We've been fans of Oppo's upconverting DVD players for quite some time now, but it's been harder to recommend them recently with the company's latest player costing as much as a Blu-ray player. There has been tons of speculation over when Oppo might release a Blu-ray player, and it looks like it's finally going to happen: Oppo showed off the BDP-83 Blu-ray player at CEDIA.
Oppo's DVD players are known for playing back both SACD and DVD-Audio, but Gizmodo reports that Oppo is still "investigating" DVD-Audio support. That's unfortunate, as a true universal player capable of playing back SACD, DVD-Audio, Blu-ray, and DVD discs is still missing in the marketplace. And since SACD support is already available on some models of the PS3, it may be a harder sell even for enthusiasts. That being said, the BDP-83 is sporting the logo for Anchor Bay video processing--good news, considering how well the DV-983H handles DVDs using the same processing.
In terms of Blu-ray features, the Oppo looks to have the full suite of features we now expect on a Blu-ray player. There's an Ethernet port on the back that says "BD-Live," which means it should fully support Profile 2.0 features. Oppo says that while the current version of player only support standard Dolby Digital and DTS, Gizmodo reports that both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio will be supported in the future, via either onboard decoding or outputting the soundtracks in bitstream format.
The back panel looks to have just about every connection you would want. There is a set of 7.1 multichannel analog outputs, which is a boon for those with legacy receivers. There's the standard HDMI output, which can carry both high-def audio and multichannel audio, as well as a component video output for those with older HDTVs. Finally, there's a USB port on the back, which we expect will be used as a storage solution for download Profile 2.0 features.
As far as pricing, Gizmodo is reporting it should cost between $500 and $700 and will be available "soonish." We'll be looking to do a review of this player as soon as it comes out, so check back soon.