We were one of the first sites to start reviewing UHD Blu-ray releases. I managed to get my hands on the Samsung player a bit early and started reporting on those first discs. What you don’t know is how much of a pain that Samsung player really is. From the remote down to the function it is a bit of a nightmare to operate. Of course, I’ve been spoiled by the Oppo players I usually use for my reviews here. Oppo took their time launching their unit. I suspect they wanted to make sure they got it right. You have been emailing me for months about an Oppo UHD player. I was sworn to secrecy…until now. Meet the Oppo UDP-203. I’ll be reviewing a unit as soon as I can get my hands on one. I’m told it will be soon. For now here’s the official press release from Oppo:
OPPO Releases UDP-203 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player
Award-winning universal players reach a new level of clarity
MENLO PARK, California – December 12, 2016 – OPPO Digital today announced that the new UDP-203 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player is ready for release. A successor to the award-winning BDP-103 series universal Blu-ray Disc player, the UDP-203 is the latest product released by the renowned manufacturer of high performance audio video products.
The OPPO UDP-203 supports the playback of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs. Packing a resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 pixels, UHD Blu-ray delivers four times the pixels of Full HD Blu-ray. The UDP-203 also supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut. The enhanced resolution, refined contrast, greater brightness, and expanded color produce stunning video with unparalleled clarity and detail.
The UDP-203 combines the latest technology with OPPO’s many years of experience in delivering high quality video and audio. A customized quad-core video decoder/processor integrates OPPO’s advanced video decoding, processing and optimization expertise. A high-precision, well-balanced laser optical disc loader ensures smooth and reliable playback of all types of disc media. The player features two HDMI outputs – an HDMI 2.0 port for connecting to the latest UHD TVs, projectors and A/V receivers, and an HDMI 1.4 audio port for connecting to older A/V receivers.
The design of the UDP-203 focuses on quality playback and universal compatibility with multiple disc and file formats. In addition to the latest UHD Blu-ray, the UDP-203 supports regular Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, and audio CD. The UDP-203 is equipped with two USB 3.0 ports on the back and another USB port on the front. Users can play video, music and photos from USB hard drives or thumb drives. Built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi or Gigabit Ethernet connects the UDP-203 to users’ home networks, so users can easily play media files stored on computers and home servers.
The UDP-203’s video performance and universal compatibility is further complemented by its support of lossless high resolution audio. The player decodes audio file formats such as AIFF, WAV, ALAC, APE and FLAC. It also directly plays Direct-Stream Digital audio files in stereo DSD64/128 or multi-channel DSD64. With internal decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and bitstream output for object-based immersive audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the UDP-203 delivers great sound for both movie soundtracks and music. Besides HDMI, audio is concurrently available through the 7.1-channel analog outputs, featuring “Velvet Sound” 32-bit premium digital-to-analog converters from AKM of Japan.
In order to provide a premium user experience with quick start-up times and fast response, the UDP-203 is designed with a purist approach in mind for disc and file playback, and so it does not carry internet video and music streaming apps. Instead, an HDMI 2.0 input port that supports UHD resolution is available for users to connect an external streaming device. This approach affords users the flexibility to choose from a wide range of streaming devices and easily upgrade as streaming technologies evolve, while still taking advantage of the UDP-203’s audio and video processing capabilities.
Continuing OPPO’s tradition of providing firmware updates long after the initial release, the UDP-203 is upgradable via an easy-to-perform firmware update process. Since the Ultra HD Blu-ray format is still very new, customers can expect ongoing firmware updates that introduce new features and resolve issues. Leveraging hardware designed to support Dolby Vision, customers can expect a firmware update in early 2017 that brings Dolby Vision support to the player. Dolby Vision transforms the TV viewing experience by delivering striking highlights, brilliant colors, and deep darks never before seen on standard television screens, and OPPO is committed to bringing this exciting technology to the UDP-203.
UDP-203 customers will have years of enjoyment from this expertly designed and solidly built player. A brushed aluminum front panel, steel chassis and gold plated connectors not only present a sleek aesthetic, but also ensure dependable operation and reliable connection. Integration-friendly features such as RS-232 control, back panel IR sensor and third-party IP control make the UDP-203 a great choice for any home theater system.
UDP-203 Main Features:
- Universal disc playback for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and many other formats
- High Dynamic Range with HDR10 and firmware upgradable to Dolby Vision
- Two HDMI outputs – HDMI 2.0 for UHD and HDMI 1.4 for audio
- HDMI 2.0 input for external streaming devices or set-top boxes
- Two USB 3.0 ports for media file playback
- High resolution audio with lossless decoding for PCM and DSD
- 1ch analog audio outputs with premium 32-bit “Velvet Sound” DAC by AKM
- Excellent audio and video performance
- Upgradable and dependable
In addition to the UDP-203, a UDP-205 model is in development as a successor to the BDP-105/105D with upgraded audio performance. The UDP-205 should be available in early 2017.
The UDP-203 will retail for $549 at oppodigital.com. For more information, visit http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-udp-203/.
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