Oppo BDP 95 Review - Part I

 
Review of the Oppo BDP 95

Specifications:



(The bits in bold are really exciting)

High Fidelity Audio Performance:

* SABRE32 Reference Audio DAC - The DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) is one of the most important components for digital audio playback. The SABRE32 Reference ES9018 from ESS Technology is the world’s best performing 32-bit audio DAC solution targeted for high-end consumer applications and professional studio equipment. With the ESS patented 32-bit Hyperstream™ DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, the SABRE32 Reference DAC delivers an unprecedented DNR (Dynamic Range) of up to 135dB and THD+N (Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise) of -120dB, the industry’s highest performance level that will satisfy even the most demanding audio enthusiast. The BDP-95 uses two ES9018 DAC chips - one for the 7.1-channel output, and another for the dedicated stereo output.
* Toroidal Power Supply - Custom designed and built by Rotel, the toroidal power transformer offers superior inrush current and much lower exterior magnetic field over traditional laminated steel core transformers. The BDP-95's toroidal linear power supply provides a very clean and robust power source to the critical audio components.
* Dedicated Stereo Output - The BDP-95 features a dedicated 2-channel analog output with specially optimized ES9018 DAC and output driving stages. Each output is driven by 4 DAC channels stacking together to achieve even greater audio performance.
* XLR Balanced Stereo Output - The stereo output offers both XLR balanced and RCA single-ended connectors. The balanced output features a true differential signal path all the way from the DAC to the 3-pin XLR connector. By transmitting a pair of differential signals, the balanced output provides better common-mode noise rejection and improves signal quality.
* 7.1-Channel Analog Output - Individual analog 7.1-channel surround outputs are ideal to connect to a 7.1-channel or 5.1-channel surround sound system. Powered by the ES9018 SABRE32 Reference DAC, the BDP-95 delivers an incredible and immersive multi-channel soundstage.
* Digital Optical and Coaxial Outputs - For simple and easy connection to more traditional A/V receivers, the BDP-95 features both optical and coaxial outputs for digital audio.
* Dolby® TrueHD - Dolby TrueHD delivers lossless studio master quality audio designed specifically for high definition entertainment. The BDP-95 supports bit-stream output of Dolby TrueHD via its HDMI 1.4a output. It can also internally decode Dolby TrueHD into LPCM and output via HDMI or the 7.1ch analog audio output terminals. (Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus audio formats are also supported.).
* DTS-HD Master Audio™ - DTS-HD Master Audio delivers an auditory experience that matches the lifelike images of high-definition video with up to 7.1 channels that are bit-for-bit identical to the studio master. The BDP-95 supports bit-stream output of DTS-HD Master Audio. It can also internally decode DTS-HD Master Audio and output via HDMI or the 7.1ch analog audio output terminals. (DTS-HD High Resolution Audio and DTS Digital Surround are also supported.)


Note - Although the BDP-95 shares the same playback platform as the BDP-93, it is designed from the ground up with a different chassis and many different components optimized for the analog audio performance. For this reason it is not possible to upgrade a BDP-93 to gain the BDP-95's enhanced audio performance by replacing parts.
Diversified Media Support:

* Blu-ray Disc - The high definition Blu-ray Disc™ format provides pristine video and audio quality for your home entertainment.
* Blu-ray 3D – Experience high definition in all new dimensions. The BDP-95 supports the new Blu-ray 3D specifications (3D television and glasses required).
* Netflix Instant Streaming Ready - Instantly watch movies streamed to your TV via the internet when connected to the OPPO BDP-95. (Unlimited membership required. US only)
* Blockbuster on Demand - The newest releases instantly from your couch! (Service available in the United States only)
* BD-Live & BonusVIEW - The BDP-95 supports BD-Live™ (Profile 2.0) and contains all necessary hardware - audio/video decoder, Ethernet and wireless networking, and 1GB of internal storage - for BD-Live. It also supports BonusVIEW (Profile 1.1) enabling "picture-in-picture" and audio features for viewing director or actor commentary while the main movie is playing.
* DVD-Audio - The BDP-95 plays DVD-Audio and supports both stereo and multi-channel high resolution audio programs. Users can select whether to play the DVD-Audio or the DVD-Video portion of the disc.
* SACD - The BDP-95 plays Super Audio CD (SACD) and supports both stereo and multi-channel high resolution audio programs. Users can select whether to output the DSD (Direct Stream Digital) signal in its native format over HDMI or convert it into high resolution PCM.
* Additional Disc & Media Formats - Additional disc and file formats, such as DVD, audio CD, HDCD, Kodak Picture CD, AVCHD, MP4, DivX, MKV, FLAC, WAV and other audio/video/picture files on recorded discs, USB or eSATA drives can be played back on the BDP-95.


Video

Unparalleled Video Quality:


  • Qdeo by Marvell - The BDP-95 incorporates Marvell's Kyoto-G2 video processor with the second generation Qdeo™ technology. Qdeo video processing delivers a truly immersive viewing experience by rendering quiet natural video free of noise and artifacts for all types of content. For high-quality Blu-ray content, the BDP-95 faithfully reproduces the program just as the director intended; for DVD, the up-converted picture quality bridges the visual gap from your current DVD library to Blu-ray discs; for network streaming and user-encoded content at a variety of formats and quality, the BDP-95 offers enhancement options including video noise reduction, compression artifact reduction, intelligent color, contrast, detail and edge enhancements. More Info
  • DVD Up-Conversion - Per-pixel motion-adaptive de-interlacing and advanced scaling transforms the standard definition image on DVDs to near high definition video quality. Additional Qdeo video processing options help to deliver a clearer, smoother, and true-to-life picture free of noise and artifacts.
  • Full HD 1080p Output - The BDP-95 features user selectable video output resolutions, including 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and up to 1080p 50 or 60Hz.
  • True 24p™ Video - Many Blu-ray Discs are recorded at 24 frames per second, the same frame rate as the original movie's theatrical release. The BDP-95 can faithfully redeliver the original frames using 1080p 24Hz output (compatible display required) for smoother motion and a flicker-free, film-like home theater experience.
  • Source Direct Mode - For users who wish to use an external video processor, high-end audio/video receiver or display, the BDP-95 offers a "Source Direct" mode. The original audio/video content on the discs is sent out with no additional processing or alteration.
  • Multiple Zoom Modes - The BDP-95 supports multiple levels of aspect ratio control and image zooming, including a vertical stretch mode for customers with a 2.35:1 CIH (Constant Image Height) display system. A unique subtitle shift feature allows the user to move the subtitle up and down, making it possible to see all subtitle text when using a 2.35:1 CIH display. (Blu-ray discs with BD-Java may prohibit zoom operation.)
  • Dual HDMI v1.4a Outputs - Two assignable HDMI v1.4a outputs are provided to capitalize on the optimum audio and video settings to all old, new, and future HDMI televisions and receivers. With the option of full audio and video output to 2 displays; or dedicate one HDMI for audio, the other for video, it promotes a high quality video and audio for both signal paths. The BDP-95 supports 3D and Deep Color modes on both HDMI output ports.



Most of the information above is available from the official Oppo Website:


Links to other reviews:


Comparing the Oppo:
Pictures





Introduction:

Oppo has emerged from being a small online firm with some value for money DVD players to one which still offers some value for money Hi Definition players but also for being audiophile maestros. And all this in the space of just a few years.

These days, they have left the super cheap model, (well they were never the cheapest) to embrace the giant killing model, where they offer good prices rather than great prices, and instead show that they have added quality audiophile components which offer a great musical listening experience, as well as retaining their traditional excellence in outputting high quality video for both SD DVDs and Blu Ray.

They came of age with the BDP 83, which was a nice piece of equipment for USD 499. And with the 9x series,  they now take the game to a higher level, especially with the BDP 95, which is touted as an audiophile’s Blu Ray player that offers an all-in-one device which excels in both audio and video.

Components:

The specs listed above will give you an idea of what goes into the “95” which is quite a long and impressive sheet. At 9kg or so, this baby has heft which will of course impress the sound per pound bunch, but this is backed up when you take the lid off and see the toroidal transformer. That’s something you don’t see even in some amps, so that’s quite welcome.

It may also mean a longer warm up time, but you may not need a fancy power conditioner with the 95.

One of the main highlights of the 95 will be the DACs built in and for those keen on knowing whats under the hood, here is a short write-up on it:

The critically acclaimed Sabre32 Reference DAC has become the industry’s benchmark for audio digital-to-analog conversion since its introduction in 2009 as the world’s highest performance 32-bit audio DAC. Unlike conventional sigma-delta (Σ∆) DACs, the Sabre32 Reference DAC incorporates innovative patented circuits to deliver spectacular music with an unsurpassed sound stage, with up to 135dB dynamic range and 0.0001% (-120dB) total harmonic distortion, and free from clock jitter common in digital audio systems. The patented circuits in the Sabre32 Reference DAC include the 32-bit HyperStreamTM modulator, capable of 100% modulation and unconditional stability, the RevolverTM Dynamic Element Matching which ensures the highest performance over an extremely wide audio dynamic range, and a Time Domain Jitter Eliminator to remove the digital jitter that causes distortion.
The Sabre32 Reference DAC supports either 8-channel or stereo conversion from a digital audio input (up to 500kHz sampling rate) in PCM, DSD or SPDIF formats, features click-free soft mute, volume control, de-emphasis, programmable zero detect, per-channel customizable roll-off filter characteristics and consumes less than 100mW.
The BDP-95 Universal Audiophile Blu-ray player uses two ES9018 Sabre32 Reference DAC chips - one for the 7.1-channel output, and another configured in Quad Differential Stereo mode for highest-performance stereo output in balanced or unbalanced formats. The BDP-95 is a significant upgrade from the previous BDP-83 Special Edition Blu-ray player employing the ES9016 Sabre32 Ultra DAC for stereo output and the ES9006 Sabre DAC for 7.1-channel output. “



**** WARNING ****

For those reading and using this in 220V environments, take note that the 95 comes with a voltage switch and it is set to 110V by default, so if you don’t heed the big orange sticker on the outside, you will have a dead 95 once you plug it in, unless you turn the switch to 220V!

Opening the box:

The packing is solid and those who have purchased the 83 before will be familiar with the attention to detail, the shopping bag holding the actual machine.

Open the machine and set it to 220V with the switch located in the rear and you are all set.

It comes with a CD-rom which you pop into the machine once you switch it on, and it does everything thing else by itself and viola, its DVD Code-Free.

The remote is the same one as the 83, which is illuminated, but not one of the best. The buttons are not as responsive and if you are a frequent user of the forward buttons, a better remote such as those from Logitech will be a good buy.

A HDMI cable, power cord and instructions are all included, and you won’t be too disappointed with how it was packed.

The player:

The 9kg heft shows when you lift it out of the box and you note that the important termainals are all gold-plated, and the panels have a reassuring tactile feel.

Equipment used:

B & W 805s
Musical Fidelity MF 5.5 250w stereo amp
PS Audio power cord for the MF 5.5
Oyaide power cord for the Oppo BDP 95
Anti-cables speaker cables
Oyaide interconnects.



**** note for region-free playback you will need to install or get a mod board ****
Some sellers will have theirs with the mod board done by the time the 95 is available for general release. This mod is much more complex than for the 83. Not for the faint hearted.


Starting up

The 95 comes with a CD-rom to get the DVD code free going and it responds quickly and from memory, as quick as the 83.

Within seconds, the code free fix is done and the CD rom is ejected. Then then allows us to see and hear the CD drawer slide out and the first impressions are good. The drawer comes out smoothly, and is pretty well built for a totally plastic job, although I must say the ones that came with my Marantz 8003 were slightly better. Even so, I would say it is a better one than the 8X series.

The response time for commands and load up time is commendably fast, but the wow factor is now lessened as most modern players now have a quick start mode, and can get you to the start up screen in pretty decent times too.

Nevertheless, you won’t feel too upset with the forward, skip and other functions, except the rather awful tactile feel of the remote.



I will leave the Oppo to warm up for a few days before proper auditions begin, but the initial impressions are ordinary out of the box, albeit not awful. It is connected to a pairing of the Musical Fidelity MF A 5.5 which gives out 250w per channel, and the  B &W 805s, which is a slightly warm but revealing speaker that is one of the top for your money under 5k. This pairing was superb for my older Oppo Nuforce Edition 83, so I expect nothing less.




I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Get The Gringo - movie review

Another day with the Neural X, and DTS-X, and I took out a disc from the not too distant past: Get The Gringo A relatively simple plo...