Does the DVD scaler not do a better job than the cheaper players?...I do wonder about What Hifi's scores, there seems to be no consitency? - they awarded the £1000 Arcam BDP-100 with 3 stars even though it sharpened the image, did a poor job of upscaling DVD's, failed the PLUGE test, couldn't play copy protected CD's/SACD's and even struggled to play some Blu Rays such as Inception?? - no mention of getting better results from cheaper players in this review?
Well the review suggests buying a pioneer. I bought the Pioneer LX54 for £400 and the sound dropped out intermitantly on Cd playback which drove me nuts. It couldn't play a lot of DVD's / blu rays especially 3D stuff, (this got worse over time) Prometheus the last one before it went in the bin. Lip synching issues too. Very poor firmware support and no useful customer support. It was slow loading, picture very good when it worked in fairness. Would not touch another Pioneer blu ray player with a disinfected barge pole.
I recently bought an Oppo 103. It's great. Plays everything, picture great. Sound doesn't drop out. Loads quickly. Remembers where in the disk you stopped watching if u only get half way through the next time u put the disk in. It's wifi enabled so no usb stick firmware updates and u get a picture of any cd cover u play and track list ( not so the pioneer). There is also a 'Pure' button that enables you to turn tv picture off when playing cd's. it's a class bit of kit IMO. Not sure how u could improve on the picture tbh, my eyes are pretty good.
I should just add I connect via hdmi to my pioneer sclx83 av amp so the amp, which is superb, deals with the sound. No advantage in me buying the 105 and the criticism in the review of the sound, if i have understood things correctly for me or anyone using hdmi to an AV is therefore irrelevant. One criticism of the oppo, I thought I might be able to use its video processing capability to improve the picture from my humax box which it is supposed to be able to do. However, this seemed to be screwed by the hdmi handshake thing, I couldn't really get it to work properly so I gave up on this. Overall joy to use, great quality, very pleased with my Oppo.
Is the Oppo 103 a multi zone ?
Oh dear what hi fi has got it wrong again see attached a proper review.
Also see HCC mag no 215 for another
And yes, what hi fi have lost all credibility!
I insist: I myself and ten or twelve or twenty expert reviewers see a video processed picture and hear decoded sound significantly above those "best buys" in any price category. And typically "What Hi-Fi" forgot to mention that you don't need a bulky AV receiver (or SACD or DVD-Audio player for that matter), only sufficient power amplification because the volume control and the superb - I repeat superb - onboard decoding for the 7.1 analogue output make the Oppo 103 a multichannell preamp equivalent in quality to a premium separate preamp - don't believe those who say that the Oppo volume control degrades sound quality. it doesn't - together with my very old Musical Fidelity E11 for the front channels and my NAD 245 for the center and surround the decoded sound has space, rythm, musicality that NO AV amplifier or receiver that I have listened to can match. And Oppo's e-mail support has been exemplary regarding some network questions that I had - replies within 24 hours (I live in Asia).
And no, I am not affiliated in any way to Oppo.
Oppo is overpriced! Yes, you get a lot of inputs and an aluminum faceplate, but they are charging a premium for picture and sound quality. You can get a Panasonic BDT220 for $99 brand new. I don't see how the Oppo is $400 more than the BDT220. The Panasonic plays flacs, has wifi, and sounds great!
What hi-fi reviews are very short and nothing seriuos... Look at this- another league http://hometheaterreview.com/oppo-bdp-103-universal-network-3d-blu-ray-player-reviewed/
Nothing serious? Are you for real? They are about as serious as it gets!
Hard to understand how this rating can be so radically different from practically ALL other expert reviews, including my own eyes and ears. What HiFi should start thinking about its own credibility. Personally I will stoick to HiFi Choice and Stereophile in the future
I think, dont pay seriuos atention about Whathifi ratings:)
Oppo don't make Cambridge gear, although this keeps coming up time and again. CA have answered this directly on this site and confirmed that the two companies share the same SDK which is why the layout and feature sets are usually identical. The analogue stages will be unique to each company. Certainly WHF seem to prefer the sound presentation of Cambridge gear compared to Oppo, at least at this price point, but they did give the Oppo 95 five stars at £900 so they're not anti-Oppo. That said, this player looks to have been downgraded for the lack of smart content and average picture quality, two things that should be identical with the new CA player so you'd expect a similar score.
I've just bought the Pioneer BDP-450 and an Arcam rDac for a total 0f £450. The combination works brilliantly and I can plug my laptop into the usb socket on the ARcam, too.
Will be interesting to see how the new Cambridge fares as apparently Oppo make it!
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