You may not have heard of Oppo before -- it isn't a huge company -- but we've reviewed, and loved, several of its high-end DVD players. The company, based in China but with an emphasis on the US market, concentrates on quality, so its DVD players use excellent scaling hardware to get the best possible quality out of standard-definition material. As you can imagine, when the company unveiled its BDP-831 Blu-ray player, we were beside ourselves with excitement. Sadly, Oppo has recently announced this player won't be making the journey to Europe any time soon.
Reviewers of the US version -- known as the BDP-83 -- remarked that it was one of the fastest-loading players ever, with the same emphasis on high-quality video and audio as the company's DVD players. But in a statement on its UK store site, that was due to open at the same time as the Blu-ray player went on sale, Oppo broke the bad news. It said, "After careful evaluation of the resources available, it has been determined that the release of the Oppo BDP-831 Blu-ray Disc player in Europe will be postponed indefinitely."
As disappointed as we are by this, we can't help but applaud Oppo for having the decency to admit that it can't properly support European users. It would be far worse for people to buy the player, and to discover that updates aren't forthcoming or that warranty repairs can't take place because of a lack of resources.
We are, however, keeping our fingers crossed that Oppo can bring the UK and Europe a high-quality Blu-ray player with all the funky extras that its US machine offers. We're especially keen on SACD playback, profile 2.0 support and Anchor Bay VRS scaling.