Oppo BDP-103D Blu-ray Player with Darbee Visual Presence Review

Discussion in 'CD/DVD/Blu-ray & Misc Hardware' started by admin, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    We first got a look at the new Oppo BDP-103D (Darbee Edition) at this year's 2013 CEDIA Expo in Denver. The 'D' stands for Darbee Visual Presence, or "DVP". This is a brand new video processing technology that enhances depth and detail by looking at the luminance information on the fly and modulating the pixels to create better contrast and definition. It doesn't affect color, and it's not a system that changes the frame rate or adds any frame interpolation. The processing delay is also very small, just a few hundred microseconds (0.300 ms). The technology works on standard definition, high-definition...even 4K, though anything at that resolution or higher may require some more robust video processing to handle the overhead.
    [​IMG]

    Discuss "Oppo BDP-103D Blu-ray Player with Darbee Visual Presence Review" here. Read the article.
  2. Maniachiavelli Audiophyte

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    I don't get it. Audioholics prides itself of being the one site that cuts through all the marketing BS, and tells the true story of real performance. Yet, you too have succumbed to the BS marketing machine that is Darbee, and call it "true contrast enhancement", which it most certainly is not. It is a sharpening tool like lots of others, and whether or not it is a BETTER sharpening tool than others (which I will dispute), it has nothing to do in a reproduction chain, and sharpening does not in any way become a "true contrast enhancement". It MAY be an enhancement to perceived contrast, no doubt about that, but then at least call it what it is.

    Also, you imply that other sharpening tools outthere, such as those included in most higher-end displays nowadays, alter "deinterlacing, luminance tests or color balance" (why else mention it as a good thing specifically for Darbee?). I don't remember ANY sharpening or detail enhancement settings on ANY display I've worked with, that ever changed color balance. Lots of enhancement processing tools such as Pixel Plus etc. crowd several "enhancements" together in one setting, and this most certainly often affects color balance, but the sharpness/detail settings as such do not. JVC projectors, which is where I see lots of people touting the use of Darbee because the projector itself isn't super sharp, have their own sharpness and detail enhancement processing, that also do not affect "deinterlacing, luminance tests or color balance". Why not use them instead of shelling out for an outboard box that does the same?

    You call it a "brand new video processing technology", which it isn't. It's one version of a processing technology that's been available for years in most displays. It may provide finer tuning than most, but that doesn't make the core technology any different.

    If movies looked better with this processing turned on, movie producers would have turned it on when producing the movie. In fact, they quite often do, it's an important part of their creative palette. I don't dislike sharpening tools per se, I just think they should be used when producing the movie, not when reproducing it. However, if you disagree and actually do want to use detail enhancement processing, please stop touting Darbee as the one unique technology outthere that does this properly, when there are plenty of enhancement technologies in most displays already, that work in the exact same way, but just haven't received the same attention because most reviewers have become used to turning them off by default, and thus have stopped caring how well they work. Darbee is given special treatment, for no other reason than because it is delivered in a seperate box that costs money. Please try to give the built in enhancement the same attention and thoroughness in testing, and you will find that you can get the exact same "benefits" by using them. Darbee really is nothing new or anything special.

    By the way, I am an Oppo dealer. I still call BS. And I'm dissapointed that Audioholics seem to change stance on what true performance versus marketing BS is, depending on which company delivers said marketing.
  3. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

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    I *almost* agree with your position, except that I don't think it is "more of the same". As a "sharpness" function, it sure appears to do a better job than what's currently out there. As you've already touched on, the REASON why many people currently turn off the sharpness, enhancement, etc... functions on most current displays is because most of them aren't that great (ok, they suck). Sure Darbee has been around for a while, and I am not 100% sold on it either, but you seem to be suggesting that it is some kind of snake oil, and I disagree. That doesn't mean I am going to run out and pick one of these up for this feature, but I think you're a little bit extreme on this one.
  4. Tinear Audiophyte

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    Agreed

    Buyer really beware. Oppo and has succumbed to merchandising. Sad, as this was a company I trusted.
  5. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    Have you actually tried this feature first hand before criticizing it? I saw the demo at CEDIA and was very impressed. I have an individual Darbee unit I will be testing next month as well.
    gene,
  6. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    So, gene or whomever might be out there listening and has seen the 103D in action, do you think that's it is something that is definitely worth having, or this is this more along the lines of a totally subjective thing? I read Clint's article and it received the "Gotta Have It" tag, I was just looking for another take on it.

    Thanks.
  7. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    For $100 upgrade when buying a new Blu-ray player is a definite Gotta Have It! However, the stand alone unit is like $350. I will test it on my projector and report back.
    gene,
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  8. audiofox Full Audioholic

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    Without some technical measurement data or other objective information (other than the "pixel modulation", which is the only reference to what may be going on under the hood), this seems a lot like the same subjective reviews that are routinely criticized on this forum. I admit that I have not seen the Darbee in action, but the lack of technical information on the enhancement gives me pause.
  9. RichB Audioholic General

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    Darbee enhancement is the first one that I have tried and liked.
    My 65ZT60 has tremendous native contrast so on newer BD content, I do not use it.
    On older DVDs, the effects are more pronounced so I use it on a disk by disk basis.

    Reading the forums, overall, users with projectors are pleased with the results.

    - Rich
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  10. avengineer Banned

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    I saw the demo at CEDIA too, and had a different impression. I thought it did too much, and wanted to somehow "turn it down". It looked like a conventional sharpening tool, perhaps with a little better edge control with less ringing and overshoot, but I was not favorably impressed.

    Appreciation for it seems pretty subjective, and clearly some like it, but I personally wouldn't pay extra for it in any form for use on the display side of the world. Now, if the proper controls were available, I'd consider putting it into the post production chain, but never as a set/forget processor. Of course, we already have some excellent sharpening tools in post, and all of them easily custom tweaked in multiple axes on a per-shot basis, so I guess I don't see the point.
  11. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    At Cedia it had to be cranked up almost to max bc of the bright room. Setting it greater than 35% yields undesirable results. You need a light controlled environment for it to work well.
    gene,
  12. avengineer Banned

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    My point was, I saw it at CEDIA and didn't care for it, you saw it at CEDIA and thought otherwise. Same demo, same results, different opinions.

    If it requires a light-controlled environment to work well, the demo didn't emphasize that point well at all, showing it in all its glory on an LCD in convention-floor light rather than in a darkened demo space. And, in the home, it's not going to be used in light-controlled spaces all the time, or all that much.
  13. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

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    Whether one likes it or dislikes it, the Darbee processing is giving one something different from what is on the disc, and is different from what the filmmakers intended. From looking at samples online (and varying the effect), I am not a fan of it, but if others like it, it is fine with me if they buy it.
  14. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    For me, this wouldn't be something for BD's, but more for TV and DVD's, which may benefit from it.
  15. Adam Audioholic Jedi

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    Heck, I might love it...I might hate it. Either way, I'd love to win the AH demo unit. :D
    Adam,
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  16. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

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    In all cases, it is changing the video from what was intended. The effect may or may not be liked by you, but it is not giving you more real detail than is in the signal simply upconverted. It is analogous to (but obviously not identical to) turning up the sharpness control on your TV. You may or may not like it, but either way, it is changing the image from what was originally intended.
  17. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

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    It is undoubtedly a great BD player. If one dislikes the extra processing, one can switch it off and then it performs just like the Oppo BDP-103. That is the player I would buy, if I were presently in the market to buy one. But if someone gave me the Oppo BDP-103D for free, I would take it, and then I would simply keep the processing off, and it would work as well as the BDP-103.
  18. Adam Audioholic Jedi

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    Yep - that's what I'm thinking. It's not like anyone needs to keep that processing on - it's just there if you like it. :) Now, if someone like you already knows that you don't like it, then you can save yourself $100 and pass on it.

    For me, an Oppo player would be great if only to find out what all the fuss is about. I'm pretty darn happy with my ~$100 Sony player, and I'm curious if an Oppo would be any better...but I'd sure rather find out for free. :D I really like my older Oppo universal (except for blu-ray) player, but the menu system is like something from the 80's.
    Adam,
  19. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    That's all fine and well, but for Television and DVD's which don't have the resolution of BD's, the Darbee processing may provide a visible improvement on the picture, getting you something that appears to have have better resolution or a sharper image. Not liking the processing because you don't like how it looks is one thing. Dismissing it simply because it's not the original signal is something else entirely.
  20. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    To be perfectly honest, I can't say I see any major differences, or even that many minor differences between the BDP-95 and my $100, 4 year old Samsung BD player. I've never compared them side by side, but I highly doubt there's a $900 difference in PQ/SQ between the two.

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