OPPO makes some of the very best Blu-ray players available. When they introduced their first player back in 2009, I couldn’t help but be impressed. I remember reading a review of that first model, the BDP-83, and being disappointed to learn that they had a factory-direct online business model and that we wouldn’t be able to be a dealer. Well, persistence pays off! After months of inquiries, OPPO decided to welcome Audio Advice as one of their first brick and mortar dealers. We’ve been proud to carry their products ever since!
OPPO has always basically had two models of Blu-ray players to choose from. Their current generation includes the 103 series and 105 series. When Darbee video processing came to market a couple of years ago, OPPO gave you an additional choice of adding Darbee, thus the 103D and 105D.
I will not go into a long discussion on Darbee, just suffice it to say that it makes your picture look a whole lot better! Today you can get the 103 with or without Darbee, but for only $100 more, it’s easily worth it. The 105, however, only comes with Darbee.
OPPO players support both Netflix and VUDU. VUDU is my favorite streaming movie application. It has a great menu for finding films, supports 7.1 surround and will soon support Dolby Atmos. I’ve found that VUDU looks better through an OPPO than any other television app, Blu-ray player, or streaming box.
So let’s assume your decision is going to come down to the OPPO BDP-103D at $599 or the OPPO BDP-105D at $1,299. What are the main differences? This is one of the most common questions we get asked at Audio Advice.
Is the BDP-103D or the BDP-105D Right for Me?
There are quite a few feature differences between the two, but it will come down to your use case. Let’s look at a few situations:
You are putting together a home theater and want the best source for streaming and blu ray.
In this situation, you will be using the HDMI out of the Oppo to feed your home theater system. All audio and video will be passing down the HDMI cable. This one is simple, save the $700 and get the 103D. The picture and sound it produces through the HDMI output is identical to the 105D.
You are want to use your home theater to enjoy both movies, streaming and music.
This one is trickier. The 105D has far superior audio circuitry than the 103D. To take advantage of this, you will need to run a stereo pair of audio cables from its audio outs to your receiver or home theater processor. Unless you are in the Classe or Datasat price range for your processor, the Oppo 105D will sound better than the DACs in your processor. If your processor has multi-channel audio inputs, you can even take advantage of SACD multi-channel audio CD’s. There are not a ton of these on the market, but the sound is great!
The 105D offers a few ways to enjoy music. First, you can just drop a CD in the tray. It is also a network audio player, so you can navigate through its menu and find any music residing on your network. While this lets you take advantage of the good audio DAC’s in the 105D, I have to say this is not the most user-friendly interface. Another way is to use the USB DAC in the 105D. In this case you would connect a computer to the OPPO 105D USB input and use another app to control the music. With the right app, this will be a much better user experience.
Now one other consideration is switching between all the possible input choices on the OPPO. This is not quite as simple as switching your receiver from say DVD to TV. You need to push the input button on the OPPO remote, scroll through the choices, select the one you want. If you are ok with this, using the OPPO 105D as an additional music source is a great idea.
Similar to above, but you want to enjoy headphones.
In this situation, you need the 105D for all of the reasons above and the fact that it’s the only one with a headphone jack. The headphone output on the OPPO BDP-105D is not an afterthought. It’s actually pretty darn good.
You want to get the best possible home theater from an audio perspective, are on a somewhat limited budget, and are willing to sacrifice a little hassle for better sound.
I’ve always felt separate components (if they are good) give you far better audio performance. The big reason is you get the power supply of the amplifier out of the same box that is supplying power to the preamp stage. You’ll get richer, fuller sound with much more impact. So this means you need both a power amp and a surround sound processor for your theater. Well, the 105D, if it has enough inputs for you, can be your streamer, Blu-ray player, and preamp! It has 7.1 audio outputs so you can connect it up directly to a power amp. It has very good bass management and speaker control in its set-up menu.
This will be a bit clunky and limited in inputs, but if you can deal a cable box or satellite receiver into its 2nd HDMI, then use the OPPO for Netflix, Vudu, and Blu-ray, you’ll have a great sounding rig with the addition of some separate power pieces. If you’re looking for some great amps for this setup, we have some great options from Rotel.
To sum up, if you just want the best picture, get the 103D. If audio and other sources enter into the equation, the 105D may be a better option for you. I hope this helps, but if you have more questions, comment on our posts or contact us. We’ll be glad to help!