BD player to rival Oppo?

Just pulled the trigger on a new Sony 4K TV and our old Sony Blu-ray player is getting a bit wobbly - cutting out whilst playing a disc or Netflix - so we’re probably going to need a replacement.

I’m kicking myself mightily for not buying an Oppo UDP203 new when they were around £500 - have you seen the current s/h prices for them? There are some Oppo players out there for much more reasonable money, but I’m pretty sure they don’t play 4K discs (of which I currently own none, though that might change).

So, questions for the assembled company:

  • How good is 4K streaming at the moment? Our wifi is fairly robust. (I ask because if it’s good, I may never feel the need to own a 4K Bluray player). I couldn’t find many 4K films on Netflix that I’d heard of, but then that’s not dissimilar to my experience of browsing 4K Bluray titles in HMV.
  • Would a s/h Oppo player be likely to give better performance playing DVD and Bluray than a new player? For example, a s/h 103D v. a new £400 player?
  • If I go down the new player path, what make(s) and model(s) of disc spinner would you recommend around the £400 price point? [extra points if it can play SACDs]

Thanks,

Mark

Streaming doesn’t match the performance of a 4K player and I doubt it will for many years.

I have the Panasonic DP-UB9000 and is superb. I never owned the Oppo, but from what I read, it doesn’t quite match the Panasonic. Probably out your price range, but I think that 4K players might be a thing of the past in a few years time, so I would just buy the best and it will no doubt give you 10+ years of entertainment.

Yes, silly prices.

I have ripped all my DVDs and BRs and stream them locally via my Oppo. My backup plan was to buy a Lexicon decoder and then will buy an intermediate box to stream from my NAS using something like Kodi, once the Oppo dies.

M

I have the Oppo 205 - fantastic player and replaced my Oppo 105 (non 4K player).

Since Oppo’s withdrawal from the Disc spinning market, my dealer has demoed the current top Pioneer and Panasonic models, and reports back that they’re not a patch on the last generation Oppo players (SQ or richness & depth of picture).

IMHO, streaming quality is nowhere near that of a good 4K BluRay disc (yet).

George.

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Hi G,

Have you compared a 4k disc to its rip and stream?

M

No I haven’t. Whilst I have DVDFab, I’ve not got the correct LG BluRay read/writer (there are a handful of models that work) in my PC to rip 4K.

I have compared the Apple TV stream of a couple of 4K films (e.g. Onwards) with 4K discs on the Oppo. The Oppo wins every time though…

G.

Thx G,

Yes, I did wonder what the constraints would be around ripping a 4k disc.

I am not surprised that the disc saw off an internet streaming service, I suspect even more for sound than picture?

M

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“my dealer has demoed the current top Pioneer and Panasonic models, and reports back that they’re not a patch on the last generation Oppo players (SQ or richness & depth of picture).”

In my original post, I was being polite in reference to the Oppo, as I know people have it here. As you bring up a dealer’s strong (or yours) opinion, I suggest you find another dealer. The Panasonic picture is quite a bit better than the Oppo. It uses very clever software to bring highlight and shadow details never previously seen before on any player. When it comes to 4:4:4 chroma subsampling and high dynamic range, it leaves the Opposite behind. That’s before we go onto Dolby Vision. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, without talking about the better skin tones and a other improvements.

P.S. I have thoroughly compared the two, after I bought the Panasonic.

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Both actually. The picture is gorgeous when viewed on my LG OLED - fantastic dynamic range and gorgeous HDR, whilst the sound through my Arcam receiver is phenomenal.

George.

Lovely to see a passionate response! Thank you for making my day!

Really pleased you like & prefer the Panasonic - I’ve had good experience with Panasonic in the past (I had their first 42 inch plasma flat screen monitor!) and am delighted that you are enjoying your 4K player.

Stay safe, stay healthy.

George.

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You’ve got to factor in that the two Pioneer Universal Disc Players are not available as a result of CV19, one source said Autumn and one said end of year when I enquired yesterday.

The money I would have spent on holiday…

The Panasonic is still for sale , and there seems to be a higher end Sony which is also a Universal Player. This is the UBP X1100 at around £750 , but there is no mention of it on the Sony web-site , it doesn’t get rave reviews but does have SACD

Oppo players are (were) great, no question. I’ve had the 105 and, later, the 203 and now actually have the Panasonic UB9000.

Straight out of the box the Panasonic was an improvement for me in terms of picture quality, while sound wise both the 203 and 9000 are very decent if slightly different in character. The Panasonic is more difficult to upgrade (if you have that in mind), while it’s virtually a 10 mins job for the Oppos to upgrade the power supply etc. and this may give you some improvements further. For me, though, the move from the Oppo 203 to the Panasonic was primarily so that I could use it for high quality streaming as it allows wired connection, while my TV is wireless, and the slightly better picture quality (in my view at least) was just a bonus (the Oppo cannot stream). Since I no longer have a dedicated CD player, the Panasonic also reminds me how to spin a CD once in a while (really quite rarely these days).

So, unless you are into upgrading your Oppo 203, I would not in any way think of it as a compromise to buy the Panasonic. The Oppo 105 and 205 are really more with sound in mind if you are thinking of integrating their DACs into your system. I don’t have impressions from the 205 and picture wise it might have the edge over the Panasonic?

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Thanks Pat, and others for your thoughts.

Unfortunately, as noted earlier, s/h Oppo 203 and 205 prices have gone beyond crazy, so they’re right off the table. S/H 105s are currently going for the same ballpark prices as a new UB9000 which, also noted earlier, is above my budget so they’re out too. [This is the point where anyone here with an old 203, 205 or 105 they want to get rid of might want to contact me outside the forum!]

It’s only the Oppo 103 that currently seems to be going for the sort of money I’m prepared to drop on a new player, so it’s a choice between one of them or a new 4K player that also plays SACDs. This seems to narrow it down to Sonys since Panasonic doesn’t support SACD on its current players as far as I can tell.

The more I think about it, and the more I look at what titles are available on 4K, the more I think my next player is still going to spend the bulk of its time playing normal Blu rays and DVDs rather than 4K discs. Accordingly, it’s my next player’s performance with these sources that’s going to be most important.

Keep the thoughts and advice coming,

Mark

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Interesting, but £800 for a Blu Ray Player ? It better be good.
How much better 8 times a “£100” Blu Ray player ?

The " Panasonic DP-UB150EB-K 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Player with HDR10+ Black Compact" is £149…

Especially as my experience of spinning disk players is not good, they just don’t seem to last…

I don’t think anyone is saying difference in cost equates to the same relative difference in performance, it’s up the potential purchaser what amount they are willing to spend for a certain level of performance.

The 4K BR market now is tiny and niche, so there is much less choice than in years gone by where you would have Sony, Denon, Pioneer, Oppo, Primare and various other ‘hi-end’ players including modded ones.

Sourcing them from a decent dealer is worth it if it ever goes wrong, as like you say mechanical disc mechanisms can be prone to failure.

I moved from a Denon 3800 to an Oppo 205 when moving to 4K and quickly appreciated that for me the Oppo analogue out was not a patch on my old Denon- alas nothing is. I bought a Panasonic 9000 and tried them back to back for a week or two. The Panasonic was better analogue out, although quite inflexible with limited adjustments. I exected the picture to be better with the Oppo, but it wasnt the Panasonic had the edge, this was with and without the Lumagen. Not much to choose between them picture wise but in my set up (Lumagen>epson LS10500) I preferred the Panasonic. I now use it HDMI out with a processor, never A-B’s the players in this scenario.

I use the Pan 9000 analogue out directly to my preamp when streaming movies and digital out to my DAC on the rare occasion when I play music through it. I have quite similar observations to yours regarding the comparison with the Oppo 205

Just taken delivery of a KabelDirekt optical cable and it’s working rather well passing the 5.1 signal from whatever I’m watching directly to the amp (which, of course, the 3.5mm output couldn’t have done).

Tomorrow will hopefully bring the male IEC socket I can connect to the captive mains cable to use a better power lead. I’m hopeful this might smooth out a few picture niggles I’ve been noticing, especially with lower-res sources.

Very close to pulling the trigger on a new Blu-ray player too. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks again for all the suggestions, whether I act on them or not!

Mark

Just taken delivery of a Sony UBP-X800M2 (4K player). It’s settling in nicely, though I’m not convinced it’s a huge step up from my old (and fairly cheap) non-4K player, at least when playing normal Blu-rays.

Playing a few SACDs has been quite a fun experience. I now need to buy a few more…

Mark

Just a warning. Buying sacds can be an expensive habit nowadays!