Oppo BDT101CI Review
Benq W1070 for movie nights J
PS64D8000FM Samsung plasma TV
Marantz PM 11S3 : 2 channel stereo amp with HTbypass and 100W per channel driving the front pair of 804D
Oppo BR player BDP 101CI as CD transport and HT source
Rotel RMB 1585 – 200w X 5 driving the centre, side and back surrounds.
Marantz NA11S1 as a DAC and network player
Apple TV (Gen 1) X 2 for music and photos
HTM4s centre, Radius 90HD for front height
B&W 805s for rear back
Monitor Audio RXFX in dipole mode for side surrounds
JL Audio E112 (two units) located at right front and rear left
Anthony Gallo A'Diva for ceiling Atmos placement and "Voice of God" placement
QED XT Revelations for front and centre speakers
QED Micro speaker cable for the surrounds
Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI for Oppo to amp
Wireworld Chroma from amp to TV
AQ Forest HDMI cable - amp to TV and other sources
Audioquest Snake subwoofer cable
Blue Jean subwoofer cable
Wireworld Oasis 6 & 7 Interconnects
Wireworld Oasis 6 power cables
Assorted Xindak, PS Audio and other power cables
Assorted Xindak, PS Audio and other power cables
MK wall power sockets
Shunyata Venom Distributor and power cable 20A for high current items
Rhodium Right Angle Plug adapters for USA power cables
Auralex subdude platform and Mopads under centre speaker
Da lite screen
Glass optical cables
As usual the technical specs from their official website first:
The difference between the 101 and the 103 / 105:
- Universal disc format support including Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D1, DVD, DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD, CD, HDCD and more
- Upscaling to Ultra HD (4K) resolution
- VRS® (Video Reference Series) ClearView™ video processing
- Dolby® TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus decoding
- DTS-HD Master Audio™ decoding
- Bitstream output compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS-X
- Three USB ports for playback of media files2 (AVCHD, MKV, AVI, MP4, WAV, FLAC, APE, DSD, etc.)
- Ethernet port for BD-Live, firmware upgrade and home network media file playback
- True 24p™ video for Blu-ray encoded in 24Hz frame rate and optional conversion of DVD to 24p
- Multiple zoom modes
- Advanced picture control including video smoothing, detail and edge enhancement
- Premium 32-bit audio DAC by AKM
- Optical and coaxial digital audio outputs
- Rigid steel chassis and centre mounted disc loader with motion balance and vibration isolating mechanisms
- Back-lit remote control
Custom Installation Features
- Versatile modular design with many customised options
- One or two HDMI outputs via the additional HDMI output module
- Optional HDBaseT output module for long cable runs
- Stereo or optional 7.1ch analogue audio output module
- Optional rack mount kit
- Large front panel buttons with finger guards
- RS232 and IP control for system integration
- Switchable rear IR sensor for a clean IR blaster/emitter installation
- HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control)
- Three customisable picture adjustment presets
- Settings can be locked to prevent inadvertent changes
Features I like:
(The features in bold are the ones I really like)
In Stereo: AKM 4490 DAC – the best in the business
7.1 channel card uses the AKM AK4458 DAC
Solid drive, dampened and centrally mounted
Digital output: Coaxial & optical, so I can use this as a CD transport
Three USB outputs
VRS video chip
4k upscaling – well maybe…
Oppo remote control on your smart phone
Main chipset is a Mediatek MT8555 SOC
Internal Tru-Hd and DTS-MA decoding with output as LPCM
Things I dislike:
Remote feels really cheap – same one they have been using for a long long time.. (except no Netflix or other net function buttons)
No toroidal transformer – hey it’s cheap ..
No DVD code free
No USB 3.0
I have owned or used every single Oppo Blu Ray player ever made, and this is the latest addition.
It’s a late addition to their stables, given the imminent arrival of 4k Blu Ray. So why buy one now?
Well my Oppo 105 has seen good service, and I realized that most of the time, I just need a good transport, and I don’t use most of the other features, such as the DAC, 7.1 outputs or net streaming capabilities.
So actually this player makes more sense. And the fact that I can sell my older player and pay less for this player made it an interesting choice.
Some reviews online
The player is responsive, there are no clicks unlike the 105, and it runs just a tad cooler, perhaps due to the fact that there are less HDMI related boards inside. Apart from the cheesy remote control, it feels well screwed together, and it feels like it will last quite a few years. The drawer in particular feels quite solid.
The Oppo replaces the Oppo 105 and is a little shorter, but is still significantly taller than the 103, so if you need it to fit into a tight space, don’t get this. There are no fans, so the extra height probably helps with air circulation.
The video quality is very decent, but these days, I like to take a feed and take it and let the amp / TV do the video processing. If you prefer, you won’t be unhappy with the 101. The Darbee processor offers a different look, and I use the word different rather than better.
How does the AKM 4490 equipped Oppo sound?
Well I have heard this DAC being used in the Denon AVR 7200, and it provides a neutral to slightly warm sound, which has a certain inviting quality. The SABRE ESS chip has a more deeply etched treble characteristic, and that is less warm in the 105 compared to the 95. Different people will react either positively or otherwise to this change in sonic signature.
As a CD player, it won’t feel embarrassed by CD only players in the $5-800 range. But used as a CD transport for my Marantz NA 11S1, it was very competent, and the sonic improvements were evident. I found no real difference between the 105 and the 101 in real life as a CD transport.
When it was used as a CD player, there was a good soundstage, and a solid bass note, with good pace and rhythm. Buyers looking for a BR player that can hold a tune will not be disappointed. It was not bright, and fitted well with the rest of my Marantz gear. In fact, it was so much fun, I took the NA 11 out of the system and used it directly to my PM 11 S3.
I think the ultimate compliment that I can pay this player is that I simply replaced my older 105 with this and found that I did not miss it very much. It simply got on and did the job.
So who should consider this player?
With Blu Ray players available for under $100, if all you want is a BR player for playback of BR discs on a small flatscreen, you won’t need to spend this much on the 101, or the 103 / 105 for that matter.
But if you want a transport, that can playback all your disc formats, and also do it via the USB, and have no need for it to act as a DAC, nor other network functions, this is the player for you.
It has a very solid feel, and for those who hate to have to bring things to the repair (ala the old Oppo 83 with it’s power supply issues), this player will last for quite a while.
I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.