Ten... Blu-ray disc players
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