Let what hifi confirm what's the truth. Are they trained or fully qualified?
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....although I'm not sure how that's relevant. If What HiFi doesn't calibrate TVs to test blu ray players, to reflect real world scenario of 99% of buying public, then what's the point?
Or tell us which high quality HDMI cable was used and was it the same for all tests
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Well i will delete the issues of what hfii have on my ipad, and stop reading the magazine. I can simply no loger trust any review i what hifi. I worked with movie and tv for some years now, worked at filmfestivals scriptwriting setting up large cinemas at large music festivals. I have seen and worked with all kind of equipment, nothing comes close to my new oppo. I can no longer trust the content of the magazine and bid yo al kind farwell.
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Wow this thread Is gathering a lot of posts now ! There is no chance that the oppo unit supplied was faulty ?
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Well, of course there's calibration and calibration.
Perhaps it would be useful if WHF could clarify specifically what calibration procedures they use.
As I understand it, based on reviews and prior forum discussion, WHF reviewers calibrate televisions using the THX Optimiser (in other words by eye). The quantity of products reviewed by the magazine far exceeds review sites frequently discussed on here. Full ISF calibration of every TV WHF reviews would prove highly impractical, and probably impossible.
If the above is true (and I'm not stating anything as fact), that would indeed represent the experiences of most consumers (only a small minority of enthusiasts will actually pay for professional calibration, or purchase a colorimeter and go the DIY route).
However, if there is no reference display against which to evaluate other products, that does potentially create difficulties reviewing other links in the video chain.
For the record, I'm not suggesting WHF's review process is wrong. One could justifiably argue that advanced technical reviews have little bearing on the great majority of consumers' real world experiences.
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I can no longer trust the content of the magazine and bid yo al kind farwell.
With the greatest of respect, looking at your post count, you hadn't even said hello...
Well that's nearly four years old now! Plus as I understand it there are different levels of isf training.
I seem to recall one of the staff blogged on the ISF training they attended (Simon Lucas possibly) some time back, can't remember when exactly but certainly post dates that AVF thread...
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Possible, but I'm sure if WHF thought there was anything wrong with the unit, they'd have contacted Oppo and questioned it before printing the review.
I forget which magazine does it now, but I always enjoyed reading the manufacturer's feedback which would appear in the following issue to a product's review. If it was a good review the reply was always good, but when it was a bad review, or highlighted some negative points, it was interesting to read what the manufacturer came back with. There have been many reviews that I would have liked to have replied to (not any one specific publication). I've seen some unfair reviews in the past where a product has been reviewed with another product that just doesn't work together, so its blatantly obvious what the conclusion of the review is going to be before you even read it.
How about that WHF? A Manufacturer's Feedback page?
David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi, Coventry
For once, I am an expert on this thread, as it seems to have turned into an attack on the integrity of the Publisher founded on advertising. I work in advertising at a media agency, and we buy advertising with Haymarket, and in fact almost any publisher you can think of on behalf of many clients and have done so a long time. Most hifi brands spend so little though they do their own advertising work, just in case you think there is mega bucks in it.
i can say that sales teams will say its good to advertise next to a five star review, and they will also say its good against a three star review to put across some other communication to help counter. in fact the sales team know loads of reasons why advertising is good and they are all true because advertising works, so reviews don't influence advertising. It's also great to advertise around the awards because readership / circulation increases, so you reach more people, in case someone asks why there is more advertising in these editions.
Editors are essentially journalists too, so they work with all brands, and they try to uncover the truth whilst the brands try and influence it. These brands wouldn't trust WHFSV if they were for sale, so if the conspiracy is true, it would be backed up with a really EDITED magazine, and there would be no circulation and then the brands wouldn't have an audience to reach. So it is in the interest of the brands for the publisher to be independent and beyond reproach. The conspiracy would need to be true for all the publishers to be effective also, and these hifi brands like KEF have such small advertising investment it would be cheaper to make a 5 star product
they do get random punters to review stuff too ,but this should really make the point to demo for yourself. And if you think they like bright, you also mean you like warm - see how subjective it is?
On the flip side, editors do sometimes reject advertising because it affects the aesthetics of the magazine and ultimately the publishers brand. You would be shocked how many times our budget is turned down because the ad is ugly, or the ad has a price promotion in it that may reflect on the aesthetics or image of the magazine. Obviously it is magazine dependant, but the sales team usually know what will upset the editors through experience.
And for what it's worth, the most I ever got from haymarket is the odd free magazine if our client was in it. And the most the brands that advertise ever want is the best position in the magazine (for example in the first half) and the best price. Nothing to do with the editors I'm afraid. I'm pretty sure they hate advertising folk like me, so last thing I want to do is go near any of them.
The comment from Duncan between editor and sales team made me laugh because its true, although I think it's a tech thing, because I'm sure some of the sales team at Conde Nast/ vogue magazine could be models, or probably are! Which reminds me, I need to get my beauty sleep.
Just out of interest, and this has been done in the past in the mag, if Oppo issued a press release stating a price drop of say 150-quid to 350 would WHSAV then award the player a 4 or a 5star, what do we think the 2 star drop means is one a combination of picture and sound, and the other value for money, if so this would then be a 4-star player and would probably be more excepted, me personally you do get what you pay for, I have seen how these oppos come well packaged case/bag it exudes quality, you only have to read how many threads there are with people asking does anyones player sound noisy when playing, but they have only paid 60-150 pounds so qaulity is going to be shaved a bit, either way you will never get anyone to say that advertising is an issue, If I made qaulity equipment that was well regarded through out the world lets say, and I asked a mag would you like to review this product, but had never advertised with themag would that mag give a 5star glowing review, knowing it has not cost the manufactuer any money to get the review, then thinking if we give a glowing review 5-star bla bla would they advertise, really who cares.
I liked pioneer products for years, but not any more, especailly blu-ray players,but I do know qaulity when I see it and the oppo has it in spades, but I would not buy one, why?? because I dont need all the facilitys it offers because i would not use them, so a cheaper player would do me.
I think the mag genuinly got this wrong and i suspect deep down, this review has done them no favours.
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Just following on from my last post re using calibrated tv's for this type of test - I didnt fully explain my reasoing for the comment based on this thread And to be honest O think I am wrong for the best part anyways
In a situation where there is divided opinion such as the Oppo 103 - a lot of other reviewers give it high praise / reference status - WHF 3 stars.
Maybe in this instance the performance difference of the Oppo over cheaper players are not clear as a result of the test TV not being calibrated (just suggesting not implying) - however thinking about it in a way that makes it a more accurate review for the average punter - and their expectations of what to expect if they purchase.
If they did use a Panasonoic VT for example to test the player then that set is reported to have a very close to calibrated performance out of the box in THX mode - so then my theory goes out the window. I only mentioned it as I do feel a calibrated reference set for blu ray player etc testing is the equivalent to a treated listening room for av / hifi in its fairness to all products.
Blu Ray Players should be the easiest to A/B test - you can feed several into a receiver and as long as you have multiple copies of the test disc you can go back and fourth between the inputs for a quick A/B/C/D etc assessment of the same scene. I am sure that is what they do and therefore give a review opinion on that result
Its amazing one review I have read of the Oppo 103 assesses its performance purely on actual technical tests and does not once mention picture or sound from a sit and watch point of view and they award it Reference status. That is a stark contrast purely scientific kind of review.
However in that same review he does state that other players if setup correctly will also provide perfect picture the same as the Oppo- such as from Panasonic - however the Oppo is perfect straight out of the box.
This the conclusion to that review - and really shows why WHF have given 3 stars I feel - Price vs Performance
If you own a 1080p TV, watch mainly 1080p/24 movies on Blu-ray, and feed bitstream audio to an HDMI capable AV receiver, you’ll end up with the same AV quality from cheaper players – provided you seek a “known good” one out and avoid players which inflict some whimsical alterations on the picture without the consent of the user (or the filmmaker, for that matter!)
For that reason, assigning ratings to disc players is difficult. Unlike display devices which always have various parameters to consider (and prioritise in importance), a disc player’s performance is largely decided by whether it passes or fails a multitude of tests. There is even less subjectivity involved than there is in a scientifically-minded review of a TV or projector, which is saying something.
That leaves us with the question, does the OPPO BDP-103 deserve a “Highly Recommended” or a “Reference” rating? We went with the latter in the end, because although we’ve pointed out a few small areas where the player’s usability could be improved (we know from past experience with OPPO that it’s likely they actually will be), we can’t think of any better player when you look at the overall situation. The BDP-103EU does have it all: outstanding usability, fast performance, undistorted playback of 1080p/24 Blu-ray Discs, excellent handling of trickier sources such as 1080i content and DVDs, and a very quiet disc mechanism. Add 4K upscaling, online connectivity, network playback, and top notch build quality into your consideration, and you’ll probably agree with us that the final rating is deserved.
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I doubt anyone will be looking to fail a Bluray player on technical issues if the TV isn't calibrated, so I don't think that this is a better review for the majority.
David - I think you has mis read ym meaning there - the calibration was aimed at WHF reviews.
The the review pasted from is based purely on the players merits at passing specific test - however I find his conclusion sums up the situation very well - however given what he has said 3 stars does seem harsh
I havent read the WHF review yet - I hasnt put me off the player - It has made me want to demo it even more actually to make my own mind up - against what I have on my calibrated TV
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