Rewind the clock back five years and Oppo was the "go-to" brand for DVD players, with the Oppo DV-981HD one of the best models available at the time. Then Blu-ray happened, and Oppo saw little initial competition for its first Blu-ray player. But since 2009, the Blu-ray player market has shrunk: titans like Sony and Panasonic no longer make premium players and instead opt for cookie-cutter "wedges" with plastic build quality, yet good performance and cheap prices.
Oppo has stuck to its design and philosophical guns, and has now released its third set of players, the BDP-103 and BDP-105. Like before, the two 3D players are universal and play pretty-much-everything-but-Laserdisc and will also stream many file types from your network (MP3, WAV, FLAC, etc).
Another thing that hasn't changed is the price; the BDP-103 is still $499, just like the first BDP-83 was. The upgraded BDP-105 is even more costly than before at $1,199. These prices could present a challenge to customers now used to buying Blu-ray players at the supermarket.
The 4K resolution is all the rage, and the players will upscale to the new resolution and incorporate a good deal of picture processing with custom dual-core SoC and the latest Marvell Qdeo video processor.
The Oppos also include smart TV-streaming functionality with access to Netflix, Vudu, Film Fresh, Pandora, and YouTube, and the company promises that more services are on the way.
As universal players, the focus on Oppo machines has always been on both audio and video quality, and that hasn't changed. The BDP-103 provides a 7.1 channel analog output, and this is actually quite uncommon on competitive players, as they have shrunk in size.
The biggest change, though, is to the BDP-105, which now sports two ESS Sabre32 Reference DACs, a newly designed Toroidal linear power supply, dedicated stereo outputs with both RCA and XLR balanced connections, and a headphone amplifier connected directly to the DAC. The Oppo BDP-105 can also be used as an external DAC with two HDMI inputs (rare on a DAC) and an asynchronous USB input as well. In addition, the cheaper BDP-103 also includes dual-HDMI inputs, and if you're looking to buy the new Roku Stick, or have a phone with Mobile High-definition Link (MHL) capability, you can connect it to the front-mounted HDMI port on both devices.
Read the Audiophiliac's review of the BDP-105's sound quality here