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  • OPPO UDP-205 Ultra HD Audiophile Blu-ray Disc Player

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 16th, 2017

    Overall
    (out of 5)

    They know who you are. They know how you think. They have mastered the nuances of your language. Most important, they know exactly what it is you like to do in that little dark room you have tucked away in a corner of your home. They know all about that private little collection, and they know how you use it. It’s not the NSA. They’re an electronics company called Oppo, and if you are an audio-videophile like me, they know you cold. And the reason they pay so much attention to what you want is because they are committed to giving you the best home video player of any kind, hands down. I’m talking about the Oppo UDP-205. It’s been only months since Oppo entered the world of UHD Blu-ray and they quickly dominated it. Now Oppo is already delivering what I consider a second generation (but not really) player before most companies have figured out their first players.

    We use our players hard here at Upcomingdiscs. I dare say few people put a player through the kind of use that we do. I average over 2000 television episodes a year and a little over 300 films. I have worn out plenty of equipment before its time. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to wear down any of our Oppo players. Three of Upcomingdiscs staff members rely on them to deliver our reviews. We are able to provide the kind of audio and video detail with confidence that we are seeing the best any particular disc is going to look. Sometimes I get an email from one of our readers who complains that they didn’t experience some of the results I’ve described in a review. I always tell them the same thing. That’s because you’re not using an Oppo player. Every now and again, said writer picks one up and thanks me for the advice. As my favorite comic book writer is fond of saying: “‘Nuff said”.

    Packaging

    Oppo Digital wants you to feel like you’ve entered the high-end world right from the jump. Instead of cheap styro, the unit is protected by pressure-formed solid foam. Forget that silly tissue plastic that usually covers a unit in the box. This baby comes nestled inside a canvas bag. Of course, it’s also a great advertising idea. You’ll have the handy bag to tote stuff around later. The accessories come in a solid hard-shell box. Inside you get a remote + batteries and a solid HDMI cable.

    The manual is pretty simple and straightforward. There aren’t 20 different languages to sift through either. I’m sure that it is available in whatever language you require, but I love that it comes in one handy English-language version. It’s thicker than most, but don’t be intimidated by that. All it means is that you’re going to get easy step-by-step instructions for all of the many features this unit contains. Keep the manual around. It will come in handy should you want to change any of the many settings the unit places at your control.

    Remote Control

    The remote is exactly the same one that came with 203. Here’s what you get. After spending time with the Samsung miniature remote control, I’m happy to see that the Oppo remote remains essentially the same. The remote is sturdy and feels solid in your hands. I’m getting a little tired of these fragile, razor-thin remotes that are intended to appear sleek and trendy, but don’t hold up worth crap. You get a pretty forgiving angle of operation. The buttons are all arranged logically and are a good size. This is a good old-school remote with new-school reliability. There are a couple of button changes added to the traditional layout. There is an HDR button that allows you to control the HDR content from on/off to auto-detect. Gone are the Netflix and Vudu buttons, because the streaming services are not included here. I never used them. This unit isn’t really designed for that kind of operation. There is also sensor that makes the buttons light up with the slightest vibration. I actually like this feature a lot. I will say it’s a touch too sensitive. Just putting a drink glass on the same countertop makes the thing light up. All in all, I would rather have the feature than not. Previous versions had a button to turn the light on; that’s where the more useful HDR button is now.

    Setup

    The unit comes out of the box ready to perform. There is an HDMI output for both sound and video along with a secondary HDMI output that is strictly for audio. I enjoy sending my video signal direct to my monitor and still allowing my receiver to handle all of the modern codec work. The Oppo has superior image adjustments. It has as many fine-tuning options as most monitors. You can play with brightness, color, black levels, sharpness, noise reduction, and edge enhancement. I would rather keep things close to neutral on my unit and let the monitor handle the fine adjustments. It’s nice to have the option, however. You can also tweak the dynamics of the sound somewhat. Again, I’d rather leave that to my amp. There is a speaker calibration tool that helps you to optimize your sound performance. You also have some options to tweak your 3D performance. Oppo has given you awesome UHD images to go along with each menu page.

    In The Rack

    Dimensions: Dimensions: 16.8 x 12.2 x 4.8 inches (430mm x 311mm x 123mm)

    You will notice that the 205 is a little larger than the 203. The extra bulk doesn’t bother me. With everything they have crammed in there, I’m actually happy for the extra breathing room which keeps this unit running pretty cool overall. Heat is deadly for electronic equipment. Oppo has apparently given the problem a lot of thought and incorporated that into the design. The design splits the transformer (on left) with the capacitor set (on the right). Here’s where most of your heat is generated, and giving them space helps significantly with keeping the unit cool. The additional height also allows for reduced vibration, resulting in quiet operation and smoother disc operation. There is still the rather generous oversized display that I’m also happy to have. You can dim or completely shut the front display off if it bothers you. I like to keep the counter at time remaining. In the front there is a USB 3.0 input that you can use to port video/photographs/movies to play directly from a flash drive or most external hard drives. In the rear you have two HDMI connections. One is strictly for audio. I have that connected to my amp and the other connected directly to my monitor. You get both optical and coaxial audio outputs. This is something most players now neglect. You get two additional USB 3.0 slots. The true audiophile has the option of using the eight RCA connections that carry the sound for each channel. It’s a nice option to have clean individual feeds if your amp has the connections, and most do these days. There’s an RS-232C serial connection. New in the 205 is the wonderful addition of both RCA and balanced XLR stereo outputs. This is the kind of thing I use in my recording studio. The sound from the XLR outputs is stellar on a level you do not expect from a disc player. Who does this? No one else. There’s an HDML input that allows you to pass another source through the machine. That includes other players, media hubs, and game systems. This way you can use the unit’s processing abilities and save an input when necessary. You also get a LAN connection, but the unit has a reliable wireless connection ability. There is an IR port that allows you to use the remote control from the unit’s rear. Most players neglect the fact that particularly projection systems might be set up that way. Now you know what I mean when I say Oppo thinks of everything.

     

     

    Performance

    This is why you really bought the unit. What difference do any of the cool options make if the quality isn’t just as high end? Once again I spent weeks throwing everything I had at this player. Blu-rays up-convert to 4K, squeezing the best image possible out of the HD format. Look, I know that up-convert can’t make an HD signal UHD completely. You can’t provide what isn’t there. But this unit will give you the absolute best any disc might have to offer. As a disc reviewer, that’s a deal-maker for me. I need to know I’m seeing this material at the best it can be. This machine provides me with that kind of confidence. I used the USB port to run some video files. They looked better than on my HD computer monitor. The unit loads fast. I have to admit that I have grown rather impatient at the time it can take to load a disc. This unit is on par with the 203. Both have the fastest and most accurate loading I have ever experienced. I will also tell you that this is also the quietest player I’ve owned, an improvement over even the 203. In addition to the new UHD Blu-ray format the unit handles all of the current disc types (and even a couple no longer current). Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, AVCHD, SACD, CD, Kodak Picture CD, CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL, BD-R/RE. The unit supports HDR-10 and Wide Color Gamut. That means you get the most brilliant color possible in a home theater unit. If you do not have an HDR-capable television, this unit will convert the signal to an SDR format any 4K television can display. But you really want to have an HDR monitor to get the best out of that feature. The unit also supports the new Dolby Vision, which has not been fully exploited by the disc manufacturers as of yet. It supports the current 4K codecs: HEVC, H.264, VP9-4K, Hi10P along with the traditional SD & HD formats. Most video file formats are supported so that you can play non-disc content that you have created or downloaded through the USB ports. You get the industry’s best audio jitter reduction circuits. Timing errors are a thing of the past. This is another reason to use the audio only HDMI connection to your amp. Combined with a superior HDMI clock you get the most error-free audio presentation possible. This is particularly important with high-compression files. The video quality is essentially identical to the 203 with pretty much the same technology. Unless you are new here, you already know what I think of the unit’s performance. Those specs can be found in my UDP-203 review. I’ve also mentioned the 203’s performance frequently in my 4K reviews. So why did Oppo release a 205? And why did I want one so badly?

    This unit is targeted at a very specific audience. In the rush to improve the video quality of our home theaters, I have long believed that none of the same effort has gone into improving the audio experience at most electronics companies. In fact many players sacrifice audio for the sake of money or downright laziness. Yes, I’m talking about you, Samsung. This unit was created to help bring your audio experience up to the same standards as the video. The unit contains two ESS Technology ES9038PRO DACs. One is dedicated to the XLR/RCA stereo outputs while the other runs the 7.1 outputs. The built-in headphone amp is directly fed through one of the DAC’s.  The cool thing to remember here is that it works just as well with your stereo audio as it does with the new 7.1 audio presentations. It’s a 32-bit audio dynamo that delivers the most realistic sounds you’ve ever had at home. The best chance I had to fully explore this technology came with an SACD of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. It’s the first album I ever bought, and that was an 8-track tape back in 1973. I have owned the album in every format that has been released since that time. I thought I knew the songs about as well as I knew my own. This unit proved me wrong. Just listen to Funeral For A Friend on this baby, and the experience will be almost spiritual. I could pick out instruments and riffs that I honestly never heard before. The separation and clarity are off the charts. If that wasn’t enough, I listened again in stereo with a nice set of Sony headphones. Of course, there wasn’t the same level of separation, but the pure crystal clarity immersed me inside the music. I’m a recording artist myself and decided to listen to two of my own CD’s both with the headsets and through the amp. I wrote this stuff, and it was as if I were experiencing it for the first time. I once heard Martin Scorsese say that he wished he could experience his films as if it were the first time he’d seen them. I have always been able to relate. This is the closest I ever got on my own releases. Don’t forget that you can use the USB ports to have your audio files utilize the powerful audio processing of the unit. I can promise you with no hesitation that you have never had a disc player of any kind deliver the audio experience you will get here. It rivals anything in my professional recording studio for sheer dynamic audio reproduction. I wish this thing was portable enough to use every time I listen to tunes. From classical to pop, this unit rocks and it rolls.

    Final Thoughts

    It is essential for me that I have a UHD Blu-ray player that delivers the best possible picture and sound I can get. Every time I write a review, and I’ve written over 3000 of them, I put my and this site’s reputation on the line. If I can’t distinguish between a very good and an outstanding transfer, you guys are going to let me have it. If I can’t be reliable, you’ll go somewhere else to get your reviews. The real home theater connoisseur doesn’t have time to waste reading a review from a critic who obviously based his opinions on inferior equipment. Then the studios will stop sending titles. Put simply…I’m out of business. There’s a reason we’ve been around for 20 years. If it weren’t for the kind of quality we get from our Oppo stable of workhorses, I don’t know that we would have been able to cut it for so long. Finally, and it bears repeating here, I need a reliable machine that can go for long hours and for years. We work under deadlines here that can cost us relationships with the studios. If a machine goes down, I have to scramble quickly. Since I’ve been using Oppo, I haven’t had to do that… EVER. Oppo doesn’t pay me to say any of this. Every word is genuine. I make you this promise. Buy any of their players. If you’re not happy, tell me, and I’ll print every word you say in the comments section of this review. I’ve recommended them personally to my friends, and no one has been disappointed yet. Here’s the bottom line. Oppo is the distinction between the casual movie watcher and the dedicated home theater enthusiast… and even us pros.

    Bang it here and check out the unit for yourself Oppo UDP-205. When you decide to buy one, I ask you to do so from our Amazon link here. It keeps us going. And let me know what you think.

    Here are the specs provided by Oppo:

    Disc Types* 4K UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, AVCHD, SACD, CD, Kodak Picture CD, CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL, BD-R/RE
    BD Profile BD-ROM Version 3.1 Profile 6 (also compatible with BD-ROM Version 2.5 Profile 5)
    Output Analog Audio: 7.1ch, 5.1ch, stereo.
    Dedicated Stereo Analog Audio: XLR balanced, RCA single-ended.
    Coaxial/Optical Audio: up to 2ch/192kHz PCM, Dolby Digital, DTS.
    HDMI Audio: up to 7.1ch/192kHz PCM, up to 5.1ch DSD, Bitstream.
    HDMI Video: UHD/1080p24/1080p/1080i/720p/576p/576i/480p/480i, 3D frame-packing 720p/1080p24.
    Input HDMI Audio: up to 7.1ch/192kHz PCM, up to 5.1ch DSD, Bitstream.
    HDMI Video: UHD/1080p24/1080p/1080i/720p/576p/576i/480p/480i, 3D frame-packing 720p/1080p24.
    USB Audio: up to 2ch/768kHz PCM, up to 2ch/2.8224MHz/5.6448MHz/11.2896MHz/22.5792 MHz (native mode only) DSD.
    Coaxial/Optical Audio: up to 2ch/192kHz PCM, Dolby Digital, DTS, AAC.
    Audio Characteristics**
    (Stereo Audio Output)
    Frequency Response: 20Hz – 160kHz (-3dB ˜ +0.05dB)
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio: > 120dBr
    THD+N: < 0.00018%
    Output Level: (RCA) 2.1±0.2Vrms. (XLR) 4.2±0.4Vrms
    Dynamic Range: > 120dB
    Crosstalk: > 118dB
    Analogue Audio Characteristics**
    (Multi-channel Audio Output)
    Frequency Response: 20Hz – 160kHz (-3dB ˜ +0.05dB)
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio: > 120dBr
    THD+N: < 0.00031%
    Output Level: 2.1±0.2Vrms
    Dynamic Range: > 120dB
    Crosstalk: > 118dB
    Headphone Audio Characteristics** Frequency Response: 20Hz – 80kHz (-2dB ˜ +0.05dB) into 32ohm
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio: > 105dBr into 32ohm
    THD+N: < 0.01% into 32ohm and 50mW
    Maximum Output Power: 590mW into 32ohm
    Dynamic Range: > 115dB into 32ohm
    Output Impedance: < 0.1ohm
    General Specification Power Supply: 110V – 120V ˜ / 220V – 240V ˜, 50/60Hz
    Power Consumption: 65W (Standby: 0.5W in Energy Efficient Mode)
    Dimensions: 16.8 x 12.2 x 4.8 inches (430mm x 311mm x 123mm)
    Mass: 22lbs (10kg)
    Operating Temperature 41°F – 95°F, 5°C – 35°C
    Operating Humidity 15% – 75%, no condensation
    Included Accessories User Manual
    Power Cord
    Certified Premium High Speed 6 Ft HDMI Cable
    Remote Control with Size AA Batteries
    Shipping Information Shipping Weight: 30 lbs
    Shipping Dimensions: 22 x 19 x 9.5 inches

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Posted In: Blu-ray/3D Blu-ray, Hardware Reviews, Oppo

    19 Responses to “OPPO UDP-205 Ultra HD Audiophile Blu-ray Disc Player”

    1. Samuel Says:

      The next version will certainly have the 4k darbee so it’s urgent to wait !!

    2. Gino Sassani Says:

      Hey Samuel, I’m sure that you are correct and it will happen. But that will be quite a while. I can’t imagine waiting that long to get a good UHD player. Remember this is the 2nd UHD player from Oppo in about 6 months. It could be a year before the next edition. Too long to wait.

    3. Chuck Says:

      Would you use this Oppo as a dedicated CD player (as well as video, of course)? I listen to a lot of CD’s, and am concerned about durability of this unit. Thanks.

    4. Gino Sassani Says:

      Chuck, absolutely. I wish I had an extra one for my recording studio for CD playback (I’d use the XLR connections). for durability it’s great. I’m not kidding when I tell you I watch about 2000 tv eps and about 300 films a year. I’ve literally run them 24 hours straight. You have my word. It will hold up to constant use.
      Thanks so much for asking.

    5. Chuck Says:

      Gino, thanks for your prompt reply. One more question if I may. My Yamaha receiver does not have analog audio inputs; do you know if I will be able to use the SACD capability of the Oppo somehow, that is, is there a workaround? Thanks.

    6. Gino Sassani Says:

      You have HDMI, yes? That’s how I played the SACD of Yellow Brick Road for my review.

    7. Bryan Says:

      Hi Gino,

      I have high-end interconnect RCA cables for my stereo CD transfers from the UDP-205 to my Yamaha receiver. Its the type of interconnects that have a “large box” in the middle of the cable, to sync the time of the low, mid and high frequencies. Is there a separate adapter for these RCA cables in order to utilize the 3-pin XLR connectors on the UDP-205?

    8. Bryan Says:

      And if adapters are made, would it make a audible difference in sound quality to use them with the XLR connectors on the 205, or am I better off just using my RCA cables connected to the 205’s RCA jacks?

      Which brand/model# are the best adapters?

    9. Gino Sassani Says:

      Thanks for reaching out, Bryan.
      I wouldn’t go with the adaptors.
      You lose any advantage with going 3-pin and both are directly fed through one of the DAC’s
      So if your end-point is RCA just go with the good cables and run the RCA ends.
      Of course, that’s just my opinion and advice.
      Hope that helps.

    10. Gino Sassani Says:

      If you do go adapters I use Archer.

    11. Charles Says:

      Hi, I have been happily using the 105D with my Hegel 200 IA and 260 Dyn’s connected with 1st gen Frey’s and am wondering if there are upgrades to the 105D that would make it worth while to purchase the 205? Thanks

    12. Gino Sassani Says:

      Hey Charles, thanks for the question. Of course, this IS NOT a Darbee edition, but the DAC chips are going to be at least 2 years advanced plus remember this is a UHD player and is up to date with all of those codecs.So my guess is you’ll still find this an upgrade.Some folks will hold out for a Darbee but I suspect that could be a year down the road.

    13. Charles Says:

      Thanks Gino, much appreciated

    14. Chuck Says:

      Hi Gino,

      I don’t own what is considered a “high end” system, but what I have is probably “middle end”, if there is such a term (less than $1300). Some reviewers of the UDP-205 say that unless you own a “high end” system it isn’t worth buying the Oppo, because you probably wouldn’t notice much of a difference.

      What is your take on this? Thanks.

    15. Gino Sassani Says:

      Hey Chuck, thanks for the question. My answer is yes and no. It’s true that the better your system the more you’ll take advantage of any unit. But no. The most important link in your system is the source.You can’t improve on the source, not really. So, this will look and sound better on any system you have. Will a higher end system be better, yes. But I suspect you’ll still notice the difference. With that said, the price tag here isn’t likely to entice many people who do not already have relatively high end stuff. Hope that helps.

    16. Chuck Says:

      That pretty much clinches it – I’m sold! Thanks again.

    17. Gino Sassani Says:

      Thanks Chuck. If you get it from Amazon, please use our link. It helps us keep going here.

      This unit will also do the processing if your rec/amp doesn’t support a codec for the audio. Please let me know what you’re own experience was.

    18. Jedward Says:

      Hi, my question is this: I have a McIntosh amp and preamp (MX134) which doesn’t have HDMI inputs. I prefer to connect HDMI directly from the source to my LG 65″ OLED TV……So with the oppo 205 I would connect audio to the MX-134 with either optical or coaxial cable (I prefer optical). Will this type of connection sound as good as the HDMI Audio-only output on the 205?

    19. Gino Sassani Says:

      Hi Jedward, Unfortunately, you will not get the same quality. If you are using SACD it doesn’t get carried on optical or coax. It has to do with some rights issue. If you have 5.1 or 7.1 RCA inputs that’s your best bet. Let the unit do the decoding and send the multi-line signals to your amp. A agree with sending the HDMI direct to your monitor. I do the same. The unit has 2 HDMI outputs. 1 for everything and an additional HDMI for audio signal only to go to your amp. You have the right idea of sending the video direct.

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