Hi JJ and Pete
Demoed the Panasonic DMP-BD80, Sony BDP-760 and Denon DVD-2500BT on Kuro. The others had bigger feature set where as the DVD-2500BT had better PQ and AQ. It ended up costing me £150 more than the others but it is better built too. Not had any issues with it as I bought it as it 12/2009 and the AV shop upgraded the firmware to the latest version. The shop where I bought it from put all three on one of those high-end JVC projectors to show how the three would scale up. My last SD system lasted about 10 years. The Denon clearly showed a very noticeable difference in terms of detail, sharpness, motion and colours. Nothing wrong with Funai, I have a set of Arcam Muso and Logo sub and speakers. Designed by Arcam built by some Far East manufacturer;Same with my iPhone.
Actually, players are tested using the same BD films; and the Oppo and Sony (among many others) were blind-tested (one tester feeding discs; other testers watching/listening.
AndrewH13 - if you haven't seen the Sony player, you're making your assumption re DVD playback based on speculation: we don't do that, we comparatively test.
And re SACD/DVD-Audio - yes, the Oppo plays these excellently, but the audience for these formats is a tiny, tiny fraction of that for Blu-ray and DVD discs (not to mention CDs).
For the vast majority of people, the Sony will be a better (and better-value) buy; hence the four-star rating.
Oh, and re TVs - you'll be very interested to see our Awards line-up from tomorrow....
Higgy - unless someone from Oppo contributes here, you're only going to get conjecture; asking people to 'guess' is just an invitation to the hyperbole and conspiracy theories you mention. And I think we've had plenty of both already about this product!
It's not just the Pioneer the Oppo was up against -as the review makes clear. Incidentally, we will run a Group Test of all players at this price point in our next issue, out early November. The Oppo is a great player - and if you want universal playback, it's the best in class - but we've seen players that perform even better (for less money) with BD.
Sorry Higgy - your question got lost in there!
Lots on the Oppo's performance over digital in Andrew's blog on the player.
As we've stressed, if SACD/DVD-Audio is a serious consideration, the Oppo is a must-hear.
Venturer - advertising has nothing to do with it; plenty of five-star winners from companies that don't spend a penny with us.
The arrival of the Sony in the market has changed the performance-per-pound criteria for players at this level. That does not make the Oppo a poor player (very far from it), just not the very best at this price point for BD playback.
You won't have seen it yet - the review isn't online until tomorrow - but the Sony player has meant the key Denon player at this price point has also lost a star.
Please don't make assumptions - and defamatory comments - until you've at least seen the Sony in action, which we have, at length.
Well Crissy - and everyone - the European version of the player is now not going to be released. More info here:
"P.S Andrew, It maybe that I have missed something, but I don't see how if Sony is a problematic company who seldom supplies you with review samples, that that nullifies the conspiracy theories.
It might more look like that you might give them really good reviews to stay on their good side, so they send you some samples next time."
No, we either won't review the products or, if we feel there's a compelling reason why they should be reviewed, source them elsewhere.
Your idea of kowtowing to Sony to get more review samples is ludicrous: Sony isn't witholding review samples wilfully, but is insufficiently organised to get us samples when required.
Far from making some pressure so its models get a good review, Sony is actually one of the most problematic companies we deal with in terms of getting review samples, despite having in house European and UK press departments, and several external PR companies, too.
Unlike almost every other company we deal with it's very poor at offering product for review, and when we do want to get hold of something it's like pulling teeth.
So bang goes that conspiracy theory. Yet again...
Higgy, not terse, just incredibly busy, sorry.
But no, I didn't say or imply that all players sound the same via HDMI, just that there were no audio problems via HDMI on this machine.
No, there are no problems with audio over HDMI, at least not in my experience so far.
Neither, dexaster, but thanks for your concern.
I think that was predictable. WHF were never going to give it the 5*s it deserves and I know I'll get a predictable amount of flak for a predictable response but I think the rating is popycock. That's just my opinion of course, strangely similar to others who own this player though.
Very odd review.
Are there any flaws in the digital audio via HDMI? I am primarily interested in the lossless BR formats, DVD-A, SACD and CD formats which I decode in an Onkyo TX-SR705.
I have heard rumours that multi-region may appear through a firmware update though. So don't be too hasty with a warranty-invalidating mod. Especially as my otherwise excellent DV-980H has been back to Oppo at least twice!
Fair point Clare!
I did read elsewhere that there is an issue with PAL and pulldown. Such issues exist with the DV980H too. However they also exist with many other commercially available machines from more familiar names too.
Given that the withdrawal only effectes the European model, I guess this is nevrtheless the most likely explanation. Rats!!!
Hi Andrew, seeing as you seem to be reading this thread, can you comment on my question:-
"It's irritating though, that when you comment on a player's sonic performance you seldom distinguish (or at least not clearly enough) the performance of the player from it's analog outputs or whether there are any issues at all with the audio over HDMI."
How does this player perform in this regard?
And why don't you comment in this way in general. A player may have a p*ss-poor analogue output stage - yet in an all HDMI system perform like a 5-star product! We never get to find out from the reviews.
And (to everyone) can we please leave the conspiracy theories now. It's getting really boring.
you didn't respond to my question:-
"Are there any flaws in the digital audio via HDMI? I am primarily interested in the lossless BR formats, DVD-A, SACD and CD formats which I decode in an Onkyo TX-SR705."
Can you comment? Did you test it this way?
It is indeed a very strange development! Anyone care to hazard a guess what's behind it?
No hyperbole or conspiracy theories please.
Thanks Andrew for that. A bit terse though. Do I take it therefore that you believe there's no discernible difference in the audio qualities of any player when connected via HDMI? Of are some players better than others in this respect?
Thanks Clare. I'd seen Andrew's blog on it. Very interesting indeed.
It's irritating though, that when you comment on a player's sonic performance you seldom distinguish (or at least not clearly enough) the performance of the player from it's analog outputs or whether there are any issues at all with the audio over HDMI.
The star rating just doesn't add up with the review, that's why advertising gets mentioned and some may doubt WHF. The SACD and DVD-A do make it attractive to many who will buy, and the DVD replay I doubt is much bettered. Add in the speed and then compare with some rather unfriendly big-name BluRay players of late and it seems an odd conclusion. I recently joined WHF for a day of reader testing and have utmost respect for the guys I met. However, this does make me wonder.... bit like when I bought my highly-recommended cloudy Sony LCD!
Well we can only assume WHF is correct and dozens of other net reviews are wrong.
I have to say the response to this review verges on the hysterical. A review is only an opinion, an expert opinion I accept, but nevertheless an opinion. Anyone with any sense is going to judge for themselves what player gives them the best value for their money based on what they believe to be the features most important to them and physically comparing one with the other. My understanding is that team at WHF did just that, which is more than can be said for others who have voiced their opinions.
To suggest that advertising played some part is a 'cheap shot' made without any evidence, so far as I can see, to back it up. I have seen plenty of equipment from 'big names' getting poor reviews. Nevertheless it's those 'big names' which happen to have big R&D budgets which means they can often produce class leading products in a greater number of areas so appear to get more 5* ratings. Smaller operators tend to stick to their niche markets and consequently can also produce quality items but over a more limited product range.
Cyrus is a case in point. It has done exceptionally well in this years awards. A small operator in a niche market. As it happens I don't much like the Cyrus sound, but I don't get all bent out of shape over it and certainly don't fling mud where it's not deserved.
If I were Clare and the team I think I would be professionally annoyed and hurt by what appear to be completely unfounded allegations, based on nothing more than personal prejudice. If you have proof then lets have the detail, otherwise I would keep my views to myself.
Definitely a surprise that it only managed 4 stars. I've had a US hardware-modded BDP-83 since July and it's the single best piece of home cinema equipment I have ever purchased. It's an almost flawless 5-star universal disc player as far as I'm concerned.
Whilst I don't doubt that there will be or are other players that will have better BD or DVD picture, I think those differences will be marginal. I bought my Oppo to quickly replace a very disappointing Denon DVD-2500BT (particularly in value for money terms)which was selling at the same price as the Oppo BDP-83. On my Pioneer PDP-LX5090, the BD picture was the same and the DVD upscaled picture was better. Sound via HDMI is more lively than the Denon. When you also consider the other features & benefits of the Oppo including fast loading time & great GUI, it surprises me that WHF have said on the forums that they'd rate the outgoing Denon over the Oppo. This is what gives me cause to question the 4 star rating.
I am very surprised. Had the Oppo for a couple of months now and I have to say, the picture on my Pioneer plasma has never looked more alive. Lightening fast, plays every format, easy multi-region possibility and incredible picture and sound surely adds up to 5 stars. The Pioneer BDP-LX52 review says "It is well worth the cash if your budget can stretch to it". Can that player, at �100 more really be worth the full 5 stars over the Oppo? I don't believe it.
The Oppo fans appear to be like those Daily mail readers who want programmes banned even when they haven't seen them. So let me get this right, you haven't seen a Sony at work but feel that there is a conspiracy against the Oppo to get sony to win -as there is no way on earth anything could be better than the Oppo.
I use the Oppo BDP-83 with my Pioneer KRP600A and do not see how the picture- DVD or BD can be bettered.
Also, you do not mention the players many plus points including fast loading times (it's possibly the fastest loading BD player out there) etc.
A very poor review imo, then Oppo don't have the advertising pull of Sony, Pioneer, Denon et al.
This is a definite 5 star player.
New products from Sony, Panasonic & Pioneer usually get 5 stars in their first review at WHF but after a while are downgraded.WHF do no indicate that there was ever a blind test involved. Different players are evaluated using different BR films. Oppo didn't need to advertise with them as there is enough reputation built around their player already. However, this player is identical to the US model even though that was released some time ago. At least Sony claims to have improved something.
Im just surprised since Ive never even heard of the Sony until now..
My point is that Pioneer320 robbed 5 stars, while Oppo83 get 4.
Oppo83 is a far better player on speed, scaling abilities+++
Im still surprised in behalf to the Oppo.
Maybe WHF use some other standards than others based on what they mean is important...
Yes, I can agree on that.
I hear that 760 has pretty much the same scaler as Sony5000.
That is by far the strangest review I have read this year..
You gave Pioneer320 5 stars and Oppo831 4 stars???
What are you on? Crack or advertising?
Interesting that Sony is "changing" the bd market. I have never even heard about it...
4 STARS or 5 STARS I'm buying one first thing after they release the european version.
It's exactly the same like the PIONEER SC-LX81.The receiver lost a star because of a Sony model.I really don't believe that Sony doesn't make a pressure of some kind so that their products receive better reviews.Every single independent review on the net tells about a wonderful universal player,best in his class and even compared with the top players money can buy.That's OPPO BDP 831(or BDP 83-US version).I really hate this corporation greed.I don't say that Sony doesn't make good BD player.All I'm saying is OPPO is a 5 STAR universal player with exceptional playback capabilities.Well WHF,you risk to loose your credibility.I am really disappointed...
Well,I did a little research and I found that Sony models received almost all of them 5 STARS on WHF.Take for example the home cinema Sony receivers.You have 4 Sony models,all 5 STAR reviews.You also have 7 SONY bluray disk players and 6 of them received 5 STARS reviews and 1 only 4 Stars.Is SONY really that good?
Well,I don't see why my conspiracy theory is nulled by the fact that you didn't receive review samples from SONY.It is just a personal idea that a particular brand(Sony in this case :)is getting higher marks in your reviews.Anyway,look at the number of the reviews people were writting on the OPPO review page.It's clear that this is a very hot product that many of us awaits to hit the european market.Maybe you can reconsider and make a new review that is based on all the OPPO's features including the SACD capabilities and who nows....maybe it wil get the missing star.Thank you
Hi guys, I'm new here. Here's my thoughts, sorry if I go on a bit.
I think that people are generally upset because Andrew didn't take enough into account that the BDP-83 IS a SACD/DVD-A player and wrote more about it's analog/digital sound quality compared to other BR-players with multiformat-capabilities.
I have several friends and about 10 more people at work that's waiting to buy the Oppo when it hits the european market. No other player has ever got people stirred up like this.
What I'm trying to say is that people want bang for the buck more than anything. The new receivers all have HDMI and bitstreaming support. People WANT better sound and as cheap as it can possibly be. I only own a coule of SACDs/DVD-A:s discs, but they sound better than any of the hundreds of CDs I own. And my friends and colleagues can't stop talking about how many and which DVD-A/SACD:s we're going to buy. As we wait for more pure Bluray music disc:s comes out. (I don't want a live concert on Bluray, I want pure music!) =)
I mean many of your readers must buy hifi equipment for tons of money, I certainly have on many of your recommendations. And I as many others, I think, would like to see the reviewers taking more into regard what the equipment is capable of as a whole.
I buy WHF in Sweden (twice the UK price, damn tax) because I love the reviews and comparison guides, although I think there's to many adverts. )
And I see WHF as a Hifi magazine and as such I want to read about the best equipment and your recommendations. But I think your readers have a craving for more in-depth reviews, otherwise we would buy one of the cheaper magazines who only voices their opinion but never explains why they think what they do.
P.S Andrew, It maybe that I have missed something, but I don't see how if Sony is a problematic company who seldom supplies you with review samples, that that nullifies the conspiracy theories.
It might more look like that you might give them really good reviews to stay on their good side, so they send you some samples next time.
I'm not trying to put fuel on the fire, I just didn't get the logic.
I really think that you wrote what you thought and that is great, if the Sony is better you should tell your readers, and so you did. I think people just got disappointed that the features of the Oppo didn't add up enough to give it a 5 star.
Sorry guys for going on forever, just my thoughts.
Pete, I agree. I briefly owned the Denon DVD-2500BTCI and returned it.
The primary reason I returned it is the omission of Source Direct. Furthermore, this player was actually manufactured by Funai rather than built by Denon in house. The DVD performance is subpar and with the lack of Source Direct, you cannot use the video processing of a AVR/SSP to upscale and rectify the shortcomings. Quite attractive player nonetheless.
The flagship player is built in house by Denon in Japan. I am unsure about the other new models.
While the OPPO is a good player, the online forums will lead you to believe it is unassailable. The best player ever, etc... Especially Stateside, there is a cult like following for OPPO.
This OPPO cult freaks out if anyone dares criticize this player. Fact is there have been many glitches with SACD playback. In addition, when Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity reviewed the US edition BDP-83, they also found the analogue performance less than thrilling as well.
The fact remains this is not a cheap player. Even though a Chinese Company with almost zero labour costs, they charge quite a bit for this player. It is a good player. Just not a great player. It does have very fast load times and quality DVD upsampling. It is just the cult of OPPO is disconcerting to me.
i wasn't going to spend a lot on a BD player so I bought a panasonic BD and use my OPPO 980 as DVD player but after reading in Consumer reports " the US which magazine how good the Oppo was I folded and bought the OPPO and exceedingly glad I did an excelleny machine. I sold the new panasonic at a loss. Sold my 2 year old OPPO 980 for the same I paid for it.
I bought the 83 in the US and it is now performing in the UK flawlessly
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