Available in silvery-gold or regulation black, this high-end contender has an elegance few rivals can match. The brand’s distinctive curved fascia will produce a Marmite reaction, but I really rather like it – even though it’s impossible to match with other branded electronics. Build quality is substantial. The disc loading mechanism is a thing of beauty, while the rear offers a bank of analogue audio outs to supplement the single HDMI.
A large glow-in-the-dark remote will ensure its popularity with home cinema types, moreover, the 2D/3D disc replay is a cut above. There’s no smart TV portal access, although you do get YouTube. File playback is comprehensive, both across a network and from USB: MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, MKV, AVI, MOV, MP4 and TS extensions all play. A Universal player, the deck handles Super Audio CD and DVD Audio. Both sound wonderful, and it does a pretty decent job with CDs too.
Reg Rating 85%
More info Marantz
There’s some shared lineage between this player and the Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD reviewed above, although beneath the hood they utilise different chippery. Here you get Sabre 32 DACs, making this quite a desirable item for the golden-eared. Build quality is top notch, and there’s some esoteric connectivity in the shape of a balanced stereo XLR analogue output for those with matching amplification. There are also two HDMI outputs, multichannel analogue phonos and a pair USBs. While there’s no integrated Wi-Fi, a dongle is included in the box.
Video quality, from the primary HDMI, is sensationally good. 2D is particularly smooth and rich in detail. Sonically, it’s compatible with both SACD and DVD-Audio. Media playback from USB and network is excellent. Indeed, there’s not much that won’t play, with support for MP3, WAV, AAC, Ogg, Ape, FLAC, AVI, MOV and MKV. In short, if you’ve got it, the Oppo will play it.
On-line frivolity is limited to Picasa, for reasons I can’t possibly explain and intriguingly, our review sample turned offering multi-region Blu-ray playback. A simple handset hack switches between BD and DVD regions. Obviously, this is a tweak certain dealers apply, not Oppo. For more, check with your local supplier.
Reg Rating 85%
More info Oppo
Next page: Panasonic DMP-BDT310
In this age.....
..when everything is designed to fail the minute it gets past warranty why would you bother to spend more then £200 on such a mundane device?
Before anyone counters, yes I was one of those folks that would spend £1500 on a CD player. So I know all about the 'superior power supplies", "the enhanced DACs" for picture/sound quality etc. etc. However, that was many years ago when you could count on support for 10+ years on a device. So maybe it was worth paying the extra for that. Nowadays?
Now I see any electronics device, regardless of price as delayed landfill. That and I've grown up a bit.
Still well overpriced
Most of these Blu-ray players seem to be high-end models that only audiophiles would chase it seems, making it not particularly relevant to 95%+ of the people reading this article.
I bought an LG combo drive for my PC in September 2008 for 67 quid that can read and write CDs and DVDs plus read HD-DVDs and Blu-Rays. Where's the equivalent 67 quid standalone Blu-Ray player over 3 years later? Whilst there have been a few special offers (HotUKDeals is your friend) in the interim, most Blu-ray players are still well above 100 quid! Why?
Blu-ray is doomed to fail long term on pricing alone (after over 5 years from launch, sub 100 quid players are still a rarity rather than the norm they should be - plus shouldn't Blu-ray movie discs cost the same as DVD discs by now too?), never mind that movie streaming via a net connection is slowly closing the viability window for Blu-ray too.
Basically, Blu-ray is an epic price fail and unless the prices fall soon, it'll be dodo time for the format.
Not buying into it again.
I bought my movies on VHS.
I bought my movies again on Widescreen VHS.
I bought my movies on DVD.
I bought my movies on remastered DVD Directors cuts.
I'm tired. I'm not buying them anymore.
Its the local lending library or streaming from now on.