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By :) al
OPPO 205 UHD Universal player - a 2nd coming ? an end users perspective...
Oppo has some history in universal players. I remember many years ago their first dvd universal players in the country with hdmi capability in the oppo 983. And then some years ago their first blu-ray universal with a decent dac stage and analog stage with the oppo 95 which even had balanced outputs. And now with the dawn of another new format in 4k uhd blu-ray.. we have the release of their universal UHD blu-ray player in the Oppo 205.
And it is an interesting piece the 205
in that it does everything the 203 does... however like the 105 prior it adds a nice dac, very decent multi channel analog stage and true balanced very excellent 2ch analog output including XLR connectivity. Unlike the 105 though and with the 203 this player drops all forms of streaming apps and such. so in essence this is now a basic media player, can be used as a dac and plays every silvery disc under the sun including the new 4k uhd discs..
I’ve been reluctant to say too much about the 205 as some will remember the diabolical time I had with the 203 which I also bought on release, and especially once compared it to the pana 900 uhd player.
So is the oppo 205 a 2nd coming for me in an oppo ? . Anyways, with some trepidation I decided to check out the 205
Unpacking and getting going
Now I don't know if this is typical of how oppo packages the 205 ! but mine arrived with some serious packaging !
However harder it is to break into it, I still got it quickly in the rack and hooked up and going
and this pleasing without hiccup even with out off box settings !
With a couple of more pics showing in the rack,
this is one meaty looking unit ! very much like the front panel with its curves, with satin sheen of brushed aluminium and nice new buttons and display it certainly looks more upmarket than the matt finished 105 this replaces,.
In price too the 205 retails for around abouts $2k which is about what the 105 did as well so Oppo have done well to bring this player out for the price they have.
Time to check settings in the player and there are only 3 settings I changed from out box.
-Have made sure the audio is set to bitstream rather than auto as auto can give some strange results at times
- Made sure that dynamic range control is set to OFF rather than auto as at no time do I want any range control kicking in to limit the audio experience.
-Lastly have made sure HDMI CEC control is off which really is worth making sure as can cause some rather strange things occurring at times otherwise.
Time to check a few discs...
first up Mocheeba's Brixton live concert DVD,
Some might probably wonder why I test a DVD ? well I still have quite a few, many concert DVDs, also many films (many foreign language) and where most have never been released on another format.
And does very well with DVD I would suggest. And thats good to see as that as historically this been a strength for oppo going back many years with the players released.
Next up on Blu-ray Mr and MRs smith which is a bit of a favourite for me as an audio video treat,
with a it of a busy scene
and bit closer up shot with details,
the oppo is doing pretty well for details, richness of colours and skin tones etc.
and then on UHD blu-ray Billy Lynn Half time walk,
and great to see a picture come up in loading,
as this one is made in 4k high frame rate 60hz and good see coming through as intended,
and a particular challenge for players, systems and cables so good vindication that all working as should
with some cursory checks done with various disc formats and with player working as should, I decided time to pull the player out the rack and install the region free kit. Why not install in the first place you ask ? Well I wanted to make sure the player works across a few disc formats before going to the trouble of installing the kit.
The kit I am using is the blu-ray mod one from Gattiweb, who is local to me so easy enough to procure
and something i got originally for the 203 and fortunately also works with the 205 player
now installation is not quite as straight forward as for the 203.... at the time I bought the 205, gatti didnt have instructions posted for installation but fortunately for some he does now...
regardless sans instructions, I decided to give things a go. and gave me an opportunity to get up close and personal with the innards....
and remove the 2ch analog board,
and the multi channel analog audio board,
and notice the good quality Elna audio grade caps used through out. will note some even glued in...
and the audio purposed analog power supplier,
though I also noticed a cover which I thought to remove and guess what there is also a switch mode power supply i see under the casing !
anyways I plug the region mod in and re assemble things. I can tell you this much I have NEVER had to remove SO many screws to ever do something like this before. And something quite frankly I wouldn't suggest anyone attempt unless technically inclined. Great that gatti has instructions to actual install these days but if I were you i would take up his service to also install for you. which he is generally quite reasonable for.
Alternatively consider the JVB digital external mod,
this just plugs in the back port on the machine. I personally didnt want anything hanging off the machine but if want to save yourself a lot of bother this external kit might be for you.
In anycase testing the region mod i found it to work pretty well and exactly as per the Gatti provided operating instructions with region selection for blu-ray via key sequence on the remote. and the mod making the blu-ray region selectable UHD blu-ray itself is region free by nature in discs we buy so of course the mod is not needed for playing any of the discs.
Region free for DVD is important for me as have quite a few overseas sourced discs over the years e.g. foreign films, concerts movies (not related in our region) etc that its handy to be able to just pop in the player and hit play not worrying about region restrictions. Similarly with blu-ray often I've purchased from overseas where discs are locked to those regions and even more so these days where buying a 4K UHD from over seas and it comes with a blu-ray disc also packaged in that happens to be region locked. Pleased to have this capability to play the various discs I have.
So what is it like in use ?
part 2 awaits ....
By Y B
Item: 4K Ultra HD T2/Planet Earth II
Price: $30 each
Item Condition: Like new
Reason for selling: Not collecting
Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Bank Transfer Only
1. T2 Trainspotting - UK version
4K Ultra HD + Blu-Ray + Digital HD (Download code not used)
+ Over 30 mins of unseen footage
4K disk played once, blu-ray disk never played
2. Planet Earth II - AU version
Will post or pick up.
Item: Panasonic PWT520 Blu Ray Player , Twin TV Tuner and HDD recorder
Price: $150 (neg)
Item Condition: 7/10 - Has small dent on top panel does not effect operation
Reason for selling: Not being used
Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
Extra Info: Had this for a few years in my listening room but not really being used anymore
Item: Oppo UDP-203 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player
Location: Ashfield NSW 2131
Item Condition: Like New - have opened it to test it works so I won't be selling you a dud.
Reason for selling: Purchased for me as a gift from my wife as she knows I love my home theater gear. Unfortunately, it is excessive for what I need and would prefer to have the cash to spend more important things. Since I also have my sights on the Xbox One X (although inferior in picture quality) will have to end up serving as the temporary 4K Blu-ray Player.
Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Bank Deposit
Extra Info: As you can see in the photos, it is in perfect condition and the unit itself is beautifully crafted and minimalistic in design. A perfect match for any home theatre. Purchased from WEST COAST Hi-Fi and of course comes with Tax Invoice Receipt for any future warranty claims if required.
Shipping: Will ship anywhere in Australia at buyers expense (will provide you with Auspost registered post quote). Cash on pickup from Ashfield NSW 2131 also welcome.
By Advance Audio
Until the end of November 2017, Arcam are offering a trade in deal that will see you save up to $2400 off the recommended retail price across three models from their FMJ range of AV Receivers.
Simply take any working home theatre receiver into your nearest Arcam dealer to receive the following discounts:
AVR390 – 60 watts per channel - Save $1000 AVR550 – 90 watts per channel - Save $1500 AVR850 – 100 watts Class G per channel - Save $2400
For more information: http://www.stereo.net.au/news/arcams-generous-trade-in-offer