While the question still remains if 3D is everyone’s cup of tea, Oppo has decided to take this innovative technology to a greater level by unleashing their next model, the Oppo BDP-93. Enormous effort is seen in terms of its engineering and design in making sure it is a true successor to its predecessor, the award-winning BDP-83. Well Oppo has done quite a few tweaks to the BDP-93, to name a few they it is 3D compatible, a few modifications on the chassis, additional network functionality in terms of Blockbuster and Netflix movie streaming, swapped over to the highly-regarded and most popular Marvell Qdeo video processor along with dual HDMI output that comes in handy with dual monitors or just importing audio to an AV receiver, and finally not to forget that the player supports Wireless networking; the best part of all this being all of these with absolutely no increase in its price tag. Frankly, this is QUITE a few tweaks and to imagine that we still haven’t practically started the review at all huh? So hold on, looks like this might take quite a while!
Well, for those of you who feel that most high-end Blu-ray players of today come with almost all of these features for a far better price and yet others who have not heard of Oppo and question its basic performance to justify the cost, Read on!
To begin with OPPO is a beloved manufacturer of Blu-ray Players and DVDs extant since 2004 with significant followers on the Internet for their outstanding performance and extensive features. Let us take the BDP-93′s SACD playback and DVD-Audio for example: Both these formats are practically outdated with very few manufacturers offering the same, one among them being Oppo. They provide this for enthusiasts with a sizeable library of titles, who wish to playback titles in these formats and Oppo gracefully complies with such fetish.
Unboxing the BDP-93:
Upon unboxing the BDP-93 Blu Ray Disc Player, it is matter of time before you realise that it is no different from its older brother with an impressive packing that keeps the unit well protected in a reusable carry bag. Also found in the package are the remote control with batteries, power cord, well-informed User Manual, standard A/V cables, HDMI cable, Wi-Fi Dongle that supports Wireless N along with a 6-foot USB extension. But then it lacks the inclusion of the Spears and Munsil and AIX Calibration Discs (but the same can be availed from OPPO by paying extra), which was available for free on the BDP-83/BDP-83 SE models. Well coming back to the looks, the BDP-93 is just about the same size as the BDP-83, but then with a marked difference, definitely attractive looking from every angle. Featuring an exemplary anodized brushed aluminum front panel, the BDP-93 is gracefully designed and comes with few flushed buttons like the Power, Disc Tray, and Navigation buttons giving it a sophisticated look with an exemplary black finish and fit. Well the flush eject buttons might be a wee bit problematic to locate in a darkened room, and this is where the back-lit remote comes in fairly handy. The refurbished disc tray has been improvised and is custom-built by Japan’s Tohei Group, which has wonderfully taken care of the mechanical noise and rigidity issue that beset the BDP-83. It is designed to look cool and retracts fully flushed in the front panel with the tray operating more rapidly, smoothly and quietly. There are two digital displays right next to the tray with the main display on the left displaying disc and track timings and the aux display responsible for disc info and icons. Both the displays are dimmable, subtle and relatively informative. The BDP-93 also is equipped with an easy-to-access front USB port that is smartly concealed. The BDP-93 might weigh a tad less in comparison to the BDP-83SE (10.6 oz versus 11.3 oz), but it still boasts of the same solid build as its older brother.
Back Panel Connectivity:
Peeking at the back panel you get to observe two obvious inclusions – firstly an additional HDMI v1.4a output that supports all old, existing and future HDMI TV and receivers and secondly the absence of a stereo analog output. (This is available only in the Oppo BDP-95). Well this is no big deal as majority of the users might posses an AV receiver that derives its audio from HDMI output. Again, there is also an option provided in the setup menu that downconverts 7.1 channels to 2, if stereo audio is all that you need.
The provision of an additional HDMI comes in fairly handy allowing you to utilize one HDMI exclusively for video and the other one exclusively for audio, ensuring high-quality audio/video for both the signal path. Likewise the flexible HDMI menu makes configuration of the dual HDMI outputs fairly easy. There is no longer the need to upgrade your A/V receiver to a 3D model for you to enjoy 3D anymore. Just connect one HDMI out to a 3D TV and the second one to a pre-3D HDMI A/V receiver. Better still, you could opt for dual outputs parallel to a single output fed into a projector to enjoy home theatre viewing and the other fed into a TV for casual viewing. If you are looking at multi-room viewing, the BDP-93 is equipped to output video/audio to two 3D/2D television sets concurrently.
No big changes in the remote of the BDP-93 and is almost similar to that of the BDP-83 remote. It is the most preferred one and it is nice to know that Oppo has decided to retain this proven design up until their latest players. Well for those who are new to it, here is a short description of the same: It rounded back gives more of an ergonomic feel to the remote with chunky buttons and symbols labeled along with being backlit making it easy on the eyes, especially with most of the home theatre environment having a dim light setting. The layout seems to follow a fairly logical format with the backlight getting triggered upon pressing any key on the remote for roughly 8 seconds. Additionally, it also comes with a dedicated light in the right lower corner. While the Pop-up and Top buttons sit on the upper right and left hand side of the navigation button, Return and Setup keys sit at the bottom towards the left and right of the navigation buttons. Common control can be accessed with the Stop/Play/Pause buttons that are nice and chunky. Upon choosing the Resolution option, users are given the following options to choose from “Auto, 480I or 576I, 480P or 576P, 720P, 1080I, 1080P or Source Direct”. Also you might be interested in this smart offering from Oppo, the BDP-93’s remote comes with the inclusion of a 3-position switch within the battery compartment, wherein users are allowed to modify the command set, ensuring that it does not hamper other Oppo products. This absolutely cool feature offers users absolutely separate and full control of 2 Oppo players within the same room.
The Oppo BDP-93 is loaded with wireless N capability; but not in-built though. Instead, it comes with an USB Wi-Fi dongle together with an extension cable that is dock attached allowing the dongle to be located on a flat surface, for better reception, away from the rear of the unit. The signal strength is supposedly seen to increase due to the USB dock (that comes with the dongle) being optimally placed. The dongle is an Atheros AR9271 10/100Mb unit with its drivers in-built in the BDP-93. Regrettably, the Wi-Fi seems to go more easy on the conventional 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n systems as against the 5GHz-only 802.11n systems. Configuration is a real breeze with utilizing the “Internet Connection Menu” where the users are given the choice of both wired and wireless connectivity. Wi-Fi works faster and is reliable with both wire and wireless and seems to have no problems detecting wireless systems or connecting to it. Additionally, Netflix movies in HD is also devoid of any issues with bandwidth or artifacts.
Well! The other connections go on to include two USB 2.0 ports, one in the front panel and one at the rear, along with a set of 7.1 multichannel audio outs. In case you wish to use an external DAC for two-channel music playback, you are provided with the digital optical and coaxial audio outputs. These also come in handy with establishing easy and simple connections to the conventional A/V receivers that are devoid of HDMI inputs. Yet another new feature would be the eSATA Port – make the best of this high-speed eSATA connection that aide in playing your videos, audios or even image files stored in your hard disks.
Oppo has tried its hands on something novel with the inclusion of Marvell 88DE2750 “Kyoto-G2 Digital Video Format Converter.” The prevalent Anchor Bay (ABT2010 chip) incorporated in the BDP-83 has been revamped with the Qdeo video processor. The award-winning Marvell chip is supposedly fairly famous in the industry known for its outstanding video performance and consequently been incorporated in numerous products from leading manufacturers. There is an whole host of offers by the Marvell chip in terms of edge-adaptive and motion-adaptive 3D de-interlacing along with supporting arbitrary film cadences in conjunction with per-pixel 3D VNR/BNR (Video Noise Reduction)/(Block Noise Reduction) Additionally the Source Direct mode enables video outboard processing. Again, the BDP-93 is also loaded with the contemporary “Silicon Image” SiI9334 HDMI 1.4 Transmitter chip responsible for sending video signals from the HDMI 1 connector.
In terms of Audio Board, the BDP-93 is capable of producing DTS-HD MA and lossless Dolby TrueHD bitstreams through the HDMI connector. The multi-channel decoder on-board is capable of converting every channel to LPCM and yields audio either via the 7.1 analog audio outputs or the HDMI connector. With a flexible design, it virtually adapts to any system, be it old or new.
Oppo’s modular design comes in handy in enhancing the audio quality for audiophiles with replacement of the power supply and audio board. We will be hearing more on this with Oppo’s launch of the all new BDP-95 Audiophile BD player.
(GUI) Graphical User Interface:
Again, nothing has changed in terms of UI and is pretty much the same user interface witnessed in the BDP-83, with the menu system being plausible and easy to follow. Oppo have done their homework well in devising a set of menus that anyone can play with, be it a novice or a patron. Also the fonts go easy and pleasing on the eyes. There is yet another nicely thought out feature by Oppo that allows users to access menus even as a disc is being played, which is definitely a feature worth mentioning that you get to see only with expensive players.
There are few basic setup menus that are exclusively designed to walk users through the initial settings and get the unit up and running in no time. Well Oppo prefers calling it the “Easy Setup Wizard” which consists of 6 simple steps that require the users to provide their valuable inputs for the unit to perform accordingly. Let us take a quick glance, shall we?
To begin with, users need to outline the primary video output and are given the option to choose between component video and HDMI. It would be ideal to choose HDMI predominantly, unless the display fails to support it. You might want to choose HDMI as your default as it is HDCP-friendly (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) enhancing the resolution big time to avoid disappointments by choosing to not use the HDMI digital interface.
Well now coming to the aspect ratio trait of the display. Displays coming with a 4:3 aspect ratio can go in for Pan & Scan or Letterbox and those units with the contemporary 16:9 HDTV’s can go in for Wide or Wide/Auto where the latter places side borders on the 4:3 source material.
Users are given a whole array of choice to choose from in terms of video output namely: Auto, 480P/576P,480I/576I, 1080P, 1080I or Source Direct. Upon changing the TV output mode users are asked to confirm the settings before making the change final. The player reverts back to the prior video mode upon failing to get any confirmation on the new settings, thus preventing the player from utilizing a video mode that leaves users without any picture.
Well, coming to the audio mode, the Compatible Mode is designed to work by default with majority of the receivers and displays; nevertheless the BDP-93 is also equipped with an advanced setting for receivers compatible with HDMI 1.3. For those of you who would like to explore more on the audio check out the Audio Settings in the Setup Menu.
That being said, the Easy Setup Wizard sure does make life easy for non-techy users to get more comfortable with their BD player and configure the same in no time. Nevertheless, it would also be ideal to be familiar with all the features, as there is a whole array of them being available in the player thus maximizing its performance.
The BDP-93′s Setup Menu is categorized into 6 each of which provides advanced controls equipped with an extensive set of parameters that can be modified by users for optimal performance. Let us explore into each one of them in detail:
The device setup menu aide users with Firmware Information thereby allowing users to perform a Firmware Upgrade though Disc, USB or Network. Setting the Firmware Notification On checks firmware updates by default via the Oppo server. Few other default settings go on to include Front Panel Display, Remote Code, Persistent Storage Options, HDMI CEC, DivX VOD DRM, Netflix, Easy setup and Reset Factory Settings.
The Network Setup menu takes care of configuring the Ethernet connection through which the BD-Live content along with firmware updates can be accessed. Info like current IP address, My Network, BD-Live Network access can be accessed via turning On/Off the Connection Information. Upon selecting the Internet Connection, the Wireless Setting goes active instantly scanning for any active Wi-Fi links. IP Settings can either be set to Manual or Auto with the option to turn On/Off the Proxy Settings. Users can enter their current IP address Gateway, Subnet Mask, DNS 1 and 2 manually in the Manual mode and the Connection Test runs a check on the same verifying proper functioning of the network connection.
Parental Control, Language, Screen Markers for Angle, SAP and PIP (secondary audio programs and picture-in-picture) all of these are classified under the Playback Setup menu with markers being suggested in the screen (if the options are available) on the disc being watched. You can set SACD Priority to Stereo, multi-channel or CD-mode. The DVD-Audio Mode decides how Audio DVDs are played (audio or video). Well for the most part, it all depends on how users configure their systems and what is supported. Likewise, Playback, Auto Play and Auto Resume modes can also be individually set On/Off.
Audio Format Setup:
The Audio Format menu is responsible for setting the Secondary Audio On/Off mixing it with the main audio. HDMI Audio Bitstream/LPCM/Off – can be set depending on the unit or the user’s preference. The Optical/Coaxial Output decides if the player needs to convert the audio to PCM or let the receiver decode the raw bitstream. Maximum sample rate for utmost compatibility with the equipment connected is taken care of by the LPCM Rate Limit, thus preventing the player from transferring high resolution data than what is supported by the digital outputs. You could set the SACD Output to yield raw DSD streaming or convert the same to PCM data with the option to set the HDCD Decoding On/Off.
All video parameters are taken care of by the Video Setup menu with the Picture Adjustment panel giving users the option of changing settings to HDMI 1 or HDMI 2 or Analogue. The Primary Output establishes the video output – HDMI 1, 2 or Analog. For best video performance, it would be ideal to choose The HDMI outputs by default. The 3D Mode can either be Auto or off and the 3D TV Size gets keyed in here. Users are allowed choose the TV Aspect Ratio from 4:3 Pan & Scan, 4:3 Letterbox, 16:9 Wide or Wide/Auto with the TV System being set to either PAL or NTSC. The 1080p 24 Output provides users with a 24 frame per second output rate. The HDMI Options Menu classifies Color, Space and Deep Color that can be set independently for HDMI 1 and 2. Also you get to enable the Video Only option for HDMI 1.
This takes care of configuring the speaker of the unit allowing each channel to be configured to large or small, adjusting the same for level and distance. Interestingly, we may add, looks like no other speaker could be set farther than the two front speakers, which include the sub-woofer too. Well, this is applicable only to the analog outputs and doesn’t really affect the LPCM outputs or digital bit stream.
With a network connection being active, the Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu Ray Player automatically connects to the Oppo server for updates. The same is also possible by manually checking for updates or using the disc image or the USB to update the player. The possibility for the manufacturers to incorporate updates every now and then and encountering issues is definitely a huge advantage in few of the latest BD players.
To begin with, the picture quality is beyond doubts incredible with rich and deep colours. But what really gets you, is the player’s capability to depict detail and depth bordering on photorealism. In terms of animated content, the space and distance between stuff flying is easily discernable without causing much stress on the eye. The 3D experience for movie buffs would be an absolute treat for the eyes when things flying on the scene come at a ripping speed protruding from the screen aiming right at you.
The player’s decoding ability is also equally impressive. The audio looks to be amazingly balanced with the dialogues, music and sound effects fitting into their own frequencies in the broad sound-stage. Bass looks to be controlled and tight along with sounding deep. All of these elements seem like they flow without a glitch to and from the speakers eventually disappearing into the sound-stage leaving users with an airy cinematic feel of sight and sound. Looks like the BDP-93 certainly knows to get its job done, no matter what!
Again for users who are not so keen on going 3D, you might like to know that the BDP-93′s 2D performance is no way inferior. Visually striking objects and colours are portrayed taking even the minutest vivid detail into account like the depth of shadows and transparent outlining of trunks, ranches and trees. Fast moving images carry some amazing clarity that is a rarity these days. Both action sequence and dialogue delivery seem to go hand in hand demonstrating the player’s competent audio decoders. The 24-bit/48-kHz uncompressed PCM along with delivering complex and dense noise, also takes care of the resolution and clarity of the soundtrack. To conclude, the BDP-93 proves itself to be a pro in terms of its audio quality.
The biggest advantage of the BDP-93 Region Free Blu Ray Player is its capability to handle multitude of audiophile formats namely DVD-Audio, SACD, Dolby lossless bitstreams (TrueHD) and DTS (Master Audio). Also it seems to handle FLAC and WAV files that were kind of problematic in the BDP-83. Again, users wishing to use analog outputs can rest assured, as the player’s Analog audio quality is more than decent. It would be ideal to choose the HDMI interface with regards to DSD, multi-channel PCM and other bitstreams, as it yields fabulous results. Music fanatics would beyond doubt love the BDP-93 for the copious audio formats that it supports.
Access time supposedly varies widely among different BD players. Also it is considered a vital performance metric while choosing a player. We must admit that Oppo beats its competitors hands down here. There was nothing much to complain on the BDP-83 in terms of access time and had a fairly good performance to its credit, but looks like the BDP-93 is all set to outperform its elder brother as majority of the discs thrown at it timed at an approximate 20% to 30%.
DVD Layer Switching Times:
Similar to BD boot time, many users might be interested to know if BDP-93 has any significant noticeable delays while executing a DVD layer switch. Well, the answer to this is a big NO, as the Oppo BDP-93 seems to handle every single disc thrown at it perfectly well with short layer times, that are barely noticeable; a definite improvement in comparison to the BDP-83!
Along with 3D video playback, the BDP-93 is actually a universal player that is compatible with almost majority of the disc formats, including the not so popular DVD-Audio and SACD discs. Also you can enjoy Netflix and Blockbuster movie on Demand streamed straight into your home theater. Oppo is looking out to increase its video partners going forward in an effort to boost the streaming experience.
Also in response to user’s demand, Oppo has decided to support majority of the media and file formats, namely Audio CD, DVD, AVCHD, HDCD, Kodak Picture CD, DivX, MP4, MKV, and more importantly the 24-bit/192KHz WAV and FLAC files. Those of you wishing to use a high-end AV receiver display or external video processor, there is the “Source Direct” mode on offer for the same that sends out the original video/audio content from the discs with no further processing or alteration.
As already mentioned, video processing happens via the “Marvell Kyoto-G2 video processor” together with the second-generation Qdeo technology offering options for enhancement, namely intelligent colour, video noise reduction, edge enhancements, and compression artifact reduction. It proves to be very handy with reducing noise in videos that is apparent with streaming content.
The BDP-93 has various levels of aspect ratio control along with image zooming. This includes a vertical stretch mode for users possessing a 2.35:1 Constant Image Height (CIH) projector. An exclusive subtitle shift feature offers to shift the subtitle up/down, thus enabling users to see all subtitle text while using the 2.35:1 CIH display.
Few other conventional features go on to include DVD Up-Conversion, True 1080/24p video together with support for contemporary audio codecs like the DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. Additionally, it also supports bitstream output of DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD via the HDMI 1.4a output. Also it internally decodes Hi-Res audio codecs into LPCM and produces the same via HDMI/7.1ch analog audio output terminals.
The Oppo BDP-93 comes with full parts and Labour warranty for 2 years from the original date of purchase. Registering the product with Oppo is mandatory in order to avail of the same with the registration form being available for download in the official website http://www.oppo-bluray.co.uk/customer-services/warrenty/
- Beats most of the high-end Blu-ray players hands down.
- Outstanding video quality
- Wi-fi enabled
- Dual HDMI outputs, flexible
- DLNA networking needs improvisation
- Lacks Hulu Plus
- No automatic Home Menu
So to conclude, guess we have to get a touch cynical to point flaws up front, but then eventually tell you this is a great player and quite an easy choice for the price you pay. Stand out features include ability to stream from the likes of Netflix and Blockbuster, excellent video processing, dual HDMI 1.4a output and a solid build. The cynical side will suggest improvements in the audio and some user interface subtleties (a demonstrative logo screen that comes up on eject while we could’ve been served with a more user-friendly Home screen) but then the positives far outweigh these points. Go for it.
Oppo BDP-93 Blu Ray Player – Technical Specification Table
|Model Name||Oppo BDP-93|
|Product Type||Blu-Ray 3D player|
|Form Factor||Table top|
|Dimensions H x W x D||7.9 cm x 43 cm x 31.1 cm|
|Weight||4.9 kg (10.8 lbs)|
|Full HD 1080p Resolution||Yes|
|True 24p Video||Yes|
|Disc Types||BD-Video, Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio,
AVCHD, SACD, CD, HDCD, Kodak Picture CD, CD-R/RW,
DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL, BD-R/RE
|Operating Temperature||5 °C to 35°C|
|Operating Humidity||15% to 75% No condensation|
|Audio Characteristics||Frequency: 20Hz – 20kHz (±0.3dB), 20Hz – 96kHz (±2.0dB)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >110dB (A-weighted)
THD+N: < 0.002% (1kHz at 0dBFS, 20kHz LPF)
|Audio Codecs||Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital,
Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
and DTS Digital Surround
|File Formats||AVCHD, MP4, DivX, MKV, Jpeg, FLAC, WAV|
|Video Characteristics||Composite Video Amplitude: 1.0Vp-p (75O)
Component Video: Y: 1.0Vp-p (75O), Pb/Pr: 0.7Vp-p (75O)
|BD Profile||BD-ROM Version 2.4 Profile 5 for 3D (also compatible with Profile 2,
Profile 1 Version 1.0 and 1.1)
|Internal Storage||2GB (Approximately 1GB available for BD-Live persistent
storage. Actual storage varies as per system usage)
|Output||Analogue Audio: 7.1ch, 5.1ch, or stereo
Digital Audio: Coaxial, Optical
HDMI Audio: Stereo, up to 7.1ch high-resolution PCM,
up to 5.1ch DSD, bitstream or LPCM conversion of Dolby Digital,
Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS,
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Analogue Video: Composite, Component Video (Y/Pb/Pr, 480i/480p,
720p/1080i available for non-restricted content only)
Digital Video: HDMI with HDCP (PAL576i/576p/720p/
1080i/1080p/1080p24 NTSC: 480i/480p/720p/1080i/1080p/1080p24)
|Key Features||Blu-ray 3D Playback
Video Processing by Marvell’s Qdeo technology
Dual HDMI 1.4a Outputs
Supports Netflix Instant Video Streaming
Fast Loading & Response Times
BD-Live & BONUSVIEW
Plays SACD & DVD-Audio Discs
USB 2.0 for Media Playback
Supports 24/192kHz FLAC & WAV files
eSATA Port for media playback from Hard Disks
|Power Supply||100V – 240V, 50/60Hz AC|
|Power Consumption||35W (0.5W Standby)|