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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Oppo BDP-80

Design

No flip-down panel

Front-panel USB port

User interface

Home menu

Browsing videos

Settings menu

Music playback

Music browsing

Back panel

7.1 analog outputs

Remote

Included HDMI cable

Cloth bag

Side view

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
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Unlike some competing players, the BDP-80 lacks a flip-down panel in front of the disc tray.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
There's also a USB port on the front for easy access. The look won't appeal to everyone; it's more for gearheads than style-first buyers.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
If you press the "home" key you'll get a more traditional, but still spartan, menu for playing music, videos, and photos off an attached USB drive.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
Like everything else on the BDP-80, it's geared toward tech enthusiasts and lacks the eye candy that you get on competing players.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
The Oppo BDP-80 has tons of options to tweak the settings, compared with competing players.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
We were disappointed that our album art didn't show up, even though it was clearly included in the folder.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
The BDP80's AV connections are standard, with the exception of the 7.1 analog outputs.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The Oppo BDP-80 comes with an HDMI cable, which is a rarity.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Like every Oppo Blu-ray player, the BDP-80 comes packaged in a nice, soft tote bag.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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