What is the Oppo BDP-105D?
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Design and Connections
The Oppo badge on the far left is also the power button and next to it is a small power status indicator LED, whilst on the far right there is a USB 2.0 port, an HDMI input that is compatible with MHL (Mobile High-definition Link) and a 1/4-inch stereo headphone jack. As is customary for Oppo inside the solid and nicely padded packaging there is a well written and informative manual and a separate box for the player’s accessories. Aside from the remote control, the other accessories include a high speed HDMI cable, a Wi-Fi dongle, a USB extension cable for locating the dongle away from the player and a detachable kettle style power cable.
The remote control is the standard Oppo model with large buttons, an intuitive layout and a backlight to make it easier to use in the dark. The remote feels solid and comfortable to hold, whilst the buttons themselves are easy to differentiate by touch and have a nice tactile response when pressing them. The buttons include all the usual controls for playing a disc and navigating menus, along with buttons for accessing the Home page, Netflix and the Darbee processing. There is also a Pure Audio button, which bypasses the video circuits for when you're just listening to music.
Menus and Setup
Oppo BDP-105D Audio Playback
What sets the 105D apart is its analogue performance and Oppo has gone to great lengths to ensure the player's audiophile credentials. The 105D uses two ESS Sabre32 Reference Audio Digital-to-Analogue Converters (DAC), one for the 7.1 output and one for the stereo output, both of which use a 32-bit Hyperstream DAC architecture which provides a greater dynamic range and reduces jitter and distortion. The 105D also uses toroidal power transformers to provide a clean and robust power source to the critical audio components. The 2-channel analogue stereo uses a specially optimised DAC and output driving stages to achieve even greater audio performance and includes both RCA single-ended connectors and XLR balanced connectors. By transmitting a pair of differential signals, the XLR balanced output provides better common-mode noise rejection and improves signal quality. All of these improvements are contained within a rigid chassis that provides solid support to reduce vibrations and also adds greater shielding.
This remarkable attention to detail and build quality has certainly paid dividends with the 105D delivering a phenomenal analogue audio performance. The stereo performance was breath-taking, with a clearly defined soundstage and a wonderful amount of detail and clarity. The sounds were nicely focused within three dimensional space and there was a real sense of envelopment, whilst the soundstage also showed a wonderful frequency response and an amazing dynamic range. With 5.1 and 7.1 soundtracks the 105D was equally assured and the additional speakers just added to the soundstage creating even more envelopment and greater focus. Sounds were perfectly positioned and there was a wonderful sense of detail and clarity. The frequency response and dynamic range were also impressive and the bass was smooth and controlled with a crossover at 80Hz. Overall this was an incredible performance and represented some of the best audio we have heard from a player at any price point.
The 105D includes a USB Asynchronous DAC input and the DAC itself has been upgraded this year to support DSD 64/128. This means you can turn your computer into a high performing multi-media source by converting digital audio to analogue through the 105D. Connecting our MacBook Pro to the 105D certainly paid dividends, with the player delivering a wonderful level of detail from selected tracks in our iTunes library. Another useful new feature is the addition of a Headphone Amplifier, allowing a pair of headphones to be connected directly to the 105D. The built-in headphone amplifier is connected directly to the ESS Sabre32 Reference DACs and offers a unique performance advantage over standalone headphone amplifiers. We found listening to music using our Sennheiser headphones to be a singularly enjoyable experience, providing tracks with an intimacy and immediacy rarely found with other headphone enabled devices.
Oppo BDP-105D Video Review
Oppo BDP-105D Video Playback
The deinterlacing and scaling found on Oppo Blu-ray players is superb and sets a reference by which all other disc players are measured. So if you have a large collection of DVDs, the 105D can give them a whole new lease of life thanks to some truly impressive video processing. In our tests the 105D delivered superb results when it came to scaling and with the video deinterlacing tests the results were equally as good, eliminating jaggies and other unwanted artefacts. The 105D also had no problems with the test displaying film material with scrolling video text, the text was always clearly readable without any shredding. The motion adaptive deinterlacing was also excellent and in the cadence tests the 105D performed flawlessly, correctly detecting the 2:3 (NTSC - USA/Japan) and 2:2 (PAL - European) formats. There is even an option to restore the original 24 frames per second progressive-scan video from well-authored NTSC DVDs and output at 1080p 24Hz. This is a handy feature if you've bought a lot of DVDs from the US in the past but remember to turn it off for video based content.
There are three modes - Hi-Def, Gaming and Full Pop - with each offering a greater degree of processing. You can also adjust the level of each mode, increasing or decreasing the amount of processing. We found that if we were going to use the Darbee processing at all, we restricted ourselves to Hi-Def as the other two looked overly processed, and set the level at a lower percentage. Whilst we could see the pixel manipulation working well with video games, when it came to film and TV content and especially Blu-rays, we were less convinced. Ultimately we found that whilst the image initially looked sharper and had greater depth, we were also aware that it was being processed and film, in particular, developed a slightly 'digital' look that wasn't to our personal taste. The same was true with the VRS ClearView processing which adds a host of edge and detail enhancement controls, along with a video smoothing feature. Whilst these features could be useful for improving the look of lower resolution and heavily compressed material, particularly content from the internet, they should be left off when watching Blu-rays.
Disc Load Times
- Standby: 0.0W
- Idle: 31W
- Playing a disc: 32W
- Universal playback
- Reference audio
- Reference video
- Superb build quality
- Extremely quiet operation
- Fast load and response times
- Easy to use menu system
- Two HDMI outputs
- Dedicated stereo output
- XLR Balanced stereo output
- 7.1 Analogue audio outputs
- WiFi dongle included
- Well designed remote
- Limited internet functionality
Oppo 105D (BDP-105D) Blu-ray Player Review
In terms of performance the 105D can handle almost any disc you care to put in it and when it came to audio and video the Oppo didn't put a foot wrong. It delivered a flawless playback of 2D and 3D Blu-rays, whilst it also handled 1080i content with real assurance. The deinterlacing and scaling of DVDs was equally as impressive and thanks to the HDMI inputs, you can apply this superb video processing to two other sources, as well as video streamed from the internet. The value you place on Darbee image processing will largely depend on your personal preference but the £100 premium is certainly cheaper than buying the stand alone Darbee unit. The audio performance remains as impressive as ever and anyone looking for a flexible source with serious audiophile credentials need look no further. The 105D is undoubtedly a great universal player but at £1,099 it certainly isn't cheap and, with 4K Blu-ray around the corner, it's a sizeable investment at this stage in the format's development. Whether you feel the Oppo BDP-105D is worth its price tag is a largely a matter of personal choice but one thing is for sure, should you take the plunge you'll be safe in the knowledge that what you own is the current state-of-the-art.
Our Review Ethos
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