Handling proved about as speedy as that of other players I’ve tested recently. The tray opened up to accept discs within 4 seconds of hitting the power button, and it took around 10 seconds for an image to show up onscreen upon inserting most Blu-rays. The player’s Fast Playback 1 and 2 modes also provided very smooth picture quality when scanning through discs.
The BDP-93 played various discs in my Blu-ray 3D library without a hitch. Regular Blu-rays also looked as good as expected, and DVDs upscaled to 1080p by the player appeared crisp, solid, and artifact-free. Spinning test Blu-rays like Spears & Munsil confirmed its ability to handle difficult tests like 2:2 pulldown and Chroma Multiburst. Compared with many other players, it also did a superior job of smoothly rendering the billowing American flag on the HQV DVD. Curiously, the Oppo wasn’t able to maintain a lock on the 2:3 film pulldown test from the same disc, though I saw no related artifacts on movie scene torture tests that I use to spot-check for that problem.
The Oppo’s video noise reduction, which you enable in the Picture Adjustment portion of the Video Setup menu, can be set separately for each of the player’s HDMI outputs. When using HDMI 1, the available QDEO processing does a good job of reducing noise without eliminating picture detail at the level 1 and 2 settings. Level 2 tends to smooth out film grain in movies slightly, however, so proceed cautiously when applying.
Pink Floyd and Yes tracks played from my (admittedly limited) collection of SACD and DVD-Audio discs sounded great with the Oppo’s analog outputs feeding an Anthem AVM-50v preamp/processor, especially when heard in 5.1 surround. But I was even more impressed by the sound quality of 96/24 FLAC files streamed from my computer. When listening to “Every Time We Say Goodbye” from Jimmy Cobb’s Jazz in the Key of Blue (an HDtracks download), there was a sense of ease and “air” to the trumpet and guitar that made them sound exceptionally natural. The BDP-93 is the first Blu-ray player I know of that’s capable of decoding FLAC (in addition to streaming FLAC files over a network, it can also read them from a drive connected to its USB ports). Needless to say, I’m excited about future possibilities for hearing more high-rez music downloads via this method.
Viewed purely as a disc player, the Oppo BDP-93’s mix of performance and build quality makes it worth the extra bucks you’d pay over other 3D-capable models. This is a sophisticated machine that’s made to last. But forward-looking A/V-philes may also find lots to like about its DLNA feature, which will allow them to stream the high-rez audio downloads that are rapidly becoming the norm for audiophile listening. I’m sure the BDP-93 won’t be the last disc player that’s ever sold, but it could very well be the last one you’ll ever need.
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