Oppo BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray Player Page 2
Another interesting feature is the BDP-83’s power supply. The player uses a universal power supply that can accept any of the voltages used throughout the world so you don’t have to worry about transformers or voltage changes. This is a nice touch for international users who are looking to import.
Start It Up
When I first turned on the BDP-83, I was greeted with a setup walkthrough that got most of the work done right up front. The setup guides you through the video and audio settings and provides a pretty well-defined explanation of the settings. The player’s GUI is intuitive and simple to navigate. You can call it up at any time, even during movie playback, without interruption.
Oppo includes some pretty extensive player setup options on both the audio and video sides, and I loved its firmware update options. Since frequent firmware updates are common with Blu-ray players, it’s important to make this process as uncomplicated as possible. The BDP-83 does a great job, although I’d still like to see built-in Wi-Fi on more Blu-ray players, since both firmware updates and BD-Live are apparently here to stay.
You can update the BDP-83 in several different ways. Since this is a network-capable player, you can simply update the firmware using the Ethernet connection. You can also set the player to automatically ping Oppo’s server to alert you when a firmware update is available. Downloads were pretty quick on my cable Internet connection, and the updates took just seconds to complete. If you don’t plan to connect the player to the Internet, you can download the latest firmware directly from Oppo’s Website and load the file onto a USB stick or CD. The process is pretty painless, and the player recognizes the firmware right away and starts the process. Oppo is by far the most responsive and timely company I’ve encountered with firmware updates. It constantly looks for ways to improve the experience the player offers. Aside from the PlayStation 3, I don’t think you’ll find another player this well suited for future upgrades.
The included remote provides a full complement of interface controls and quite an assortment of direct controls for various player features. The remote is on the large side for a player, and it’s completely backlit. I liked the remote’s layout and didn’t find any deficiencies in the control options. However, the buttons are a tad spongy and lack the tactile response I like.
Without a doubt, one of this player’s biggest highlights is its video processing solution. Oppo made one of the best DVD players I’ve ever tested, the DV-983H. Since that player also featured ABT processing, I was eager to see what kind of performance Oppo would deliver here. The BDP-83 supports several playback resolutions via the HDMI output, including 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. It also provides 1080p/24 playback of both Blu-ray and DVD. For the international film lover, the BDP-83 does 50-hertz playback of DVDs and Blu-ray and offers frame-rate conversion for displays that don’t support PAL refresh rates. This means you can either play back titles that are encoded as 1080i/50 at 1080p/50 (for displays that support it) or have the player deinterlace and frame-convert them to 1080p/60. The BDP-83 supports 1080p/24 output for both Blu-ray Discs and DVDs. Just make sure your display supports the resolutions you decide on, and let the Oppo do the rest.
Oppo gives you the option to use a preset output resolution or set the player to Source Direct mode. Source Direct bypasses all of the player’s video processing. Since the player offers exceptional video processing, I don’t see any reason to use the Source Direct mode. However, it’s nice that Oppo offers this option if you still want to use an outboard video processor or use the processing in a downstream component like an AVR, surround processor, or HDTV. In the latter cases, the Source Direct mode will still utilize the ABT chip’s color space conversion, and you can select from RGB or Y/Cb/Cr options of 4:2:2 and 4:4:4. Since all Blu-ray Discs are encoded as Y/Cb/Cr 4:2:0, this conversion has to be done, and the ABT chip does it correctly.
Switching the output resolution on the Oppo is easy; the player lets you do it on the fly. All other BD players I know of, apart from Pioneer’s, make you stop the disc and go to the setup menu to make an output resolution change.
I put the Oppo through our full complement of HD and SD video tests, and the player passed with flying colors. Its SD deinterlacing and scaling was as good as anything I’ve seen, and its HD video processing is nearly without equal. Setting this player to 1080p is a set-it-and-forget-it deal regardless of what type of disc you put in the tray. I’m a fan of ABT’s video processing performance and its DVDO line, and I was delighted to see ABT make its way into a Blu-ray player. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of ABT in the coming years in future players.