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Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray 3D Player

Price: $1,199 At A Glance: Reference audio and video processing for other components • Asynchronous USB DAC • Bit-perfect video playback performance
Last year, I had the opportunity to review the Halo P 7 multichannel preamplifier from Parasound (Home Theater, June 2012). For that review, I mated the P 7 with Oppo’s then flagship Blu-ray player, the BDP-95, and it was a match made in heaven. I didn’t do a formal review of the BDP-95, but I made sure I conveyed how highly I thought of the reference Blu-ray player in the review and how its outstanding analog audio section was one of the best I’ve used. For this review, I got to try out Oppo’s successor to the BDP-95, the BDP-105, which builds on the BDP-95’s design and adds some features I honestly never thought I’d see in a Blu-ray player. In fact, I don’t even know if I would categorize the BDP-105 as a straight Bluray player, as it could easily be identified as a digital processor given its new connectivity and processing features for both audio and video. Whatever you want to call it, the BDP-105 shows once again that Oppo isn’t afraid of disrupting the industry and raising the already incredible bar set by its previous products.
The Goods
Oppo’s first Blu-ray player, the BDP-83 (Home Theater, September 2009), was a pixel-perfect Blu-ray player that’s just as much a reference 2D Blu-ray player today as the day it was launched. This creates an interesting issue when reviewing Oppo players.
All of them from the start have been as good as it gets for video playback, so the only real things to talk about are the added features. When you have bitperfect video every time, the only reason to spring for a new player is for something other than video performance. Later came the BDP-93 (Home Theater, May 2011) and BDP-95 (Home Theater, October 2011), which added some streaming features along with 3D playback support and a new chassis. Again, you could stop there and still have one of the best Blu-ray players available today. I honestly didn’t know what Oppo would bring to the table to improve on the last crop aside from simple functionality updates or more streaming features. But my, oh my, how Oppo stepped up.
The BDP-105 shares the basic DNA of the BDP-103 with a few new goodies. In his recent review of the BDP-103 (Home Theater, January 2013), David Vaughn found it to be a top-performing player that continues the tradition already set by Oppo’s previous offerings. But these players are so much more than just standard Blu-ray players. The BDP-103 and BDP-105 share a pretty exciting feature: two HDMI inputs, one on the front and another on the back. These inputs not only allow for switching of two other sources, they give you the ability to utilize the outstanding Marvell QDEO video-processing chip inside the player to deinterlace or scale whatever source you have attached. The new players use an updated QDEO chip from the last generation that scales sources up to 4K resolution. This is a better video-processing chip than what’s found in most AVRs or surround processors on the market today and is more in line with what you’d find in a high-end standalone video processor. The player will also decode legacy surround sound formats or accept highresolution PCM audio from another Blu-ray player. The front HDMI input is even Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) compatible, giving you the opportunity to use the Oppo with your compatible cell phone or something like the new Roku stick to add even more streaming functionality to the player.
But the BDP-105 takes things even further than the BDP-103. Adding to the HDMI inputs are three audio inputs. On the back panel, you’ll find a TosLink digital connection, a coaxial digital connection, and a USB asynchronous audio input that supports high-resolution digital audio files up to 24 bits/192 kilohertz. This lets you take advantage of the BDP-105’s custom analog audio section, which sports one of the most lauded digital-to-analog converters on the market today, the Sabre32 Reference Audio DAC. The player features two of these DACs, one for the dedicated two-channel output and one for the seven-channel output. Taken all together, you have a very capable audio/video processor here that could easily replace a digital pre/pro, depending on your needs.
The BDP-105 shares a bit of the BDP-95’s aesthetics, though it stands a bit taller than its former sibling. Its front face sports a very elegant and simple design with a machined-aluminum panel and touch-sensitive buttons for most of the controls. In addition to the HDMI input mentioned earlier, there’s a USB input and headphone jack.
Gone are all the analog video outputs included on the BDP-95 with the exception of a diagnostic composite output for using the menus if you get in a tight spot. You still get the dual HDMI outputs and two USB inputs for external drives or Oppo’s included Wi-Fi dongle. The analog audio outputs include RCAs for 7.1 playback, plus a dedicated two-channel output via either XLR or RCA. The XLR outputs are truly balanced differential outputs, which is a rarity for a Blu-ray player (or any other device for that matter). The new features are the second HDMI input and the digital audio inputs mentioned above.
The BDP-105 uses the same Sabre32 Reference Audio DAC used in the BDP-95, but some minor changes have been made. The configuration of the DAC’s channels has been altered to accommodate the new headphone amplifier. The Sabre32 is an eight-channel DAC, and some of those channels are now allocated to the headphone amp as opposed to using all of them for the two-channel output. Oppo also changed the power transformer (previously built by Rotel) and went with the company’s own design. Furthermore, the BDP-105 is a passively cooled player that doesn’t employ a fan like the previous model. I never had an issue with fan noise with my BDP-95, but I’ve heard others comment on it, so I’m sure this will be a welcome addition.
The Best Keeps Getting Better
I won’t go into the BDP-105’s video playback. It’s exactly the same as the BDP-103, and you can read about it in David’s review (available at It’s bit perfect in every way. In other words, you won’t find a better Blu-ray player for reference-quality video playback. I do wish I had the chance to try out its new 4K scaling, but alas, I don’t have a 4K display handy. I can say that I never once had an issue with any material I watched, whether it be 2D or 3D, and the image quality was what I’ve come to expect from Oppo.

Installing the BDP-105 into my system was quite simple. All connections were made with AudioQuest cables, and I decided to swap out the stock power cord for an NRG-4 from AudioQuest. I connected the balanced two-channel output to my reference preamp, the Parasound Halo JC 2, which gave me a direct comparison to the BDP-95 that I already had in my system. I also connected my modified Logitech Squeezebox Touch (asynchronous USB output has been enabled) to the asynchronous USB DAC so I could compare that to direct disc playback. HDMI connections were mated to my reference Anthem Statement D2v 3D pre/pro and both a JVC DLA-RS35 and DLA-X55R projector (see review in this issue). Amplification was provided by my Parasound Halo JC 1 monoblocks for the Paradigm Signature Reference S8 main speakers and an A 51 for the Paradigm Signature Reference C5 center and Signature ADP surrounds. A pair of JL Audio Fathom f113s and an SVS PB12/2 rounded out the system for subs.
413oppo105.rem.jpgBefore I did any listening tests, I played a CD in an infinite loop for about four days. I wanted to be sure the player had plenty of warm-up time regardless of whether I feel this in fact makes any difference to the sound. From there, my focus turned to comparing the sound of this player to the spectacular BDP-95. I didn’t expect much difference given that they both use the same reference DAC, but considering the small differences in design, I wanted to make sure.
Two-channel playback was nearly identical, and any difference I did perceive was so slight, I might as well not even report it. The BDP-105 was every bit as detailed and dynamic as the BDP-95, and this was proven time and again with a large assortment of SACDs and CDs. I was particularly impressed by the latest SACD release of Holly Cole’s Temptation (Analog Productions, CAPSA048). Switching back and forth between the BDP-95 and the BDP-105 with this gem showed no difference in Cole’s sultry vocals or the music’s lush instrumentation. The recent re-issue of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here (Analog Productions, CAPSA3453) was also identical down to the last detail, whether I chose the stereo or high-resolution multichannel mix. Dynamics were outstanding and the tonal balance perfect. I’ve heard complaints that the upper end of the Oppo’s output is a tad sharp, but I found no signs of brightness or grittiness regardless of what I played through it.
Standard CDs fared just as well. I was lucky enough to snag a CD copy of (Ahk-toong Bay-Bi) Covered, which is a full cover of U2’s popular Achtung Baby album. The collection boasts covers from The Killers, Jack White, Nine Inch Nails, Garbage, Snow Patrol, and more. The highlight in the collection for me comes from Damien Rice and his incredible cover of “One.” This is such an amazing piece of music, with rich atmosphere, incredible detail, and one of the best male voices out there in my humble opinion. The BDP-105 delivered every ounce of feeling in Rice’s voice and never disturbed the gentle plucking of the acoustic guitar or the swells of the piano accompanying them. The rich bass lines of Nine Inch Nails’ cover of “Zoo Station” delivered a tight backup to the song’s synthheavy atmosphere, and imaging in this track extended wide across my soundstage. If you can find this CD, it’s an audio delight.
The asynchronous USB input proved just as capable. This is one of the features I was the most excited about, and I was quick to connect my modified Squeezebox Touch and access my uncompressed music library. This allowed me to play back some of my high-resolution files from HDtracks, including some 96/24 and 192/24 titles. Playback was every bit as good as using a high-resolution disc equivalent for songs that I could directly compare. I could definitely see replacing a good portion of my SACD and DVD-Audio collection with high-resolution downloads with performance like this. I would have plugged directly into my iMac’s audio library, but the Oppo doesn’t support AIFF audio files, which is what the bulk of my library is in. But using an external hard drive connected directly to the player provided perfect playback of any files I threw at it. The BDP-105 supports a large number of popular file formats, including WAV, FLAC, MP3, and more, so I’m sure most people’s libraries are covered.
Another big highlight of the BDP-105’s feature set is the inclusion of a headphone amplifier. I’m not a big headphone guy—most of my use revolves around travel and my iPod—but I thought I’d take a crack at it. I have a pair of V-Moda M-100s that mated well with the Oppo. It was definitely a noticeable improvement over my standard fifth-generation iPod touch in definition and bass. The bottom end tightened up considerably, and the upper end lost a bit of the veil I noticed with the same tracks on my iPod (again, all uncompressed music). I also tried a pair of Sennheiser PXC 450s. These have a bit more extension at the bottom than the M-100s but lose the air and detail the V-Modas deliver. The results were still a nice improvement over my iPod. I don’t know if I could use headphones for movie playback, as it just loses the sense of space my surround system affords; but music playback was outstanding, and I will definitely be revisiting this more going forward.
The Last Player You’ll Ever Need
Allowing you to tap into the reference-quality DAC and video processing so the rest of your system can benefit is a feature that truly sets the Oppo apart. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the BDP-105 as a replacement for a high-end digital preamp if your switching needs are covered. Once again, Oppo has raised the bar, and I honestly can’t imagine recommending any other product with more enthusiasm. The BDP-105 is an audiophile’s delight and the most complete performance package I’ve seen from a Blu-ray player.

BD-Live: Yes, 1 GB internal storage
BonusView: Yes, 1 GB internal storage
Firmware Version: BDP10X-38-1220
3D: Yes
Audio Decoding:
Dolby: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD
DTS: DTS, DTS-HD High Resolution, DTS-HD Master Audio
Other: 7.1 PCM up to 192/24, 5.1 DSD
HDMI Video Resolutions: 
480i/480p/576i/576p/720p/1080i/ 1080p/1080p24, 3D frame-packing 720p/1080p24, 4K x 2K
Compatible Playback Formats: BD-Video, Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, AVCHD, SACD, CD, HDCD, Kodak Picture CD, CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL, BD-R/RE
Dimensions (W x H x D, Inches): 
16.8 x 4.8 x 12.2
Weight (pounds): 17.3 
Price: $1,199
Outputs: Video: HDMI 1.4a (2), composite video (1)
Audio: Coaxial digital (1), optical digital (1), 7.1 analog (1), stereo RCA (1), stereo XLR (1)
Additional: Ethernet (1), USB (3)
Inputs: Video: HDMI 1.4a (2, front input MHL compliant)
Audio: Coaxial digital (1), optical digital (1), asynchronous USB (1)
Company Info
Oppo Digital
(650) 961-1118

Video Test Bench
The BDP-105 passed all of our standard video tests (3:2 HD, 2:2 HD, MA HD—1080i in to 1080p out; 3:2 SD, 2:2 SD, MA SD—480i in to 1080p out; and Video Clipping, Luma Resolution, Chroma Resolution, and 3D passthrough—1080p in to 1080p out).—DV


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