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Oppo BDP-93 review: Oppo BDP-93

Performance

As you'd expect for a premium Blu-ray player, the Oppo performs at the top of the pack in video terms, even if it's not designed to be the last word in audio fidelity — but then you have the BDP-95 for that.

Loading a disc into the BDP-93 you'll find it surprisingly zippy, as it's able to load up the Vantage Point test disc in just 29.67 seconds. This puts it ahead of most of the 2010 pack, and it's twice as fast as the PlayStation 3.

Image quality was excellent, whether it was an upscaled DVD or Blu-ray the Oppo was able to unearth plenty of detail without resorting to all-out noise. When it was fed a Blu-ray diet of Tom Cruise, the BDP-93 spat out only smooth visuals with a lack of moire effects on Mission Impossible III. Colour and black levels were also fine, and when pushed with our synthetic tests the player demonstrated an ability to handle a wide variety of sources with panache.

Following on with the 3D disc, Monsters vs. Aliens, we couldn't see any artefacts, such as ghosting, introduced by the player and motion was handled well.

While the Oppo does well with HD sources, many a lesser machine falls down when asked to handle DVDs. Not so the BDP-83, with the device doing an excellent job cleaning a noisy European copy of the Wim Wenders classic Wings of Desire. While the player wasn't able to handle the moire in the opening shots of Seabiscuit, nothing we've seen yet can.

As we mentioned previously, audio isn't the main focus of this player, and if you have a decent receiver/DAC we'd use that instead. When used as a network device (in the vein of the Cambridge Audio NP30) we found that the player wasn't as easy to use and that music had a mid-range-like hash that the dedicated system didn't exhibit. Bass was well controlled, however.

Surround sound quality was good, though the on-board doesn't have the sparkle of a decent receiver, and the rear channels were a little reticent. We also found that vocals were a tad nasally, but still comprehensible.

Conclusion

When it arrived on the scene, the BDP-83 was a premium player, but offered a lot of performance in a field of similarly priced machines. But time has passed, other players have dipped below AU$200 while the Oppo has stayed at the same price.

Yes, it offers a different feature set than the Sonys and LGs of this world, but, unfortunately, some of them simply aren't accessible by Australians. If you are looking for image quality, however, and when seeking a Blu-ray player you definitely should, then the Oppo BDP-93 still does a superb job. In this market, though, it's just not the superstar its predecessor was.

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