oppo bdp-83
New machine looks set to beat Denon to 'world's first universal' title, and should carry a highly competitive price-tag

California-based manufacturer Oppo Digital is all set to launch its first Blu-ray Disc player.

The BDP-83, currently in beta testing but expected to be made available to a limited number of early purchasers as early as next week, is a 'universal' player, handling BD, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD and CD.

And unlike the only other 'universal' machine currently announced, Denon's forthcoming £3300 DVD-A1UD flagship, the Oppo looks set to carry a very affordable price-tag: the company is talking in terms of $499 to $599 in the States.

In fact, if the Oppo hits the online shops as soon as is being suggested, it will become the first universal Blu-ray Disc machine on the market, beating the Denon by a couple of months.

More after the break

The new player will support 1080p/24fps, with upconversion of DVD to that resolution, using the same VRS video processing from Anchor Bay employed in the DV-983H, which will be tested in WHFSV February.

The Oppo will have BD-Live functionality - it has 1GB of internal memory, and a USB socket to add more if required -,  will support Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and is fitted with both 7.1-channel analogue outputs and a dedicated stereo output, too.

Audio playback is said to have been enhanced with a larger power supply, and the player shares with the company's current DVD-980H and DVD-983H machines the ability to output DSD from SACD over HDMI to a suitable receiver, without first converting it to Linear PCM.

It's thought the current beta test versions of the player support BD Profile 1.1 (Bonus View), DVD-Video, SACD, and bitstreaming of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

But Oppo says that “progress is being made on a daily basis as our engineers work diligently around the clock to further enable DVD-Audio, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio onboard decoding, and BD Profile 2.0.”

We'll let you know about European availability and pricing on the player just as soon as we hear back from OppoShop in Sweden.

And yes, we've already asked for a review sample...