two-channel output."

I thought that you could only set the Sabre 9018 only as 8 channel, stereo, or mono. The stereo out is Quad Differential so that means 4 DACs per channel. So you are saying that the stereo output does not have 4 DACs stacked per channel? Is it like 6 channels set for the stereo out including the XLR and the other 2 for the headphone?

That doesn't sound right.

rappahannock's picture

Hi Kris
Great review -- thanks.
If I were to get the 105 to use w/my Integra 50.2 receiver, how would I connect it, such that the video processing was done by the Oppo and not by the Integra? As far as I can tell, there's no video passthrough on this version of the Integra (and i have the latest firmware update installed).
Many thanks for your advice on this.
Steven S.

Kris Deering's picture
I am confirming with Oppo but I'm pretty sure the DACs are set up as dual differential for the stereo and headphone output as opposed to quad like the 95. I'll follow up as soon as I have confirmation from Oppo on this. They did a fact check on the article and had no issues with my explanation there.
Kris Deering's picture
Hi Steve, The Oppo allows for dual HDMI outputs so you could run HDMI 1 to your display and HDMI 2 to your Integra for audio.
Kris Deering's picture
From Oppo: The BDP-105 uses two ESS SABRE32 Reference DAC chips (ES9018). Each chip has 8 DAC channels. One chip is assigned to the multi-channel output, and another chip is assigned to the stereo and headphone outputs. For the stereo DAC, the channels are assigned this way: 1 pair for the RCA stereo output, 1 pair for the XLR stereo output, and 2 pairs stacked for the headphone output.
selarom's picture

Thank you Kris for the reply.

I somehow thought they were "jumping" the output of the quad differential signal and using it for the headphone as well. That would mean that technically the output of the stereo outputs would not have as high a SNR as the bdp-95, maybe that might account for the very small and almost negligible difference you point out.

What I find interesting is why they used two DACs stacked for the headphone output and left only a single pair for the other stereo outputs.

kent harrison's picture

For what i have the oppo-103 is good enough for me,i dont have seperates,plus im not paying twelve hundred dollars for a bluray player.

mdanderson's picture

Kris,
Thanks for your great review of the Oppo 105. You said you would not hesitate to recommend the Oppo 105 as a preamp connected directly to an amp. I currently have the Emotiva UMC-200 prepro but I see that I could replace it by using the Oppo 105 instead. I am not concerned about losing the room correction capability of the Emo but what else would I need to look out for as far as losing something I may need by having the Emo prepro?

I don't currently have a separate cablebox but if I added one later I guess I could connect it to the hdmi input of the Oppo 105. I currently have the Oppo 93 and I really like the dacs of the analog outs but the 105 would really be a step up. My current amp is the Emotiva XPA-5 along with Paradigm Ref. 20's version 2 speakers. Thanks.

selarom's picture

The Oppo already has HDMI inputs, and extra optical and coaxial digital inputs as well. If you can live without analog sources and room correction, the Oppo will do just fine.

mdanderson's picture

Thanks for the input. I would miss the ability to adjust trims on the fly and the xlr
balanced output to the sub, but those are probably not that big of a deal.

Kris Deering's picture
The only thing that may be an issue is hooking up a cable box. I've heard complaints from users about lip synch delay. This is probably because the majority of cable box manufacturers do their HDMI implementation wrong (I've heard horror stories from plenty of AVR and prepro manufacturers about this). But you could always do video direct to the display and have a dedicated audio output to the Oppo. Otherwise I see no reason why you couldn't use the Oppo. The only real limitation is the number of HDMI inputs you'll need. And even that could be overcome with a dedicated HDMI switcher going into it.
mdanderson's picture

Thanks Kris for the reply. I really like my Emotiva UMC-200 and will probably keep it for use with the Oppo 105 but at least I have another option if I wanted to go the route of hooking it up directly to my amp.

alphonso's picture

Recently I purchased an OPPO BDP-103 unit, and with an initial run through of its features and performance, I can unquestionably say that this OPPO player is up to the Professional audio requirements and value for its money paid. It’s practical to have the added connection option of two HDMI inputs, one for my Projector and the other for my Plasma TV. The HDMI inputs are provided for connecting my Blu-ray and other HDMI equipped source components that can take advantage of the BDP-103's video processing and up-scaling abilities.
OPPO is the very few that definitely does not scrimp on connections, such as the inclusion of a set of 5.1/7.1 channel analog audio outputs for use with compatible older Home Theater receivers that may not have latest decoders. This 5.1/7.1 channel analog audio outputs connection option actually has been removed from almost all other Blu-Ray disc players in the market. This high quality audio playback features 2D/3D Blu-Ray disc, DVD, SACD, DVD Audio and CD playback. It also, has a built-in network connectivity which can access media content from both the internet and DLNA connected PCs and other devices.
Alphonso Soosay
www.alphonsosoosay.com

videowilly's picture

Chris,

I am disappointed that your review contains nothing on the streaming capabilities of the BDP-105. Surely the Roku stick you mentioned is not the only option!

Lack of streaming capability is the biggest issue that I have with my BDP-83SE. I tried using the Oppo recommended Orb service, but found it to be lacking. According to the oppodigital.com, the BDP-105 supports Netflix, VUDU, CinemaNow, Pandora, Rhapsody, Film Fresh, YouTube Leanback and Picasa. Conspicuously absent is Amazon, which David Vaughn mentioned using the Roku Streaming Stick to access, and Hulu Plus.

Also, there was no mention of the performance using the included wireless-N adapter. Only the video performance being similar to the BDP-103 is mentioned in your review.

You have to pay around $95 if you want the Roku 2 XS 1080p capable streaming device. It includes wired Ethernet, which is the only reliable method for streaming 1080p. Otherwise, you are at the mercy of your home wireless network.

Kris Deering's picture
Sorry for the lack of commentary on the streaming side videowilly. The streaming performance is the same as the BDP-103 that Dave commented on in his review. You can run the 105 using the wireless adapter or via a hardwired ethernet link. I had no problems with either way but I generally use ethernet since I have that capability. I use Vudu on my Oppo frequently with no issues. I realize the Oppo is missing a few streaming options (Amazon/Hulu) but I typically use Vudu or Netflix myself. With more and more devices supporting different streaming options you may find something else in your chain supporting it. For example, in my family room I have an Oppo 103, an Apple TV and a Panasonic VT50 plasma. Between the three of them I have every streaming service on the market today.
swishhoos's picture

Kris,
Great article -- Thanks! The day that I read your review of the BDP105, the BDP103 that I'd ordered from Oppo arrived by FedEx. After reading your article, I am wondering if I made the correct choice in purchasing the 103 as opposed to the 105. I have similar equipment to what you used in your test: an Anthem D2 processor with Room Correction, a Bryston amp that I use for my two front channels and a Rotel amp that I use for my center and rears. I have Paradigm Signature S6's for the front, a C3 for the center, ADP3's for the rears and a SUB25 subwoofer. I also have a Squeezebox, which I use for digital music.

I chose the BDP103 because I understood that the DACs in my Anthem D2 are equal to or superior to the DACs in the Oppo105. Therefore, since the video in the 103 & 105 are virtually equal, I didn't see an advantage to purchasing the 105. I also understood that I could not use the Room Correction on the Anthem D2 if I was playing CDs on the Oppo.

Am I missing something here? If there would be a true advantage in my setup with a BDP105 over the 103 that I purchased, please explain so I can return the unopened 103 to exchange for a 105.

Thanks,
David

Kris Deering's picture
Hi David. Sounds like we are running a very similar setup! I've done extensive A/B'ing between the Oppo and my Anthem D2V and honestly, the difference isn't enough to justify using one or the other with anything I've tried so I tend to keep things as simple as possible myself. If you are set on using ARC for room correction, your best bet would be to go digital in to the Anthem directly from the Squeezebox. Using the Squeezebox with the Oppo via the USB DAC requires a beta mod to enable the USB output for Asynch playback and would also require another D to A and A to D step in the chain. As for standard audio playback, again I don't find enough difference to justify using the Oppo over my Anthem, especially with ARC in the mix. So in your case I think you'd be fine with just the 103. I like having the options of running different configurations for audio (dedicated analog setup vs digital setup) so the 105 is a must for me.
msk385's picture

Greetings,

Great review and great publication. My current HT configuration utilizes the 95 which is indeed amazing. I have Def tech 7002's, couple def tech subs. So great overall sound.

I tried Airplay (I have the Marantz AV 7005), and the sound was not so hot (I still listen to vinyl on a Basis TT and Clearaudio cartride).

I was going to purchase a Mac Mini (I have a lot of stuff in AAC), and stream via a DAC. I was looking at Peachtree, and a couple of other manufacturers.

But it seems that the 105 has the DAC goods, so does it make sense to just upgrade to the 105 and use that as my DAC, since it can utilize USB and be on my merry way? Since it is asynchronous, I would imagine the Oppo plays as well as many stand alone sub $1000 DACs? Does this make sense as a go forward? Any insight is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark

Kris Deering's picture
Hi Mark! Airplay is at the mercy of the files your playing. It is simply a wireless transmission system and has no real bearing on the sound quality. What types of files are you playing back? I have my music collection ripped to uncompressed AIFF, but if you are compressing down to MP3 than sacrifices will be made. Using a Mac Mini would be a great option for feeding the USB DAC on the 105. The USB DAC in the 105 is outstanding and would hold up to just about anything out there at or near its price.
Kencohen's picture

Kris, I thought your review was spot-on. A couple of comments:

I've had no lip sync problems but have read comments elsewhere about this.

I also had a problem with hum, which really surprised me. It was a lower volume version of turntable hum caused by improper grounding. I've read comments elsewhere about this too. Most of the commenters eventually traced the source to bad or no cable ground - amazing and potentially dangerous, generally caused by cable installers who either don't know or don't care.

I have traced the hum back to my 5 year old Onkyo HT amp, it's especially noticeable when set up for 7.1 audio, the hum almost disappears when set up for direct stereo. Anyway, hum is generally caused by having two separate grounds in a home, a defective Oppo causing hum would I believe be very unusual though it can't be ruled out.

Anyway, my Oppo is a vast improvement on my PS3 in terms of the time it needs to begin playing a BD as well as in terms of audio output quality. Incredibly flexible too, especially like the asynchronous USB and the content streaming.

gellie's picture

Great review,
Please help with advice. Not sure which is a better route. I need to upgrade my old Pioneer Elite DVD player to a new 3D Blu-ray player. I'm trying to decide between the 103 or the 105. Part of my decision is the DAC in the 105. I currently listen to 80% of my music streaming from a Squeezebox touch hooked into my Marantz SR7005 (analog). I view 80% of my movies on a Apple TV hooked into my AVR via HDMI. if i were to go with the 105, how can i utilize the DAC for both the Apple TV and the Squeezbox touch ? Do I hook the touch and apple TV into the 105? if so how? Another option would be to go with the 103.Is the DAC in the 105 considerably better than the DAC in the Marantz Sr7005?
Thanks in advance.

Kris Deering's picture
Hi Gellie. One of the key pieces of information here would be what type of files your streaming from your squeezebox. Are these a large collection of MP3s or are you running uncompressed or losslessly compressed audio files? If it is the former I think you'd be served fine by going with a different Oppo player or other reputable Blu-ray player. The BDP-105 is really geared toward audiophile playback of high quality sources. Not that your other files wouldn't benefit, but source quality has a lot to do with the final experience. Apple TV can feed your receiver or processor via HDMI and that would be fine. I would consider looking at the Oppo 103 for this setup.
sands_mary's picture

I want to see 4k plasma before i make a decision if they make one.This is a update do not buy Contact iMacLand one the cable and satelite company dont have the bandwith support 4k and 720p and 1080i sources do not look good on 4k tv's i seen it for myself unless you find a audio receiver that will upscale it.

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