It has been some time since I've purchased an Oppo player, but receiving an email asking if I'd like to be an early adopter got the itch into me. I still feel $499 is a bit steep for a Bluray player, but the build quality, service, and non-issue operation was enough to win me over. I received the Oppo on Friday, 10/5/12 just in time for the weekend. Other equipment in the mix include Monitor Audio Silver In-wall Speakers, Epik Legend Subwoofer, Emotiva UMC-1/UPA-500 combo, Roku Box, FIOS HD DVR Box, Harmony Remote, and Monoprice cables all around.
As I recall from past experiences, service was excellent.* I ordered the Oppo after lunch here on the East Coast and it was on its way to me the same day. I have never had a complaint about Oppo's sales or technical support folks. I also appreciate Oppo offering regular firmware updates to its players which some manufacturers forget.
The Oppo was well-packed in thick foam which would easily protect it from most hazards during shipping. But what is it with Oppo and those little beads of plastic? It's almost as if a silicon pack burst and I have seen it before in players received from Oppo. Not exactly friendly to a house with a 2-year old. Also included was the manual, remote, USB WiFi adapter, 6' HDMI cable, and power cord.
Plugging in all the cables was simple to a veteran like me. Oppo does offer something interesting which I don't recall from earlier DVD players. The Oppo allows you to run video out of one HDMI output and audio out of the other for maximum clarity. I think this is a bit of overkill, but it never hurts to offer options. The WiFi adapter was also simple to install as you simply plug it into one of the three available USB ports.
It has been a while since I have seen an Oppo menu, but this one was fairly simply laid out and easy to navigate. The setup menu in particular was very easy to navigate. It also offers enough options to satisfy my needs such as having bass management, allowing various frequency settings for PCM output, and other useful options. I found the PCM setting particularly useful as not all receivers or processors will accept all frequencies of PCM such as my UMC-1.
Video and Audio
As expected, the Oppo offered excellent video quality through its Qdeo processor for both Blurays and DVDs and audio quality was superb. I AB'd between PCM and Bitstream and could not hear a difference. The Emotiva uses the Cirrus chipset, but I'm not sure what Oppo uses.
The player runs very quiet during operation, certainly quieter than your typical Sony or Panasonic player. As for load times, it loads fast utilizing its dual-core power, but I didn't feel it offered a major advantage over other players I've encountered such as my previous Pioneer BDP-140. In any case it loads fast enough for my taste.
The remote is your typical run-of-the-mill plastic remote. I use my Harmony so have no need for stock remotes and would recommend a universal remote to anyone with a home theater.
I haven't seen one yet. The player operates flawlessly with no hiccups of any kind even with very new discs like the Avengers Bluray.
Out of the box, the Oppo doesn't offer a lot in terms of networking, but I suspect they will add items with future firmware releases. I only have a need for Netflix, Pandora, and DLNA and the Oppo has me covered. The GUI for these activities were well laid out and clean. I also appreciate the Page Up and Page Down buttons which so many players and receivers forget to add.
Oppo certainly hasn't lost its touch in making great players for a decent price. I have no reservations in recommending the BDP-103 to anyone who wants the very best in a Bluray player. I know Oppo will release the BDP-105 at some point, but the BDP-103 suits me just fine.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."