Q&A: Video Oppo-timization
Q. I recently bought an Oppo BDP-103 Blu-ray player. A key reason for buying it was to connect a cable TV box to the Oppo’s HDMI input and tap the player’s superior video processing to improve TV picture quality. Will it be necessary to set the equipment up in such a way as to avoid the TV’s video processing? Also, if it’s necessary to bypass the TV’s video processing, how do I do it? (In your review of the Oppo BDP-105, you dealt with a comparable issue involving audio signal processing by using a preamp that had a pass-through input.)
Doug Crowley / Santa Monica, CA
A. Yes, there are a few setup steps you’ll need to take if you want the Oppo to handle all processing of video signals coming from your cable box. The first will be to run HDMI from the box to the player as you’ve described. Next, go into the Oppo’s Video Setup menu and configure it for 1080p output resolution (or 4Kx2K if you’re using a new Ultra HD display). You’ll also need to configure the cable box to output signals over HDMI in their native format (i.e., 480i, 720p, 1080i) so they don’t get upscaled by the cable box first before being fed to the Oppo. Menu options in cable boxes vary, but this will likely involve turning off any "Auto HD" options. One more suggestion: Since you’re now going to be using the Oppo as a switcher to toggle between Blu-ray and cable sources, it will be a good idea to create optimized picture-settings memories (i.e. color, tint, brightness, sharpness, noise reduction) for both. This is something you can do using either the TV’s own picture adjustments, or the ones found in the Oppo player’s Video Setup menu.