|Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Player Review|
|Home Theater Video Players Blu-ray Players|
|Written by Thomas Spurlin|
|Friday, 29 May 2009|
Page 3 of 4
Somewhere in between, Tartan’s Blu-ray presentation of Park Chan-wook’s comedy I’m a Cyborg displayed an equally impressive experience. Differing a bit from the director’s normal 2.35:1 framing, this disc carries a 1.78:1 aspect ratio – brightly colored, richly detailed, and exquisite in many ways. From the slick, pastel-heavy visual design to the tight attention to little mechanical details like metallic weave on a radio, OPPO’s player lends a natural air about even more highly unnatural elements. This disc comes with both DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby True HD tracks, both of which streamed into the receiver and popped up with the proper labeling on the display. Though this disc is region-free for the film itself, the special features are encoded in PAL and, therefore, cannot be played in many players in the United States. The OPPO, in a slightly stunning move, have enabled the BDP-83 to play PAL special features – activating the SD Making-of featurette and others available for screening. They might not have been able to make their player region-free for Blu-rays, but making these otherwise unwatchable special features helps to ease the blow.
Finally, it was time to give animation a go on OPPO’s diligent machine in the form of Dreamworks / Paramount’s Kung Fu Panda, an excellent release in its own right. Ranging from compelling hand-drawn attractiveness in its first few minutes to exquisitely built 3D animation, OPPO’s player handled both the richness of color and the attention to detail in compelling ways. Po’s stumble around the noodle house showcases the player’s capacity to render extraordinarily minute details, slick color gradation, and an immensely potent sound design with the Dolby TrueHD track.
Accessing BD-Live was successful via the Ethernet port to the rear of the unit, though it took a while to access and boot up Sony’s BD-Live site for The Da Vinci Code. However, once it connected and started to navigate through, the player’s software supported the experience well. It allowed for connection with Sony’s site to redeem a movie ticket for Angels and Demons, connecting to an e-mail account without any stumbles. Profile 1.1 content, however, was a bit finicky. Out of the box, it would load the PiP at the lower extremities of the screen for several discs (Angels and Demons, Kung Fu Panda) – but wouldn’t attach the sound files to the secondary picture. With the latest firmware file (BDP83-22-0430) loaded onto the machine, it has some difficulties; hopefully, with further updates, the BD-Java will run a bit smoother.
To test the region-coding status of the OPPO BDP-83, a copy of Fox’s Region B-locked The Fountain was given a spin – which, sadly, was rejected due to region status. Fox’s statement popped on the screen, along with a slight wave of disappointment in this reviewer’s eyes. It’s an expected rejection, but it’s still a mild deterrent from the player.