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 to 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 is plastic--differing from the brushed metal on the BDP-83 and BDP-83SE--with the disc tray located in the center and the directional pad on the far right. 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.
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.
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.
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. Like everything else on the BDP-80, it's geared toward tech enthusiasts and lacks the eye candy that you get on competing players. We were disappointed that our album art didn't show up, even though it was clearly included in the folder.
|Key Blu-ray features|
|3D Blu-ray||No||Onboard memory||1 GB|
The BDP-80's key features are a couple of steps behind the competition. At this price, all of the competing players from Sony, LG, Samsung, Vizio and Sony offer built-in Wi-Fi. Oppo also doesn't offer a standard true Wi-Fi dongle like the Panasonic DMP-BD85K does, but the company suggests using Asus' WBK-1 wireless network bridge kit, which has the advantage of not needing an existing wireless network. It's also worth pointing out at the Sony BDP-S570 and PS3 Slim are both slated to get firmware upgrades this summer to enable 3D Blu-ray playback, which the BDP-80 doesn't support.
|Streaming media features|
Beyond Wi-Fi and 3D, the BDP-80 also has no support for streaming media content. Again, every competing player offers streaming content like Netflix, even in their entry-level models. It's a huge omission in our book, as streaming media services are becoming one of the major reasons people buy Blu-ray players in the first place.
Oppo told us that the BDP-80 will be receiving a firmware update to enable experimental DLNA compatibility, for playback of video, photos and music stored on other devices on your home network, in the new few weeks. We didn't have a chance to test this feature, but we've had good experiences with other DLNA compatible devices. The BDP-80 is capable of playing a wide variety of formats off a connected USB drive, such as MKV, VOB, MP3 and JPG.
|Audio decoding capabilities|
|Dolby TrueHD||Yes||DTS-HD Master Audio||Yes|
|Dolby Digital Plus||Yes||DTS-HD HR||Yes|
The BDP-80 lacks common features like Wi-Fi and Netflix streaming, but it's the only player we're aware of at this price level that can be considered a universal disc player, with its ability to play back DVD-Audio and SACD discs, in addition to the standard trio of DVD, Blu-ray and CD formats. That feature won't appeal to the mainstream--both formats only barely still exist--but it's a nice plus for home theater enthusiasts who still want to listen to their high-resolution music collection and can't afford the more expensive BDP-83.
|HDMI version||HDMI 1.3||Stereo analog||Yes|
|Component video||Yes||Multichannel analog||7.1|
The BDP80's AV connections are standard, with the exception of the 7.1 analog outputs. That's 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.
|Ethernet||Yes||SD card slot||No|
|USB ports||2||RS-232 port||No|
The rest of the BDP-80's connectivity is standard. We appreciated that Oppo includes two USB ports (one front, one back), allowing you to make quick connections with the front port and have another drive connected more permanently, out of sight. Note that the BDP-80 lacks the RS-232 port that's included on the step-up BDP-83.
Blu-ray image quality
We have high expectations for any Blu-ray player that bears the Oppo badge, which may be why we felt a little disappointed with the BDP-80's Blu-ray performance. Don't get us wrong; it was still excellent overall. Most importantly, it passes all our standard program material tests, but it's ever-so-slightly behind the reference Oppo BDP-83, which passes more synthetic test patterns. Overall the BDP-80's image quality will be indistinguishable from the reference BDP-83 for all but the very pickiest videophiles.
All our testing was conducted via HDMI at 1080p/60, with the Sony Bravia KDL-55XBR8 display and Oppo BDP-83 and LG BD570 for comparison. If your display supports and correctly handles 24 frames per second output (also known as 1080p/24), you can largely ignore these tests as we find all players to have virtually identical 1080p/24 performance. For more information on our testing procedure, consult our full guide to how we test Blu-ray players. Home theater enthusiasts can also see more detailed testing results in our 2010 Blu-ray players comparison chart.
|Blu-ray image quality: test patterns|
|Film resolution||Pass||Dynamic range high||Pass|
|Video resolution||Fail||Dynamic range low||Pass|
|Text overlay on film||Pass||Luma multiburst||Pass|
|Cadence tests||7/8||Chroma multiburst||Pass|
|Chroma bug test||Pass|
The BDP-80 easily passed the majority of our standard test patterns, struggling only with some of the video-based tests and content using a 2:2 cadence. We were surprised to see it fail these tests--it is an Oppo, after all--but it wasn't a major concern, as video-based material is relatively uncommon, and program material with a 2:2 cadence is even rarer. The real takeaway is it passed the most important film resolution tests, which covers the vast majority of Blu-ray content available.
|Blu-ray image quality: program material|
|"Ghost Rider"||Pass||"Tony Bennett"||Pass|
|"M:I:III"||Pass||"NIN Live"; chapter 3||Pass|
|"Sunshine"||Pass||"NIN Live"; chapter 4||Pass|
Yes, the BDP-80 failed some test patterns, but it's hard to complain when it aced all the program material tests we threw at it. We were expecting to see some jaggies on the video-based "Tony Bennett: American Classic," but the BDP-80 didn't have any issues. It's certainly possible that the BDP-80 could show some very minor jaggies with other video-based titles, but we just didn't see it in our testing.
|Blu-ray operational speed (in seconds)|
|"M:I:III" | player on||14.04||"POTC" | until movie||72.69|
|"M:I:III" | player off | quickstart||n/a||"Spider-Man 3" | until movie||57.73|
|"M:I:III" | player off | no quickstart||17.72||"Sunshine" | chapter skip||11.79|
|"POTC" | past loading||28.35||CNET speed rating (composite score)||99|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
As you might expect, the BDP-80 offers nearly identical operational speed compared to the step-up BDP-83. It's not a standout performer in any specific speed test that we run, but it's consistently good, handling both movies with complex movies and simple menus quickly. The only area where the BDP-80 felt a little sluggish is when we were skipping chapters, but that's largely because we were spoiled by how fast the BDP-S570 felt. We don't think anyone will have any complaints with the BDP-80's operational speed.
|DVD image quality: test patterns and program material|
|Video resolution||Fail||"Star Trek: Insurrection"||Pass|
|Text overlay on film||Fail||"Invite Them Up"||Pass|
Though we were largely able to give the BDP-80 a pass on some of its minor Blu-ray performance shortcomings, we felt less forgiving for DVD image quality foibles. Yes, the BDP-80 passes the film resolution test pattern and proved its 2:3 pull down prowess on the "Star Trek: Insurrection," but it stumbled on the difficult "Seabiscuit" introduction and the video resolution test patterns. Compared to other players, we felt the BDP-80 was a slight step behind.
It's worth mentioning that Oppo doesn't intend for the BDP-80 to be used as a standalone device. The company clearly states that the player is to be used only to feed an onboard video processor to do the heavy image quality lifting. For that, we don't have any complaints with the BDP-80's performance, but if you're looking to get most of the standalone performance of the BDP-83 for less money, we didn't feel that the BDP-80 really delivered that at $290.
|Standby | quick start off||0.47 W||Standby | quick start on||n/a|
|Power on | watching movie||19.63 W||Power on | idling||16.09 W|
|Annual cost; quick start off||$1.65||Annual cost; quick start on||n/a|
Unlike many newer Blu-ray players, the BDP-80 lacks a quick-start mode and therefore by default uses very little power in standby mode. In comparison, the Sony BDP-S570 has an annual cost of $7.35 with its quick start feature enabled. The downside with the BDP-80 is that you don't have the option of faster load times, although, to be fair, the BDP-80 powers on very quickly without a quick-start mode.