The Oppo BDP-83 is widely held to be one of the best-performing Blu-ray players on the market, and we've been impressed enough with its image quality that we use it as the reference player in all our Blu-ray player reviews. Still, it costs $500, which is out of reach for most buyers.
The Oppo BDP-80 initially appears to be an attractive "sweet spot" product, costing $290 with almost all the same functionality as the BDP-83. Looking closer, however, we just couldn't find enough value to justify the $290 price tag, as it lacks any streaming media features and built-in Wi-Fi, plus its performance wasn't anything out of the ordinary.
To be fair, Oppo doesn't intend for the BDP-80 to be used as a standalone player; instead, the company offers it as a cheaper option if you intend to use an outboard video scaler. Though scaler users seeking an Oppo will probably be satisfied with the BDP-80, people without scalers who just want an Oppo, but can't afford the BDP-83, have plenty of better options
Oppo's Blu-ray players have more industrial-looking design compared with the sleek, glossy black boxes common among major brands. The BDP-80 feels built to last, coming in at 7.7 pounds, which is quite a bit more than, say, the 4.4-pound LG BD570. Oppo's front panel has a brushed-metal finish, with the disc tray located in the center and the directional pad on the far right.
The BDP-80's user interface is much simpler than what you'll find on most competing players, largely because it lacks any kind of streaming media services. Once the player boots up, you'll be greeted by just the Oppo logo--no icons or menus to click through.
The 7.1 analog outputs are a nice step-up for those who haven't upgraded to an HDMI-capable receiver and still want to take full advantage of the high-resolution soundtracks offered on Blu-ray. Of course if you're serious about your analog audio, be sure to check out the Oppo BDP-83SE, which features superior analog audio performance.
The remote's layout is nearly identical to the step-up BDP-83, although the keys aren't backlit; instead they glow in the dark for low-light scenarios. We liked the button layout, particularly the large buttons and the central placement of the directional pad. Yes, we still would like a little bit more button separation and a more modern design, but those are nitpicks.