on October 30, 2013
I've owned an Oppo 103 but returned it thinking this Darbee model would be better as it was only $100 more. Just like the 103, everything is the same right down to the manual. I have mixed feelings about the "Darblet" in this unit "improving" my picture. I read up on it and know you need to keep its settings low for the most part or you can introduce artifacts. On my VT60 plasma I noticed artifacts even on its lowest settings from 5-25--it goes all the way up to 120 but I never liked it that high. I really was expecting to be blown away by this Darbee chip but honestly it did not impress me. It gave the image more subtle detail that I never felt I missed when I switched it on or off. I also used this on my sony 4K bravia xbr900 and was more impressed with the Sony's 4k scaler versus the Darbee processing which does processing at 1080p and not 4K. In the end, I just want a quieter picture( less noise and artifacts) and the Marvel! chip does a better job in that regard imo. I also noticed motion blur on Iron Man 3 blu ray when I used the Darbee setting on low (5-20) and noise reduction engaged on the 103D. That was the last straw as my VT60 plasma never blurs. Just to confirm I played Iron Man 3 in my ps3 and motion blur was gone. In fact, the blu ray even looked sharper (more pop) than the 103D which was never the case with my 103 which always seemingly outperformed my ps3, especially in sound. I'm not trying to bash Oppo but for me, the 103 is all I will ever need and I find the Marvell chip to be a better solution---and a $100 cheaper than the Darbee model! I could live with this model if it employed both video chips but for me the Darbee felt like a gimmick rather than an improvement from the 103 model. If you have never owned an Oppo, I'm sure you will find enjoyment in the picture quality though with or without Darbee engaged. You be the judge.
on October 30, 2013
I've had my eye on an Oppo BluRay Player for years, but it wasn't until this new Darbee unit became available that I finally was pushed over the edge to actually ordering one. Had an early Oppo DVD player that is still working (or so I'm told ... it's at my Mom's house with most of my old DVDs).
I ordered mine from Oppo because I wanted to get their remote IR extender unit included in the box, which is an option if you order from Oppo directly.
As a BluRay player, the Oppo 103D is fantastic. Amazing detail and quality, and on my calibrated (if a bit old) Panasonic 58V10 Plasma, it brings out detail I've been missing. It's amazing. Five Stars.
As a video processor? It's got a bit of growing up to do. But Oppo is fantastic with support and I have no doubt these minor issues will be corrected.
I contacted Oppo support a number of times after I received the player, and they were unbelievably responsive. Even replied to an email after hours on a Sunday. So one extra star there. Six stars.
There is a known issue that sometimes happens to video input from another source (in my case, a TiVo), where the 103D will freeze during channel changes or when turning on for the first time. It seems to happen once or twice a night, but they have promised a firmware update soon. For instance ... if switching from a 1080P source to a 720P source, it will occasionally freeze with a black or static screen. It's rare enough that it's not a big deal (solved with a player reboot) but it bears mentioning. So one star minus, bringing it back down to five stars for me. :)
The Darbee effect is very good for the majority of what I watch ... TV and streamed video. It adds dimension pop to an image and doesn't produce noticable artifacts unless I set it above 65% ... it's very good for TV. But I can see how someone might not appreciate the processing on a BluRay. I first tested the Darbee effect out with Pacific Rim and loved the slightly added pop.
Don't expect the Darbee processing to be a massive difference and you'll be happy. Is it worth $100 over the standard 103? Hard to say. It is for me, but I wouldn't begrudge anyone for saving some money and going with the 103.
Another note about the build quality ... it really is outstanding. Brushed black metal, built like a tank. Love it.
on January 25, 2014
Update April 2014.
Unfortunately I ended up having a defect in my Oppo. I'm writing this in case anyone else sees the same issue. When I copied a couple of my movies on DVD+DL Discs the Oppo froze up when it got to the dual layer change point. It would then give an error message stating that there was no disc detected. I called Oppo service and they thought it might be related to either the media or the software that I was using to copy the disc. They asked me to send in the disc for them to analyze. After they received it, they told me that it was playing fine on their machines, so I needed to send my machine in for repair. It was strange because it would play every other piece of media I had just fine. This same media played fine on my PS3 and Toshiba HD DVD player so I also suspected it was a problem with the Oppo player.
To Oppo's credit, they did pay for the shipping of the machine back and I trust they will be able to sort the problem out. Of course I am disappointed that I have to be without my machine for nearly three weeks but I guess a defect can happen to any manufacturer; even Oppo. Even so - this shows that even Oppo doesn't build totally bullet proof machines.
I was looking for a Blue Ray player that could also play DVD Audio and SACD Discs as I have many in my collection. I previously had to have a separate, older, Panasonic Blue Ray player to play my DVD Audio Discs and a Sony CD/SACD player. I wanted to consolidate both into one player as my Panasonic Blue Ray player was becoming very outdated and slow.
The only player on the market that could do this was the OPPO 103. I thought the price was a little steep but, considering all the positive reviews on OPPO and their excellent customer service, I decided I would spend the money and get the Darbee Edition.
The product came extremely well packaged. Other Companies should take a lesson from OPPO here. In fact the presentation of openning the box was excellent with a very nice fabric cover protecting the actual unit.
The second thing that impressed me was that I found an actual printed manual in the box. Many Companies are eliminating this due to cost these days. Not only that, but this is the best written manual I have ever seen in any product. The directions are clear and explain everything the unit does in detail. Bravo!
The unit was easy to setup even without the directions. The first thing I did was to connect everything to the unit including two HDMI outputs to my Yamaha Aventage Receiver. One output was for my Blue Ray and DVD playing and the second one was to output DSD digital SACD streams directly to my receiver as the first HDMI output will not do this. I had to change a setting in the menu options on the video outputs in order to accomplish this. (Which was clearly documented by OPPO)
The unit then told me there was a firmware update available which it updated over the network. I also burned an ISO disc of the latest beta firmware and installed that. Both processes went without a hitch.
The unit played everything I threw at it. The first thing I noticed was how fast everythingn loaded and played. Blue Ray and DVD playback were both excellent. I turned on the Darbee effect on a couple of my DVD's and noticed a nice improvement. As others said, it won't blow you away, but does offer a very subtle enhancement. Having the demo function on the Darbee is nice as you can see the visual effect of having the processing on and off with your own content. I haven't had a chance to try it out on some of my better Blue Ray discs yet. Others have said the Darbee effect is best with better content.
The unit also played my DVD-Audio and SACD discs without a hitch. I am extremely impressed that it will output a pure DSD stream directly to my Yamaha receiver. There, the Yamaha processes the audio stream directly to it's DAC's. This produced excellent results. (My Yamaha receiver uses quality 192khz Burr Brown DACS so the audio results are impressive)
Next I attached a large hard drive of FLAC files directly to the units USB connection. Once again - it played these files with great results. My only niggle is it is quite difficult to navigate through hundreds of FLAC files using the Oppo and it does not seem to have a search function or the ability to create playlists. I have a media server which can do those tasks so this is not a big deal to me. It does appear to read playlists created by Foobar. It would be nice if they also incorporated this ability with Media Monkey, which is my main play back application.
I also have a nice collection of HD DVD discs which the Oppo cannot play. It would be nice if it could also play these discs, but in fairness to oppo, HD DVD is no longer a viable standard.
I just can't find any real negatives with this player. In fact, I couldn't find a single player that could do everything the Oppo 103D can. There really wasn't any competition. Adding the Darbee video processing was a very nice bonus for the extra money and I'm sure this will play dividends as the Darbee software can be upgraded through future firmware updates.
The build qulaity of this product is excellent. Fit and finish are quality and its obvious that OPPO spent a lot of time engineering this product designing it close to perfection.
The product just gets out of the way and plays your media content the way it is supposed to.
I'm very impressed and I'm not easly impressed with products these days. I don' regret spending the money on this product at all. In fact, for everything it does so well, Oppo could have priced it higher.
on February 7, 2015
Some people think $600 is a bit much for a run of the mill blu ray player but this product is much more than that.
- Provides reference scaling, de-interlacing and overall video processing through it's two extra HDMI Inputs. If you have a cable, satellite or a tivo box- just set it to native output and the Oppo does the rest. If you have a media player and have a lot of dvd rips plug it into the other HDMI Input and the results are the same. This basically replaces a quality video processor like the DVDO Edge Green which retails for about $400
- Integrated Darbee which is the icing on the cake will bring out the details and make the image crisper and sharper without adding any artificial artifacts. That's $200 savings right there.
- Amazing picture quality if you have Netflix, Amazon prime, Vudu, Youtube and other streaming apps with the Oppo 103D doing the upscaling and darbee in the mix. Trust me once you see how these apps look you'll never go back to watching them with the old inferior way.
- It does both DLNA and SMB network sharing from a NAS or external hard drive reliably and efficiently. I have a Toshiba 5TB External Hard Drive attached to it via USB and it has played every kind of format I've thrown at it without any issues. I will be upgrading to the 8TB version recently released by Seagate very soon.
- Reference audio playback including SACDs and any other high res lossless audio.
- If you have a Sound bar with HDMI connectivity, the 103D will easily decode all the lossy and lossless audio formats like DTS-HD-MA and Tru-HD once you connect it to the Sound bar. I have the Vizio S5451w-C2 5.1 Home Theater Surround Sound bar which sounds fantastic with the Oppo in the chain handling all the decoding duties. No need to splurge for a very high end expensive sound bar if you have the 103D in the mix.
- Depending on your set up and needs, the 103D can act as a pre-amp if all you need is a simple 2.1 ch or a 4.1 surround sound system. Just plug in quality powered speakers like the Audioengine A5+ using the analog outs and enjoy great audio from your music/ movies. This is especially beneficial if you have a small living room. This type of set up will save you from purchasing an AV Receiver and instead helps you allocate your money towards speakers/ wires.
- Not interested in active speakers? Why you can a get a Pro Amp instead of an AV Receiver and configure quality passive speakers up to a 7.1 ch format using the analog outs.
Adding up the math, the 103D is truly a swiss army knife that easily exceeds its $600 asking price once you realize the many things it can do. The amazing thing is that it does each one extremely well. A few cons: There are some issues with Netflix log in with the player requiring you to sign back in once every often and the player doesn't have an HDMI pass through mode. The first I'm sure will be addressed in a future firmware update (not really a big issue even if it doesn't) and the latter isn't really a requirement for many including myself although it should have still been included. As mentioned by many, Oppo's customer service support is unique and one of a kind that you can't find anywhere today. They are fast, responsive (even on weekends) and extremely helpful releasing firmware updates in a continuous cycle to this day.
I will close this out by saying that the Oppo 103D is the hub of my entertainment system and is easily the best hardware that I have ever owned. I've had it since shortly after it's release a little over a year ago and it continues to wow me to this day.
on March 15, 2014
This is the sort of purchase that has one scrambling through their collection, revisiting older favorites. Finer image details now become more apparent. DVD up conversion is rock solid. I have yet to find anything that trips it up. Mixed film-video content in a rapidly edited music video? No problems here. Multi-channel hi-res music playback is seamless now, with my small SACD and DVD-A collections getting new leases on life.
This is also the fastest, smoothest player I've used. Laugh all you want, but I was pleasantly surprised when I realized I could enter 'Setup' mode during playback and adjust on the fly. This player loads discs possibly even faster than my old PS3. Even my worst-case test disc 'T2: Skynet Edition' loads without incident now.
There are some nits. The network apps are on the sluggish side, and I'd like to enable DVD 24p mode more easily during playback instead of diving through the menu each time out...but knowing Oppo, these will be fixed by the end of the month.
Darbee processing is the real deal. It can be easy to crank it up to 85% and kill the image, but at the 30% to 40% range (my display's sweet spot seems to be 34%), it subtly adds a level of detail that goes missing once turned off. It doesn't play well with overly sharpened images, so display settings can play a large part in its effectiveness vs. inducing artifacts.
on March 10, 2014
Bought this unit to potentially replace the well performing PS3, which within its own right, is a fabulous BD played and CD player, in addition to everything else it can do. In the end, the PS3 will remain, but will be used for gaming. The Oppo bdp 103d is quicker to load most bluray discs (by only 3 or 4 seconds though); very quiet (at times, I am sure that the PS3 will spit out the discs as it goes through the loading process and various menus etc); and the sound quality it produces both on bluray discs and CD's surpasses the PS3 by a margin. Difficult to describe as sound quality can be very subjective, and there may be a placebo affect in just having dropped over $600 for a bluray player; however, my envious brother-in-law agreed as well in a side by side comparison. Both units are hooked up to a Yamaha RXA-1030 amp with Mission and Yamaha speakers all around, and were compared with the units processing the data and PCM feed to the amp, and with the RXA-1030 processing the signal through bitstream.
I know that technically, the sound should be identical in the bitstream aspect as the units takes the data and send it to the amp for processing. However, the easiest way to describe it would be that the sound coming out of the Oppo player seems to do so effortlessly; if that word could even be used to describe sound. The bass response is sharper and the voices, instruments seem just a bit "fuller" as if the speakers are breathing. Very difficult to descibe and may not be noticeable to all ears. This was evident in both unit and amp processing comparisons. The PS3 seemed to produce bass where it didn't belong.
The picture quality side by side without Darbee presence and factory settings on the Oppo looked identical. This is again going through the Yamaha amp, but in straight through mode where the amp does not process the video signal, which is sent to a 65" VT series Panasonic plasma on THX cinema mode. However, with minor tweaks on the Oppo's internal picture processing and Darbee high-def settings at 50% (artifacts start after 50% or so depending on what is being played), there was a major difference between the 2 players. Both players were tested with Pacific Rim, Avatar, and Avengers (three reference quality BDs) and synchronized, permitting us to jump between inputs on the amp to compare the same scene/sound. The Oppo made the picture look crisper with greater depth than the PS3, not that the latter had a bad picture by any stretch, but it lacks internal setting to slightly modify what's going to the TV. Even having previously adjusted the picture setting on the TV, I had not been able to achieve the picture quality I easily achieved with the Oppo player, and the Darbee Visual Presence improved it a bit more on top of that. I was skeptical, but the additional $100 for the Darbee edition is a bargain if you're trying to get the best picture possible from your TV. At this point, I simply do not feel that I could get any better picture with the combination I have. I would have my Satellite feed going through the Oppo unit for processing if it wouldn't complicate things for my wife whenever she wants to watch regular programing :-).
The DVD upscaling is also superb. It certainly won't reach bluray quality, but certainly better than anything I've ever seen for 1080p upscaling.
Every review ever written about the quality build of the Oppo units are accurate, so I won't go there. It is one solid piece of machinery! However, through the years, we have all owned various DVD and BD players which had their own set of features; from digital time display (which can easily be changed from elapsed to remaining time, and dimmed according to preference), on the fly zoom, slow fwd/rev, back lit remote, quick access to subtitles (rather than having to go into the root menu), quick access to audio options, quick access to resolution quality, ability to change output volume from the remote, and whatever feature that you can think of that you've ever enjoyed, the Oppo has (actually I am lying-the PS3 non-gaming slim remote has a 15 second reverse jump button that the Oppo doesn't have). I think that's where the price point of the unit becomes justifiable; not just for the picture and sound. It makes a great addition to any higher end home theatre system, albeit a bit pricey, but well worth it considering everything it brings to the table....or to your component stand.
on April 12, 2014
I've had other Oppo products - DVD players. I had a Panasonic Blu-ray player. It loaded discs very fast - but with Netflix Blu-ray discs via mail, I'd go through phases where I'd seem to get a few in a row that would get stuck or skip. Scratched - not dirty. I wondered if going to the Oppo BDP-103D would fare any better.
1) I've had the Oppo since Dec 20, 2013 and have not had one disc cause a problem with locking up or skipping.
2) The Darbee feature, which works for any input, not just discs, set to 32% is really great. It definitely makes a subtle but none-the-less notable difference bringing out details. It is NOT anything like "simply raising the sharpness." I'm very happy.
3) I also noticed a big difference with the sound quality compared to the Panasonic Blu-ray player. My system is in a heavily acoustically treated room (sound absorption). I could easily tell the difference in the sound quality from the Oppo. I know it's all digital, but it's still susceptible to digital artifacts such as jitter. I gave the Panasonic to my mom. : )
4) The speed of the built-in apps - I use the Netflix streaming app, is significantly faster. I believe this Oppo has either dual processors or dual-core processor. Either way, the interface is very quick compared to the Panasonic. Yes, the Panasonic was great for the price. But, is there a difference between them regardless of price? Yes. Definitely.
no - I do not work for or have any investments with Oppo. I just like their stuff. Well built.
on January 29, 2014
I'm a Senior. I'm now retired. But I've been into electronics and computers most of my life. I once owned a Computer business in Honolulu for 15 years where I custom built servers/networks & did software engineering. I started on the IBM 360 Mainframes and went through the computer revolution. As a young man I worked at LTV and learned Avionics - knowledge I used a few years ago in the Avionics department of Columbia/Cessna aircraft. I've been through all the changes in various players. Vinyl records, to cassette's to 8-track tapes, CD's, Betamax/VHS, DVD's, Blu-ray, and I keep abreast of all the new technology whether its in cell phones or tablets or 3-D printing.
Why am I telling you this? It's because the ONE THING a Senior has is EXPERIENCE. And no matter how you slice it, I DO have experience. And my experience with the OPPO BDP-103D is excellent. I'm completely happy I bought this unit as it truly IS everything it says it is.
Let me tell you... back in November I purchased a Sony which turned out to be junk and I returned it. Similarly, I bought the Samsung and right out of the box I had problems. Picked up a Panasonic and went through HELL! The Panasonic is even PUSHING advertising on their boxes. Yep... Turn it on and the first thing one sees at the bottom is a different ad each time. Go to their Network to view YouTube or Netflix and there's another ad! That truly angered me to the depth of my soul. What do these companies think? That they own the product after it's sold? NOT! I OWN IT! It is mine! I'm tired of companies PUSHING advertising, app's and updates (some which break one's settings) without permission! When I buy a vehicle or TV or Blu-ray player or Cell Phone... it's MINE! I don't want any company trying to push ad's or update my equipment or track me WITHOUT my consent! Period!
The good news? The great news is I asked Oppo about this and in an email they promised they would NEVER push advertising to their customers and they would never update the software without their customers permission. To me that shows respect for their customers.
When I received the unit I was a little ill. I read the manual quickly, hooked everything up and the player worked flawlessly. I got a little confused about the Darbee processing and asked them a few questions about it via email as I had stepped on my glasses. I got back quick, comprehensive, and succinct responses! Exactly what I needed. These guys not only produce an excellent quality player... their Customer Service is excellent! It's old school! I can't tell you how appreciative I was for this. I mean, when I grew up, we had Customer Service all over America. Penny's, Sears, when one went to the gas station.. everywhere. Now Penny's and Sears are closing stores and may go out of business. I'm tired of pumping my own gas and servicing my cars and hanging on the phone for long minutes at a time just to talk to some dork in India! But not with OPPO. These guys are great!
Lastly, this player IS everything that it says it is. It IS everything other 5-Star reviewers have commented on. There's no sense in me covering all this ground once again. Bottom line: If you want the BEST player out there. If you want excellent Customer Service from people who respect their end users... pick up your Credit or Debit card right now and order this unit. You'll be so glad you did!
on January 12, 2015
The picture and sound are probably no better than what I got from the Oppo BDP-80 that this is replacing... until I kick in the Darbee effect. It's subtle but it definitely adds detail and dimensionality. It's good enough that I'm routing my satellite receiver and media player through it to use the Darbee effect on those as well. It also adds the ability to handle 3D Blu-rays, which I'm enjoying to a degree. And it plays all kinds of other video formats like AVI, MP4 and MKV, which are great for the video files that fall off the back of the Internet.
It also plays about every musical format I throw at it. In addition to CDs, HDCDs, SACDs & DVD-Audios, it can read music files of all kinds from an attached hard-drive (also allegedly from networked drives but I happen not to have used that yet). I've ripped most of my CD collection to 44.1 kHz, 16-bit FLAC files, my HDCD collection to 44.1 kHz, 24 bit (actually 20 bit, but my conversion program only likes 16-bit or 24-bit) files, my DVD-Audios to 48 kHz or 96 kHz, 24-bit stereo or multi-channel FLAC files and my SACDs to DSD 64 stereo or multi-channel files and it plays them all flawlessly and without having to mess with discs. Of course, it plays all the high-def (44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 or 192 kHz, 24-bit) FLAC files as well. I also have a handful of DTS CDs that I've converted to FLAC files and it plays them. It even plays my MP3 files, though I tend to only play those on my iPod. It handles audio files so well that I'm feeding them into it rather than my media player (a NetGear NeoTV 550), which can't handle the DSD files anyway.
So where does it fall short? Well, it doesn't play DSD files "gaplessly" which it does for everything else. However, Oppo seems good about firmware updates so I have hopes for the future on this. It doesn't show a cover art "wall" to select music from (it just uses text-based folder structures) like the NetGear did and that might be nice. On the other hand, the cover art "wall" took a 45-minute indexing each time I added another album on the NetGear and I can bypass that hassle with the Oppo. Hmmm... there's got to be something else to nit-pick about.
Nope, sorry. This, like the other two Oppo players I've owned, it top-quality gear, built like a tank, full of features and worth every penny I paid for it. Yes, you CAN by basic Blu-ray players for $50 now and so it seems freaky to pay $600 for one. But then, you can buy a Kia and Hyundai cheapie cars and you can buy a luxury car from Bentley or Rolls Royce or a high performance car from Ferraris or Lamborghinis and spend a LOT more. An Oppo player is a high performance player that is also a luxury player and is something that, while expensive, really doesn't break the bank for most folks.
on February 3, 2014
The build quality of this player is excellent. It has a nice, thick aluminum face plate and some heft to it. One awesome feature is that it has a nice front display that lets you know what setting the player is in. The Oppo 103D is very easy to setup and use. The remote has large buttons, two dedicated movie service buttons and it even lights up. Everything about this player screams quality. The player itself is excellent. I play many SACD's, DTS and DVD-Audio disc and there is a huge sound difference between this player and my PS3. I was using a Pioneer DV-59avi before it died on me. This was a 1200.00 player when it first came out. I would say that the analog section of the Oppo is a little better. I run my direct TV through the Darby chip for processing. On HD feeds it does bring out more detail in the picture and is nice to have. It's a great unit and I would but it again.