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CNET First Look
CNET First Look
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>> Matthew Moskovciak: Hi. I'm Matthew Moskovciak, Senior Associate Editor at CNET.com, and we're here with the Oppo BDP83. This is the Blu-Ray player that home theater enthusiasts have been waiting for, and it actually lives up to the hype. Now, this is a universal disc player, which means that on top of Blu-Rays, DVD's, and CD's, it'll also play back DVD audio discs and SACD's. Now those may be dead formats, but a lot of people still have collections of those discs, and they want to listen to them in the full resolution, and this player allows you to do that. On top of that, it has a brushed-metal face plate, and the cabinet feels really solid. Just overall you feel like this unit is built to last. It weighs about 11 pounds, which is double what a normal Blu-Ray player weighs. The included remote has a nice design too. It has large buttons that are logically positioned, and the one thing that we really like is that it's back lid, which we don't find on a lot of Blu-Ray player remotes. If you look around back, you'll see just about every type of connection that you could want including 7.1 analog outputs, which are great if you have an older non-HDMI receiver, and you still want to listen to high-resolution audio. You'll also find another USB port and some additional connections for a home automation system such as an RS232 port and an IR input and output. Now what really makes the Oppo standout from the competition is its performance. Between the disc loading and the overall operational speed, the Oppo is the fastest Blu-Ray player that we've tested. While it may not seem like a lot, when you're using the player a lot, and you're putting discs in and out, it really does make for a nicer experience, especially compared to some of the older Blu-Ray players which can take a very long time to load discs. As for image quality, the Oppo is outstanding in this regard too. On Blu-Ray movies, it passed every single test pattern that we threw at it, and on actual movies, it looked fantastic as well. Now the image quality difference between this player and other top-performing Blu-Ray players really isn't that large on standard movies that you're going to buy. However, if you're the kind of person that needs that last smidgen of performance, you're going to find it on the Oppo Blu-Ray player. There is an even bigger difference in performance when it comes to DVD's. In terms of Blu-Ray players that we've tested, the Oppo BDP83 does the best job of taking your standard def DVD's and making them look nice on your HD TV. Now while we mostly loved almost everything about the Oppo, there are some missing features. It doesn't have built-in WiFi like you're going to find on the PS3 Slim or LGBD390, and it also doesn't have any streaming media services like Netflix or, or Pandora which you find on LG's and Samsung's Blu-Ray players. Also, at $500, it's relatively expensive if you're comparing it to, say, the PS3 Slim or BD390, and most home theater buyers are actually going to get more value out of those lower-priced players. However, if you're looking into get absolutely everything out of your existing disc-based media, the Oppo BDP83 is the player for you. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET.com, and this is the Oppo BDP83.
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