Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray PlayerOppo BDP-93 Blu-ray Player Page 3
Testing and Real-World Performance
As with past Oppo DVD and Blu-ray players, the BDP-93 sailed through all of our standard- and high-definition benchmarks. More importantly, its performance with real-world material is mighty impressive. Its reference-quality DVD upconversion shows excellent fine object detail and virtually no ringing. The Qdeo video-processing solution offers a number of customizable options in the setup menu, including noise reduction, contrast, sharpness, and color enhancements. These can be particularly useful when you’re streaming low-quality standard-definition Netflix content or some poorly mastered DVDs. For Blu-ray playback, it’s best to leave these options alone.
The first few generations of Blu-ray players were as slow as molasses, but thankfully those days are behind us. The BDP-93 is every bit as fast as its predecessor, but the occasional disc may take longer to load than others—especially titles from Fox. In the three months I’ve been using the Oppo, it’s loaded everything I’ve thrown at it and delivered a solid user experience.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole didn’t set any box-office records in 2010, but it’s much better than the critics gave it credit for. The animated tale about mythic winged warriors has a lot of family-friendly entertainment and features outstanding audio and video in both 2D and 3D. The AVC 2D encode features amazing detail in each of the owls’ faces, the texture of their feathers, and the intelligence in their eyes. The Oppo captures every nuance of the animation and delivers a flawless picture.
When I paired the BDP-93 with a JVC DLA-RS40 3D projector, it took the 3D experience to an entirely different level. I’ve been a doubting Thomas when it comes to 3D in the home, but now that I’ve witnessed this and other 3D presentations, I’m a believer. The 3D version of Legend of the Guardians improves upon the 2D version with greater depth and immersion into the picture. One fear I had with 3D was that brightness would become a sacrificial lamb, but that’s far from the case. Light output has yet to be an issue with the smattering of 3D titles I have in my collection. In fact, it’s much brighter than what I’ve seen in the theaters.
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve listened to a CD, SACD, or DVD-Audio other than for review purposes in the past year. It’s much more convenient to stream content from my home server to my Squeezebox Touch. The BDP-93 has a rudimentary user interface and limited file support. As a music-streaming device, it doesn’t match the Squeezebox. The Oppo also doesn’t support WMA Lossless, which is how most of my music is stored. However, it does stream MP3 files as advertised. Unlike the Squeezebox, you must have your display on in order to navigate your files—not a good thing for those of us who use bulb-based displays.
If you’re a purist who has racks and racks of audio discs, then there’s one more reason to consider the BDP-93: Its audio performance is outstanding and rivals transports that cost two and three times as much. If you’re a music aficionado, you may want to consider an upgrade to the BDP-95 ($999), a universal audiophile 3D Blu-ray Disc player with upgraded DACs on both the multichannel outputs and the separate, dedicated two-channel out, as well as balanced XLR outputs (on the two-channel output only).
At $499, the Oppo BDP-93 isn’t the cheapest 3D-capable player on the market, but it delivers one of the best user experiences at any price point. Like its predecessor, it’s the complete package, with a speedy interface, outstanding upconversion of DVDs, DVD-Audio and SACD support, and it plays both 2D and 3D discs flawlessly. You can find many of these features on players that cost a couple of hundred dollars less, but Oppo’s industry-leading customer support is worth the extra cash. In my experience, no other consumer electronics company delivers service this timely with such a quality product, which is why the BDP-93 has earned a permanent home in my system. Highly recommended.