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4K for life......for now.

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It certainly has the goods for the custom installer world. I'd be curious to take a look at their API and how easy it is to work with.

Anything on price?

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It says in the press release that the price will come at a later date. $700+ probably. My feeling is that, assuming they get their player out in the dec/jan timeframe they have been targeting, Oppo will leave Sony lagging behind for the most attention. Oppos are already the most prevalent in the custom install market so Sony may face a challenge trying to get installers to look another way (and the Oppo will be a better bet for consumers when it comes to long term firmware support and responsive tech support). Oppo need to work on their UI/streaming app support and performance though.

 

I'm expecting the Oppo to be $600-700. They've said they don't expect it to be a huge premium on top of the outgoing BDP-103 ($500) so hopefully that proves to be the case. The indication is that Oppo will be looking to replace the 103 first, and then the 105D next year (the latter being their $1300 BD player with added emphasis on audio performance).

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Oh wow, NO price increase for Oppo's UHD replacement of the 103 at all apparently! It will be numbered UDP-203 and, according to the link below at any rate, $499!

 

This journalist has some photos and info:

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/chrisheinonen/status/776514891121238018

 

Csa8JXzVMAA_iYp.jpg

 

CsbMLbsVYAAnfVQ.jpg

 

 

It is awaiting certification and as a result they cannot specify a release date, but still hoping for this year. No word on Dolby Vision support.

 

 

A multi-region BDP-103 is about £575 here, so I hope a similarly modified 203 is around the same price when it lands in the UK (UHD Blu is 100% region free, but I can't be without MR for Blu and DVD).

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Oppo held a dealers event in the UK today and showed off their UHD player. Much of it is under NDA at the moment, but they are apparently targeting November for release. They did tell dealers the exact price they were targeting too but that information is being kept guarded as it is subject to change. Beta units are going to be shipping out to some dealers and HT journalists in the coming weeks. 

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Here's a report from the dealers event held here in the UK by Oppo. It includes some new pictures including a nice looking UI.
 

Oppo were keen to stress that the new player has been built from the ground up as a dedicated Ultra HD Blu-ray player. The company said that previous UHD Blu-ray players had used TV decoder chips and computer optical drives in their design and construction. Oppo and Mediatek have invested millions of dollars in developing a dedicated Ultra HD decoder and the result of all this effort is the quad-core OP8591.


This custom designed SoC (System on Chip) not only decodes all the main 4K formats like HEVC and VP9 but also supports wider colour gamuts up to Rec. 2020 and High Dynamic Range in form of HDR 10. However since this new chip has been custom built for Ultra HD Blu-ray, crucially it can also support Dolby Vision. Oppo hopes to add this new feature via a firmware update before the end of the year, although the time frame is dependent on certification from Dolby, which is outside Oppo’s control.

The UDP-203 not only supports 4K UHD Blu-ray and media playback, along with HDR but it also converts HDR to SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) for non-HDR displays. The player also supports 2D and 3D Blu-ray, DVD Video/Audio, SACD and CD. The player uses an optimised laser mechanism that not only allows for universal disc support but also isolates the tray and makes loading quieter. This attention to build quality extends to the brushed aluminium front plate and robust metallic construction.

 

The UDP-203 uses an ES9038 DAC for top-of-the-line digital-to-analogue performance and a fully balanced design for the best signal quality. The Oppo supports lossless high resolution audio and the latest surround formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It also includes twin HDMI outputs (one is HDMI 2.0a and the other is HDMI 1.4) to allow for backwards compatibility with older receivers and there are even 7.1-channel analogue outputs. There are also two USB 3.0 ports, a gigabit Ethernet port and built-in WiFi.

The basic design and layout of the UDP-203 is very similar to the BDP-103, with a centrally mounted disc tray and a large and informative display directly below it. On the right hand side there are basic navigation controls and a tray open/close button, whilst on the left hand side there is a an on/off button. The remote control is also similar, although the backlight comes on as soon as you pick it up, which is a new feature. There is also a button on the remote that says HDR and although it doesn’t currently do anything, the idea is that you can select different HDR formats when that becomes an option. Finally Oppo have given the home page and menu system a long overdue redesign.

 
More below:
 
https://www.avforums.com/news/first-look-at-the-oppo-udp-203-4k-ultra-hd-blu-ray-player.12972

 

lhjhbB9.gif

 
Dealers in the UK are in fact expecting this to arrive at £599 for the player, which will likely mean £650 to £675 for a region free model for me (pre-modded at least. Theres a chance I could use the old mod from my BDP-83 if it still works in the same way, or I could possibly still save some money buying a new mod kit myself and fitting it as Oppo have never made it hard. It was always a case of opening the unit and fitting a little circuit board between a ribbon cable on the motherboard of their players in the past).

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I agree. I was a bit puzzled at the thought of them targeting $499 in the US and £599 over here as I thought it might realistically come in at £549 in the UK by comparison, but forgot the US price would not take tax into account. Any other major difference I was already expectant of putting down to the value of the pound. Regardless it is definitely the player for me. I loved my BDP-83 and it's a shame it developed a drive fault (one which, had I know at the time, Oppo would have actually helped fix if I were willing to fit a new drive bay myself). What premium you pay for with their players is paid back in their long term customer and product support. 
 
 
Further info on the player itself, on the subject of streaming apps they have said:
 
"The UDP-203 will not carry any streaming services, at least initially. We are focusing our resources on ensuring excellent disc and file playback performance, and do not want to delay the development with streaming services, which usually involves lengthy development and certification cycles. A side benefit is that the player will start up quicker and be more responsive due to the reduced background processes and memory consumption. There are so many devices that can get streaming services for consumers anyway, and the HDMI input port is there if the customer wants to plug in a device like a Roku Streaming Stick or Chromecast."

 

That's fine by me, frankly. 

 

 

The prospect of custom controls over HDR output could be huge for a lot of people given all the different performance levels of HDR displays and projectors. 

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I haven't dealt with home theater for ages, and the first thought that came to mind reading the last few posts were, "what the hell is Oppo?".

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Really? Chinese company, but their 'Oppo Digital' division is based in California and has been producing some of the finest DVD and Blu-ray players for about a decade now. Very much the go to brand with enthusiasts and high end installers. They have a fantastic team of software and hardware engineers.

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I think the last time I looked at home theater stuff (which would be a decade ago), I can think of Denon, Onkyo, Sony, Pioneer, Bose, Yamaha, etc.  But not Oppo.  Could be the same situation with Vizio.  I kind of pointed and laughed at them when they first came out.  Now they actually make really good stuff.  But that's the fun part about being "out of the game" for a while.  Like building a computer, it gives me the opportunity to catch up and discover new tech.  And how much more a pain in the ass to get this stuff going.

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I feel that way about Samsung actually. I've said it many times but it is incredible how far they have come with their televisions in the last decade. Oppo's music and media related products have been highly regarded since they started out making them though. They're an excellent company with unrivalled long term product and customer support.

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So since my 8 year old Sammy is starting to show potential signs of panel failure - my (US) 55" KS9000 was just delivered today. Decided to go with the 9000 over the 8000 since Best Buy was still offering the deal where the KS8500 UHD player was also being included. 

 

I'm still at work for the day - so reading through the manuals online - and clearly I'll be spending some time playing with setup options tonight....but one question that I'm not seeing much in terms of the manuals regarding upscaling - 

Since the TV upscales and the player upscales - am I better off turning the upscaling off on one or the other (I'd presume the player since I'd still want the TV to upscale other input sources such as the PS4 and Uverse box), OR can I just plug them both in and they'll figure out how to play nicely together. One handy thing I did find is that the KS8500 player does have two HDMI outs with the 2nd one being audio only and since my receiver doesn't support 4k pass through - I'll just hook the HDMI from the receiver (currently going into the old blu-ray player) into the audio HDMI and connect the new player directly to the TV. Seems like a better option than running via an optical cable from the TV to the receiver? Granted, when the PS4 pro comes out - I'll probably need to run an optical cable anyway since that will also need to be plugged directly into the TV and I'm not sure that the pro has 2 HDMI outs like the KS8500 does. 

 

Thanks

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I'd say test the upscaling between the player and the TV and see if there is a difference. Samsung's scaling in the TVs is exceptional so you may want to stick to that for convenience. 

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I just had this thought on the drive home (it's where I have most of my thoughts actually), but take your minds back to the HTF days.  Do you guys remember Digital Video Essentials?  I've used the DVD and Blu-Ray versions to calibrate the two television purchases I've made.  I see the 4K version is essentially a USB stick.  I guess the question becomes: is calibration for 4K just as important as in the past?  And if yes, is DVE still the go to guys for self calibration?  Or are there alternatives now?  Again, I'm finding my research phase is just getting bigger and bigger.

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Having just hooked up the new set last night after work - I haven't done much tweaking but yes, clearly calibration will still be important. Admittedly, the set looks stunning with much of the out of the box settings - but I can tell that it really is rather bright (almost blindingly so in some aspects) and the colors just seem a weeeee bit off somehow (but that's mostly from a gaming perspective - TV colors look good). I didn't want to get to deep into moving things around just yet either as I did pick up some bias lighting and want to get that on the set before making calibration tweaks. 

 

I'll probably start with Rtings suggestions as a base-point and go from there. Can't say I've really found in my looking what may be the best disc / source to use for calibration just yet. Hell, some of what I've seen simply suggests using some of the test patterns available now on YouTube ... I'm certainly open to suggestions

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I just had this thought on the drive home (it's where I have most of my thoughts actually), but take your minds back to the HTF days.  Do you guys remember Digital Video Essentials?  I've used the DVD and Blu-Ray versions to calibrate the two television purchases I've made.  I see the 4K version is essentially a USB stick.  I guess the question becomes: is calibration for 4K just as important as in the past?  And if yes, is DVE still the go to guys for self calibration?  Or are there alternatives now?  Again, I'm finding my research phase is just getting bigger and bigger.

 

 

The best successor to DVE was the Spears and Munsil disc, which although available to buy on its own actually used to ship with Oppo's Blu-ray players (I got my copy of the first release with the BDP-83 back in the day and still use it). 

 

http://spearsandmunsil.com/products/

 

They are working on a 3rd edition for UHD but I believe Stacey Spears has said it will not be released until they can have some Dolby Vision content on there, so it is at least a year away in which case.

 

UHD calibration will be important yes, but HDR, and the competing forms of HDR (HDR10, Dolby Vision, and the possibility of HDR10 with dynamic metadata), is making it very difficult for professionals to nail down a specific set of standards at this time. 

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Since Last Guardian has be daydreaming about someday playing it on an obnoxiously oversized screen I felt it worth going back to discussion from September about the Epson projectors. As I shared at the time, these are not native 4k but use pixel shift tricks to achieve something relatively close to it, better than straight 1080 to the eye anyway, at less cost. The response several months ago was positive, and further reviews since then only seems to strengthen how well it works. Likewise JVC's e-shift projector makes use of a similar process.

 

If I had the throw distance to consider one of the Epson pj's I'd do so. It will be interesting to see whether we see more projectors at CES adopt the pixel shift method as, implemented well, it does seem to have value and may help bridge a gap until native 4k pj's come down to more affordable levels. I'd still like to hope we'll see more native 4k projectors at CES, however. Texas Instruments have a 4k DLP chip which has yet to be implemented into any consumer projectors, but next surely will surely be the time (at what cost though, we just don't know). I'd also actually welcome some 1080p projectors that would accept 4k input and display HDR. You'd effectively be supersampling 4k in that scenario, much akin to playing some PS4 Pro games on a 1080 display, so would still benefit from a slight increase in detail alongside benefits of wider colour gamut and HDR. 

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I've received an email in the last half hour with the full details of Oppo's BDP-203 UHD player.

 

http://oppodigital.com/blu-ray-udp-203/

 

This will be $549 in the US and will begin shipping at the end of this week.

 

The webpage formally confirms what had been previously rumoured, that the player will support Dolby Vision with a future firmware update. This makes it the first UHD player with DV support, though I suspect more will follow at CES.

 

 

This is definitely the player I will be buying in due course, probably now towards the ends of next summer as I am building my disc collection at a slower pace than I had hoped given the lacklustre choice of content, and having bought a cheap region-free BD player recently to replace my old region-free Oppo that died I'm in less of a rush for a new playback device so can prioritise a TV first. I'll also be waiting for a region-free mod for the 203 for its DVD and 1080 Blu-ray playback. Oppo are a superb company with exemplary customer service and long term firmware support. This should be a tough player to beat. 

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Saw this on the page:
 

Support for Dolby Vision will be available in the future via a firmware upgrade.

 

I seriously need to put this on my buy list. If I'm going to spend money on a dedicated player, I'd like to have my options covered and with the B6 having DV support, this would be another step to being in a good place for future proofing. I just hope LG doesn't get stingy and hold back HLG on their 2016 models in favor of the 2017 devices.

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Saw this on the page:

I mentioned that above. :) I expect more DV players at CES.

 

 

HLG relates to broadcast but the press release from LG they put out earlier in the year that I shared in the TV thread recently boasted about how their 2016 TVs are ready for it, so my guess is it will rollout whenever some actual HLG content begins to be broadcast by TV networks. Historically the Korean manufacturers tend to care more about providing these kind of updates to older customers where possible compared to the Japanese ones who are more "fuck you, buy this year's model."

 

I'm curious to see what other manufacturers may support DV in their televisions at CES. There's some belief Sony and Samsung et al won't adopt it as they've invested too much into their processing to want to hand any aspect of it over to Dolby's chipset, but I don't know how flexible Dolby's processor is to work alongside the software in a manufacturer's proprietary chips. It's still up for debate whether there's a significant advantage of dynamic HDR like Dolby Vision vs HDR10, at least on higher end displays. Initial comparisons seem to suggest there is not much in it, though some have recently said the Dolby Vision version of Pacific Rim is better than the UHD Blu. I agree it's nice to have it either way.

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I think we will see more, but whether any of the major manufacturers adopt it remains to be seen. There's a popular belief, as I wrote above, that the majors, particularly Sony and Samsung who invest a lot into their processing, do not want DV interfering with their proprietary algorithms believing that they know what is best for their panels and would not like to hand over a degree of decision making to Dolby's software. Dolby did in fact approach Samsung a year or so ago in the hope of getting DV into their TVs, but Samsung declined which was a bit of a blow for Dolby considering how much Samsung dominate the TV market. For what reason they turned Dolby down we don't seem to know for sure.

 

I referred to a DV "processor" above but just this past week but it seems that, in fact, DV can be applied as a software addition for SoCs in future. We know this is certainly true of the SoC inside Oppo's BD-203 player, so one would assume it could likewise apply to chips inside future players and display devices depending on the chipset. Vizio's CTO seemed to confirm this just recently, that it just requires a SoC powerful enough LG are certainly expected to debut a UHD Blu-ray player at CES with Dolby Vision.

 

I wrote in the TV thread that Samsung is expected to debut QDCF displays for 2017, which would mean being able to hit 98% of rec.2020 for an immensely wide colour gamut, along with other benefits. It's also been said that these displays will hit 4000nits brightness which happens to be the value Dolby Vision is typically mastered to, and is also the value Warner and Lionsgate use for HDR-10 on their UHD discs (vs 1000nits from Sony and others). 

 

I learn more and more about the headache that is HDR with each passing week it seems. The more I read about dynamic metadata and tone mapping the more the benefits of Dolby Vision make sense, likewise HDR-10 with dynamic metadata, but we are unlikely to see that finalised until the end of 2017 and we still have no clue if it will require HDMI 2.1 and indeed whether 2.1 will be a software update or yet another hardware evolution of HDMI.

 

There's still an argument though that Dolby Vision is perhaps more beneficial to lower end TVs or TVs with limited peak brightness like OLED displays as the image can be mapped by DV frame by frame to the limitations of the display. The argument is for higher end HDR-10 displays that have higher peak brightness values the difference between the two formats is diminished somewhat since the panels inherently have fewer display limitations, which does appear to have been shown in some tests comparing a UHD Blu of one movie in HDR-10 to the same movie in Dolby Vision on VUDU. So, if Samsung do indeed debut the first displays to hit 4000 in January it will be interesting to see how well HDR-10 performs as suddenly we'd have a panel to maximise what's there at the source (assuming the disc was mastered for 4000nits).  A 4000nit display with Dolby Vision would also be interesting to see though, and maybe is Samsung's QDCF sets are hitting those levels they might consider DV again as they could boast an advantage over LG there.

 

Sony would probably be wise to have it on an OLED display given that OLED cannot accurately map HDR-10 due to its brightness limitations, which I suspect is why adopting DV made sense to LG.

 

More compatible chipsets powerful enough to handle DV are bound to be more readily available than they were when Dolby last approached Samsung. I can imagine Dolby continuing to pursue trying to get Samsung's support, again because of them being a market leader, but whether they will bite remains to be seen. If I had to guess I'd say of Sony, Samsung and Panasonic we might be more likely to see Panasonic join in by releasing DV compatible TVs in 2017, but then they have a recent UHD player which does not support DV so it'd be odd for them to suddenly release a new player to go with a new TV that was, unless Panasonic's players can add it via firmware. Sigma's new STV7804 SoC can do it all, DV, HDR-10, VP9, HLG, 100/120hz frame rates...etc...etc and I am sure there are others. Panasonic had a good relationship with Disney early in the Blu-ray lifecycle, and I remain fairly convinced that Disney wants more Dolby Vision support out there before they'll do UHD discs, so something could play out there maybe.

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