It’s official: OPPO has announced the availability of its new UDP-203 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player. The UDP-203 is a direct replacement of its popular and award-winning BDP-103 series of Blu-ray players, and marks the company’s first entry into the 4K world.
While we knew the UDP-203 would be released prior to the end of the calendar year, its price has been the subject of quite a bit of speculation. According to OPPO, the UDP-203 will retail for $549 and sell direct from oppodigital.com. This places the UDP-203 at the upper end of the 4K UHD Blu-ray player market, costing nearly twice as much as currently available offerings from Philips and Samsung (not to mention Microsoft’s Xbox One S). There’s been some talk that Sony’s forthcoming 4K Blu-ray player may cost closer to $1,000, but Sony has not officially commented on price yet.
OPPO’s new player continues the company’s tradition of offering high-end technologies. Its brain is a custom quad-core video decoder/processor that integrates proprietary video decoding, processing, and optimization expertise. And its mechanical loader is described as “well balanced [for] smooth and reliable playback.” Then, of course, there’s its overall look, which is pure OPPO. The exterior features a familiar looking black brushed aluminum front panel and a steel chassis.
The back side of the UDP-203 features both HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 1.4 connections (allowing the player to connect to modern 4K televisions and older AV receivers) in addition to three USB ports for playback of video, music, and photos from USB drives. Users will also find 7.1 channel analog outputs paired with premium 32-bit AKM digital-to-analog converters.
Enthusiasts will love the 203’s universal compatibility with disc and file formats. Legacy content on standard Blu-ray (including 3D), DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, and standard CDs is supported. The player can internally decode TrueHD and DTS-HD MA codecs (while providing bitstream output for both Atmos and DTS:X). That kind of playback versatility is bolstered by Hi-Res audio support for AIFF, WAV, ALAC, APE, and FLAC formats, in addition to direct playback of Direct-Stream Digital audio files in stereo DSD64/128 or multichannel DSD64.
What the UDP-203 lacks is internal support of internet video and music streaming apps. While this is a change from the BDP-103, the company says users can easily add (and upgrade) their favorite external streaming devices using the HDMI port. Obviously, this is a cost-cutting move. However, the expense of external streaming devices is low enough that most buyers at this price point will likely find the exclusion of apps to be a non-issue.
On the 4K video side of the equation, the UDP-203 supports HDR10 out of the box, and OPPO says that the guts of the player will allow for Dolby Vision support to be added at a future date. OPPO is legendary for its tradition of user friendly firmware updates, and we can expect to see Dolby Vision activated sometime in early 2017.
The UDP-203 will soon have a younger, more powerful, sibling. OPPO says the UDP-205 (successor to the BDP-105) is in development and will offer upgraded audio performance. No official price has been released yet, however we expect it to cost hundreds more than today’s reveal.
For more information, visit OPPOdigital.com on the net.
Image Credit: OPPO Digital