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Oppo UDP-203

Oppo UDP-203

5.0 from 3 reviews

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If you're an audio/video enthusiast, this is THE player to get

I love my home cinema experience, and was upgrading from blu rays to the Ultra HD 4k discs. At the time, I have to admit I was so reluctant to purchase this player because of the price. But I kept reading great review after great review -- almost nobody could fault it except for the fact it doesn't support streaming apps (which I don't care about).

So I took the plunge.

Have loved it ever since. It really is worth the money. It's solidly built, works flawlessly, and the output is amazing for both 4k and standard blu ray discs. I purchased it from Dennis White HiFi home cinema (https://www.deniswhitehomecinema.com.au/) in SA online during the Xmas sales. It arrived within a week and I had it hooked up that night. After running software updates, I turned it on and bingo -- everything came alive and the pictures from my discs were absolutely brilliant.

The remote is top notch, albeit a little thick. However, anyone who's sitting in a dark room will appreciate the back-lit keys! So awesome Oppo did that.

I find the player extremely easy to use, the menus quite intuitive, and with it's metal build it looks like a serious piece of equipment in my entertainment unit.

I haven't tried every disc format out there, but to date have played blu rays, dvds, 4k discs, and cds. With everyone the audio and video comes through vibrant as ever.

I'm not going to go through all the technical specs because if you're reading this, you've already researched the player already. Suffice to say, believe all the positive reviews you read about it; I don't think you'll find many, if any, negative ones.

If you can get the player in the $800-$900 range, it's definitely worth it. You won't regret a single dollar, especially if you're like me and really enjoy making your home theater the best it can be.

Date PurchasedDec 2017

This is a great 4k Player, but that's not all it does.

Ok, so the previous review of this unit (The only other one at the time of writing) talks about how impressive the presentation and packaging of the Oppo UDP-203 4k Blu Ray player. However, I will diverge a little and talk about a few other things that clearly weren't mentioned there.

Firstly, there are two very similar acronyms that should NOT be confused. HDCP and HDMI used to describe the equipment needed for 4k Bluray playback. HDCP is the copy protection system used to stop people pirating bluray movies. (You need devices rated to handle version 2.2 or above to watch a 4k Bluray). Every device in the chain, from the Bluray player, to the TV needs to support 2.2, or you won't get a 4k picture.

HDMI is the type of cable/socket most commonly used to connect your AV equipment, (Bluray, TV, PC, and gaming console). You NEED version 2.0 to play 4K Bluray. Although I have found that high-quality cables rated to version 1.4 seem to work for 4k content too.

Both HDMI and HDCP devices can come in a version 1.4... which do not meet the standards required to utilise this (or any) 4k Bluray player to play 4k content. Whlle HDMI defines a minimum standard for cabling... and a good 1.4 version cable can work... The HDCP however, is not as flexible since they've changed the decoding algorithm.

To summarise the above, 4K Bluray playback requires a few things in order to get the most out of this unit. Obviously, you will need a 4K movie. These typically are more expensive versions of normal blurays, and often come in a black Bluray case. Other things you'll need is a 4k TV, HDMI 2.0 (or higher) cables, and for every device in the chain (including the TV) to handle 4K (at least pass through) AND (not optionally) be able to decode the High Definition Copy Protection (HDCP v2.2) signal.

A quick warning:

Far too many older 4K TVs may not actually have HDCP v2.2 decoding, and probably run HDCP 1.4). Bottom line: Do your homework homework before buying ANY 4K bBuray player to avoid disappointment.

What can you do if your 4K TV is only capable of HDCP 1.4? Well.. you can buy HDCP 2.2 to HDCP 1.4 signal converter boxes, and plug it in between your Bluray and TV. Some work well.... others... well... not so much.

Back to the OPPO..

Ok, the unit is pretty easy to set up, but I would always recommend that you read the manual so you can install it in the way that best suits you. If you have an old AV receiver, then you can use the "Audio Only" HDMI socket to pass the signal to non-4k receivers... or you can use Coaxial, Optical (Toslink) or even the analogue RCA connectors for very old receivers.

Video playback....

It is very, very good. Although it's so detailed, it can sometimes make a movie seem more fake.. especially when flaws in animation scenes become more obvious.

Is this THE best 4k Bluray player on the market... honestly.. if you're trying to complete with the $2000 and above models (like Oppo's UDP-205) then obviously no. Is it better than the Samsung, or Panasonic equivalents... then I'd say.. yes.... but let's be fair... the Samsung is much cheaper. However, if you aren't running an OLED TV or laser 4K projector (only about $100,000 last time I checked with the nice people from Panasonic) would you know the difference? I honestly can't say... depends on the TV you're actually using.

Dolby vision is a new feature which enhances the image quite dramatically, particularly colour and high dynamic range (Whiter whites, and darker blacks), all the more impressive when you happen to have a high end OLED. This wasn't included with the original firmware that came with the early-released models of the Oppo UDP203.. so make sure you upgrade that firmware! It'll prompt you if it's connected to the internet when you first turn it on.

Using the unit:

I really like interface, the system is very intuitive, and while this Oppo does lack some streaming services that other 4k players offer, it seems every "smart" device covers this lack without any difficulty. Anything from the TV itself, to a Home Theatre PC, even an Apple TV seems to do this these days.

Since I'm not just a movie buff, but a music nutter as well. I can safely say that I really do like the sound that comes from this unit. It plays CDs, Super Audio CDs (SACDs), Pure Audio (Audio only Bluray disks). If you've never heard a Pure Audio disk, and have a great sound system, I'd say you're really missing out. For ordinary mortals, it plays pretty much any audio file you care to name.... although I found that it doesn't handle 32 bit recordings. These are very rare though.

Interestingly, I've set it up to my sound system using both the HDMI and Analogue connectors to see if there is any difference, and I find that I switch between the digital and analogue depending on what I'm listening to.

The "HDMI in" is a great little feature, and I can use the UDP203 as a digital to analogue converter (DAC) which is particularly useful for analogue setups, like re-purposing very old stereo systems for example.

While I wouldn't call this unit "Cheap" like the previous reviewer, it's definitely well-priced for the quality and performance of this unit. However, I would suggest that you buy this only if you have a very new and very good TV and sound system to match.... or intend to get said AV equipment in the near future.

Multiregion Option:

I bought the player with the "Multi Region" mod from Audio Trends in Melbourne since they had a sale. I must confess that I haven't had a chance to play any foreign 4k content yet, but look forward to it should I get the chance. However, the multi-region mod does work with regular 1080p Blurays with ease. If you're ever unsure what zone your Bluray is set to, go into the Oppo's setup menu and type 0770 on the remote. (This diagnostic mode also works on the Cambridge Audio Azur 752 Bluray player too... because they use the same software).

One little gripe about this unit though....

I would like to give this unit 4.5 stars...but I can't. Simply because this unit sometimes defaults to sending out a 1080p signal when playing 4k media. I simply change it back in the menu... but it makes me wonder occasionally if I have put the right disk in when I have the 1080p AND 4k versions in a case.

I hope you found this review helpful. Good luck with your Bluray hunt.

Date PurchasedDec 2017

Excellent 4K DVD media streaming player with all the bells and whistles

If your looking for a top notch 4K DVD and media streaming player but at a low price then this is for you.
This is Oppo's first 4K player and from the get go you know you have bought something special, as soon as I opened the box to reveal a nice advertisement card with all the features and a nice photo of the unit, below this is the unit itself, wrapped in a nice shopping type bag with the Oppo logo on, add to this a nice black box which contains the power cord, HDMI cable, remote and batteries. Picking the unit out of the box I was immediately struck by how solid it felt, a nice heavy weight chassis has been used, setup is simple and for the most part plug and play, this is when the WOW factor kicks in!
Read the reviews and you will be as pleased as the reviewers are with this unit. Picture is excellent from all media formats, I was able to stream all formats from my home server and play 4K downloads that my previous player stumbled and stuttered through. Putting on the Mad Max Fury Road 4k DVD I was blown away at the colours and detail this player provides, audio is also excellent. I have played DVD-Audio, SACD and DSD media and the machine is flawless with them all. Up-scaling of Blu-ray and DVD's is excellent also.
Another plus is that Oppo release firmware updates for new formats that the unit is able to take advantage of.
The only issue some have commented on is that there are no streaming apps with this unit, but as I already have Roku and Xbox I really didn't need any others.

If you thought the era of disc based media was over, think again, storage still costs money and 4k downloads take a lot of memory space.
The Oppo UDP-203 is an excellent choice and will serve your media addiction well into the future.
I consider this player to be totally worth every penny of it's asking price.

Date PurchasedOct 2017

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Details

Oppo UDP-203
CategoryBlu-Ray & DVD Players
Price (RRP) $949
TypeBlu-ray Player
Height79mm
Width430mm
Depth311mm

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