4k players-Oppo UDP 203 vs ???

L

Laker8/24

Audiophyte
Hey guys, I was wondering if anybody could help me. I am in search for a good 4K player. I was leaning towards the oppo 203 because it has great reviews fast processing ect... I would have to get it from 2nd Market place. The prices are ranging from $950 to about $1300. For that price range, is there any other 4K player just as good or better than the Oppo 203? If someone could please enlighten me with any suggestions I would highly appreciate it.
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
I would not pay that kind of price for a 203, even if it is a solid player. That is double what they were originally. Get something current. Panasonic or Sony.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
The Oppo players were well designed and generally considered "the deal"!
However, given the absurd price for buying a product that is hard to come by, I would be inclined to buy a Sony BDP 800 for $250 instead:

I haven't seen any facts on reliability, but I have read of problems with Oppo units and have Sony disc players from the 80's that still work perfectly! Anecdotal data, but Sony has been making optical disc players for a long time and since you can buy 4 of the Sony's for the price of one Oppo, I would not spend $1k for an Oppo!
Exceptions are:
1) If you are very brand conscious and the prospect of mixing a lowly Sony in with your premium audio gear is offensive to you (although I do believe Sony TVs have a good reputation).
2) There is a feature that you gotta have that is not available on the Sony (I know the Oppo has more output connection options).
3) The Oppo offers a better "feel/touch experience" with a heavier remote and nicer DVD drawer action (although I would bet the Sony drawer mechanism will actually last longer).

Good luck with your decision!

Edit - I just noticed that Sony now has a higher level 1100 ($600) that you may want to check out:
 
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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Samurai
Sony x800m2. Or even the cheaper Sony x700 if you don’t need DVD-Audio playback.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
I bought one of the 203s as they shut down production, but I wouldn't pay any more than I did (list price from Oppo). It's a nice player but would think the top offerings from the other brands would be in its league in most respects. I've read nice things about the Panasonic and Sony top end units (maybe Samsung too but the worst bluray player I ever owned was a Samsung).
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Hey guys, I was wondering if anybody could help me. I am in search for a good 4K player. I was leaning towards the oppo 203 because it has great reviews fast processing ect... I would have to get it from 2nd Market place. The prices are ranging from $950 to about $1300. For that price range, is there any other 4K player just as good or better than the Oppo 203? If someone could please enlighten me with any suggestions I would highly appreciate it.
Get the Sony UBP-X800M2. This unit has no DAC. It plays to your AVR DAP via HDMI. The more expensive UBP-1100ES has a DAC, which would be appreciated for stereo SACD processing if your AVR or Prepro has no HDMI input.
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Get the Sony UBP-X800M2. This unit has no DAC. It plays to your AVR DAP via HDMI. The more expensive UBP-1100ES has a DAC, which would be appreciated for stereo SACD processing if your AVR or Prepro has no HDMI input.
Or as long as it even has analog inputs, in the event that you are looking for hi-rez audio capabilities. My current pre/pro has no analog.
 
jliedeka

jliedeka

Audioholic General
I got the new Sony X1100ES to replace a dead Oppo BDP-93. I'm not set up for 4k but it handles newer discs better than the Oppo did. Plus you get DVD-A and SACD capability. I would recommend this model if $600 isn't too steep and you want a universal player.

Jim
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Wasn't the new Panasonic supposed to supposed to be good substitute for the OPPO? Seem to remember positive reviews.
 
B

baronvonellis

Audioholic
I'd say get the Sony UBP-X800M2 as well. It plays everything, and is usually on sale on Amazon.
 
jliedeka

jliedeka

Audioholic General
I would make an argument for getting the newest possible model. In my experience, BluRay isn't really a standard. A player that plays today's discs may not play tomorrow's discs. It's good to have something with the most recent firmware.

Jim
 
B

bo55554r

Enthusiast
There is no replacement for OPPO 203
If you don't see movies through Blue Ray Disc
Or Ultra Blue Ray Disc.

don't buy any Blue Ray device, they don't play movies well .

you can also buy an NVIDIA Shield TV Pro device
that plays movies and any kind of sound
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
The OP has left the building, I suspect to buy the Sony.
 
pwrofgrayskull

pwrofgrayskull

Enthusiast
The OP has left the building, I suspect to buy the Sony.
Ok, so a shortlist of the the available choices:

Panasonic - DP-UB9000 ($1000)
Panasonic - DP-UB820 ($400)

Sony - UBP-X1100ES ($500)
Sony - UBP-X800M2 ($200)
Sony - UBP-X700 ($140)

Pioneer Elite UDP-LX500 ($1000)

*LG - UBK90 ($180)

Not in production / can’t get:
- Oppo 203/205
- Cambridge CXUHD


To begin, I personally don’t care about video streaming apps or SACD / DVD-A support on this type of device. I stream video from the TV and I don’t have an SACD collection, I focus more on hifi downloadable content than the physical media (because it’s outrageously expensive and hard to find). That said I think the Tidal implementation on my Marantz receiver is terrible and would appreciate hifi streaming audio support with my 4K player. Also, I have an LG C7 TV which is not HDR 10+ compatible so don’t care about dual support.

The Panasonic units are more expensive at $400 / $1000 but offer all the features and performance you’d expect with the exclusion of SACD / DVD-A and flaky streaming apps. However, they do offer (just like the rest of the units listed) usb and network playback of DSD, FLAC and other audio formats. Of note, the DP-UB9000 is the only unit in this list that has balanced analog outputs if you have a compatible amp. I also appreciate the front panel controls that don’t require you to use the remote.

The Sony offerings do not support HDR 10+ and have a strange Dolby Vision implementation where you must manually turn it on or off for a given source, the problem is that some 4k discs are not transparent on whether or not they contain Dolby Vision content. It’s also unclear whether or not Sony can remedy this auto detect problem with a firmware update due to hardware limitations.

The Pioneer UDP-LX500 seems like an oddball, a very high quality 4k unit with SACD / DVD-A support but still odd... for me. This unit is targeted at the connoisseur of hifi physical media who wants the best 4k player in the same unit. IMHO I don’t care for the new “elite” gold faceplate and if you’re paying for the DAC why not include balanced outs?

* The LG player seems like it has the primary features I’m specifically looking for in a unit however this “entry” model seems to be mostly ignored by the community because it’s entry level and I’d question whether an Xbox wouldn’t be a better use of your money.

In summary, I ordered the Panasonic DP-UB820. I just can’t see myself buying into the SACD market, not for a lack of interest just seems like an unnecessary rabbit hole of overpriced limited content. If the Sony’s didn’t have the Dolby Vision issue or if there was some reason to believe they could fix it in a firmware update I’d probably be out another $100 for the UBP-X1100ES. If money was no object I’d grab the $1k Panasonic DP-UB9000 in a heartbeat.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ok, so a shortlist of the the available choices:

Panasonic - DP-UB9000 ($1000)
Panasonic - DP-UB820 ($400)

Sony - UBP-X1100ES ($500)
Sony - UBP-X800M2 ($200)
Sony - UBP-X700 ($140)

Pioneer Elite UDP-LX500 ($1000)

*LG - UBK90 ($180)

Not in production / can’t get:
- Oppo 203/205
- Cambridge CXUHD


To begin, I personally don’t care about video streaming apps or SACD / DVD-A support on this type of device. I stream video from the TV and I don’t have an SACD collection, I focus more on hifi downloadable content than the physical media (because it’s outrageously expensive and hard to find). That said I think the Tidal implementation on my Marantz receiver is terrible and would appreciate hifi streaming audio support with my 4K player. Also, I have an LG C7 TV which is not HDR 10+ compatible so don’t care about dual support.

The Panasonic units are more expensive at $400 / $1000 but offer all the features and performance you’d expect with the exclusion of SACD / DVD-A and flaky streaming apps. However, they do offer (just like the rest of the units listed) usb and network playback of DSD, FLAC and other audio formats. Of note, the DP-UB9000 is the only unit in this list that has balanced analog outputs if you have a compatible amp. I also appreciate the front panel controls that don’t require you to use the remote.

The Sony offerings do not support HDR 10+ and have a strange Dolby Vision implementation where you must manually turn it on or off for a given source, the problem is that some 4k discs are not transparent on whether or not they contain Dolby Vision content. It’s also unclear whether or not Sony can remedy this auto detect problem with a firmware update due to hardware limitations.

The Pioneer UDP-LX500 seems like an oddball, a very high quality 4k unit with SACD / DVD-A support but still odd... for me. This unit is targeted at the connoisseur of hifi physical media who wants the best 4k player in the same unit. IMHO I don’t care for the new “elite” gold faceplate and if you’re paying for the DAC why not include balanced outs?

* The LG player seems like it has the primary features I’m specifically looking for in a unit however this “entry” model seems to be mostly ignored by the community because it’s entry level and I’d question whether an Xbox wouldn’t be a better use of your money.

In summary, I ordered the Panasonic DP-UB820. I just can’t see myself buying into the SACD market, not for a lack of interest just seems like an unnecessary rabbit hole of overpriced limited content. If the Sony’s didn’t have the Dolby Vision issue or if there was some reason to believe they could fix it in a firmware update I’d probably be out another $100 for the UBP-X1100ES. If money was no object I’d grab the $1k Panasonic DP-UB9000 in a heartbeat.
Well, you did some critical thinking and it appears you made a selection decision on what you understand will best support the functions you seek from a Universal Player. Interestingly enough, I purchased my OPPO 205 for just one function, RCA output of multi-channel SACDs; but, I now enjoy the player mostly for its usb B DAC, streaming to it, AAC, ALAC, and AIFF stereo music from my iTunes Library. I've also experimented with the unit's usb drive ports, Network via DLNA, and HDMI transmission/decoding for stereo and multi-channe,l discovering usb drive is glitch free and gapless for stereo, as well as multi-channel content, while Network play is not gapless, and HDMI is not glitch free. At any rate, it has been a mixed bag, with some surprises, both pleasing and somewhat frustrating as I attempt with a limited brain to properly sync drivers, OPPO set-up, iTunes, and Windows 10 to get the best experience from the technology. In other words, I'm not sure I've mustered the technology, making it unclear if I am getting the best experience from the technology.
 
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pwrofgrayskull

pwrofgrayskull

Enthusiast
Well, you did some critical thinking and it appears you made a selection decision on what you understand will best support the functions you seek from a Universal Player. Interestingly enough, I purchased my OPPO 205 for just one function, RCA output of multi-channel SACDs; but, I now enjoy the player mostly for its usb B DAC, streaming to it, AAC, ALAC, and AIFF stereo music from my iTunes Library. I've also experimented with the unit's usb drive ports, Network via DLNA, and HDMI transmission/decoding for stereo and multi-channe,l discovering usb drive is glitch free and gapless for stereo, as well as multi-channel content, while Network play is not gapless, and HDMI is not glitch free. At any rate, it has been a mixed bag, with some surprises, both pleasing and somewhat frustrating as I attempt with a limited brain to properly sync drivers, OPPO set-up, iTunes, and Windows 10 to get the best experience from the technology. In other words, I'm not sure I've mustered the technology, making it unclear if I am getting the best experience from the technology.
I can’t understand why Oppo stopped making players, the only thing that makes sense to me is that the development costs were too high and the sales didn’t recoup the expense. It’s a real shame given they are such fantastic players. The 203 & 205 could have remained relevant for at least a few years, seems like Oppo just left money on the table.

I never see in-depth reviews of these UDPs as network players (music or video), maybe they expect your receiver to perform that function but they should double as solid network players IMHO. The $1k+ models really need that functionality to justify the cost, many integrated amps / receivers have a terrible interface especially for the streaming services. Couldn’t they just implement a version of Android for the menus rather than a half cocked attempt at the GUIs?

What’s your experience with the SACD marketplace? Is there really a benefit vs downloading DSD files to network or usb storage? Can you get the content you want? Seem like it’s primarily a secondary market of resellers.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
I think Oppo merely saw the future of optical discs as being in serious decline, which they are. They were a relatively small player in audio, especially as compared to their phone business where they're one of the world's top players. The 203 and 205 do not have streaming apps like their predecessors fwiw.

I started buying SACD fairly recently, for the multi-ch recordings, not 2ch. The coupla times I tried downloading DSD I ran into internet issues due file size and my lousy internet service (old dsl copper, maxes out at 12 Mbps downloads when its working well). I already had players that could play the SACDs, tho, and figured while they're still around....
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
I can’t understand why Oppo stopped making players, the only thing that makes sense to me is that the development costs were too high and the sales didn’t recoup the expense. It’s a real shame given they are such fantastic players. The 203 & 205 could have remained relevant for at least a few years, seems like Oppo just left money on the table.

I never see in-depth reviews of these UDPs as network players (music or video),maybe they expect your receiver to perform that function but they should double as solid network players IMHO. The $1k+ models really need that functionality to justify the cost, many integrated amps / receivers have a terrible interface especially for the streaming services. Couldn’t they just implement a version of Android for the menus rather than a half cocked attempt at the GUIs?

What’s your experience with the SACD marketplace? Is there really a benefit vs downloading DSD files to network or usb storage? Can you get the content you want? Seem like it’s primarily a secondary market of resellers.
Today, for the most part, I purchase multi-channel SACDs, as well as multi-channel downloads. The multi-channel downloads come from Acoustic Sounds. I typically download the files in FLAC format and import them to my Foobar 2000 Player, which will play 6 channel files to OPPO via HDMI connection. Now, here's the rub, if I play these files from PC to OPPO via network connection I do not get gapless. If I play via usb B connection I get gapless but not multi-channel. If I play via HDMI connection from PC to OPPO I get gapless and multi-channel but it's not glitch free. I do not know if the glitch is originating in Foobar, FLAC file being a bad file type, HDMI connection, or OPPO DAC. At any rate, thank goodness for the usb drive connection, which delivers multi-channel gaplessly and without glitches. Of course, there's some work to downloading, and then copying the download to thumb drive; plus, once the thumb drive is inserted to a drive port the TV must be turned on and OPPO Remote jogged to direct the OPPO to play from the drive and tell it what to play. It is far easier to play multi-channel SACDs, no TV needed, and no Remote needed. Also, I'm more at ease with discs than I am with downloads, stereo or multi-channel. No worries about loosing data. For sure, multi-channel SACDs sound best and therefore I prefer them over downloads.
 
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