OPPO Digital BDP-103 Blu-ray Disc Player Review

OPPO Does it Again!

Photo of Front View of the OPPO Digital BDP-103 Blu-ray Disc Player with Included Accessories.
OPPO Digital BDP-103 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View with Included Accessories. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Manufacturer's Site

Blu-ray is entering its fifth year on the market, and just when you thought everything that a Blu-ray Disc player can do, has been done, along comes the BDP-103 from OPPO Digital.

The BDP-103 plays 2D and 3D Blu-ray Discs, provides both 1080p and 4K upscaling, and not only provides two HDMI outputs, but also adds two HDMI inputs for additional connection flexibility. In addition, if that isn't enough connectivity for you, a total of three USB ports are provided as well.

However, you won't find any analog video outputs, as both composite and component video outputs have been eliminated, save for a composite video output that only displays the onscreen menu system if needed for diagnostic purposes. For more details on the BDP-103, keep reading this review. After reading the review also be sure to check out a supplementary Photo Profile and Video Performance Test Results.

OPPO BDP-103 Product Features

As a starting reference, here is an overview of the features and specifications of the BDP-103:

1. Blu-ray Profile 2.0 (BD-Live) functionality with 1080p/60 or 1080p/24 and 4K resolution output, and 3D Blu-ray playback capability via either of two provided HDMI 1.4 audio/video outputs.

2. The BDP-103 can play the following discs and 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.

3. The BDP-103 also provides DVD video upscaling to 720p, 1080i, 1080p, and both DVD and Blu-ray upscaling to 4K (compatible TV or video projector required).

4. High definition video outputs include: Two HDMI outputs, either of which can be used for 2D and 3D Blu-ray Disc playback. Both HDMI outputs are adaptable to DVI-HDCP video output compatibility with adapter (2D only output using DVI).

5. A Diagnostic composite video output is provided that allows the display of onscreen setup menus only that can be used for setup troubleshooting.

6. Besides audio output via two HDMI outputs, additional audio output options include: Digital Optical, Digital Coaxial, and a set of 7.1 Channel analog audio outputs (the front left/right analog outputs can also be used for two-channel only output, if desired in place of using the 5.1/7.1 channel analog output option).

7. DVD-Audio and SACD audio output is accessible by both 5.1 channel analog and HDMI outputs (NOTE: DSD audio output for SACD only available via HDMI 2 output - However, SACD PCM converted output available from both HDMI outputs).

8. Two HDMI inputs (one front, one rear) are provided for connection of external devices that take advantage of the BDP-103's internal video processing features, in a similar manner as an upscaling home theater receiver. In addition, the front mounted HDMI input is MHL-enabled. This additionally allows the connection of compatible MHL-enabled source devices that include select smart phones and tablets.

9. On-board adjustments are provided for factors, such as Sharpness/Contrast/Brightness/Saturation as well as video processing/scaling adjustments for Edge Enhancement and Noise Reduction. However, the video adjustment setting options provided for the HDMI 1 and HDMI 2 outputs are slightly different, due to the fact that separate video processing chips are assigned separately to each output.

10. The BDP-103 provides switchable NTSC/PAL output - automatic PAL/NTSC bi-directional conversion (non-region coded discs only).

11. Video processing and upscaling for HDMI output 1 utilizes Marvell QDEO Video processing, while video processing and scaling for the HDMI 2 output is provided by an OPPO/Mediatek chip.

12. Network/Internet Connectivity via Ethernet/LAN or provided USB WiFi adapter. Access is provided to several streaming services, including CinemaNow, FilmFresh, Netflix, Vudu (including Vudu 3D), Pandora, Picasa, Rhapsody, and YouTube, as well as media files stored on network connected devices, such as Media Servers and PCs.

13. One front, and two rear mounted USB 2.0 ports for digital photo, video, and music content access via flash drive are also provided.

14. 1 GB of total internal memory. However, the amount of memory available for BD-Live functions can vary depending on other player operations. On the other hand, BD-Live memory capacity can be expanded via flash drive, if desired, using one of the three available USB ports.

15. RS232 and IR port connections for custom installation needs.

16. A Wireless Infrared Backlit Remote Control and full color high definition onscreen GUI (Graphical User Interface) is provided for easy setup and function access. The onscreen menu is both extensive, but easy to navigate. Additional remote control convenience is also provided, via downloadable apps, for both compatible iOS and Android Devices

For an additional look at the features and connections of the BDP-103, check out my supplementary Photo Profile.

Additional Components Used to Conduct Review

Home Theater Receivers: Onkyo TX-SR705, Harman Kardon AVR147.

Additional Source for 2D and 3D Blu-ray comparison: OPPO BDP-93.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 1 (5.1 channels): 2 Klipsch F-2's, 2 Klipsch B-3s, Klipsch C-2 Center , Klipsch Synergy Sub10.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 2 (7.1 channels): EMP Tek Cinema 7 Compact Home Theater Speaker System (on review loan).

TV/Monitor (2D): A Westinghouse Digital LVM-37w3 1080p LCD Monitor.

Video Projector (2D and 3D): Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020e (on review loan).

DVDO EDGE Video Scaler used for baseline video upscaling comparisons.

Audio/Video connections made with Accell Cables High Speed HDMI Cables provided by for this review by Atlona, and NextGen. 16 Gauge Speaker Wire used.


Software Used Used to Conduct Review

Blu-ray Discs (3D): Adventures of Tintin, Brave, Drive Angry, Hugo, Immortals, Puss in Boots, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Underworld: Awakening.

Blu-ray Discs (2D): Battleship, Ben Hur, Cowboys and Aliens, The Hunger Games, Jaws, Jurassic Park Trilogy, Megamind, Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Dark Knight Rises.

Standard DVDs: The Cave, House of the Flying Daggers, Kill Bill - Vol 1/2, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), Lord of Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, Outlander, U571, and V For Vendetta.

CDs: Al Stewart - A Beach Full of Shells, Beatles - LOVE, Blue Man Group - The Complex, Joshua Bell - Bernstein - West Side Story Suite, Eric Kunzel - 1812 Overture, HEART - Dreamboat Annie, Nora Jones - Come Away With Me, Sade - Soldier of Love.

DVD Audio Discs: - Queen - Night At The Opera/The Game, Eagles - Hotel California, and Medeski, Martin, and Wood - Uninvisible, Sheila Nicholls - Wake.

SACDs: Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon, Steely Dan - Gaucho, The Who - Tommy.

Additional audio, video, and still image content content from streaming, flash drive, and network connected sources.

Video Performance

BDP-103 provided excellent detail, color, contrast, and black levels with Blu-ray Disc playback, and provided excellent playback quality for DVDs and a good job with internet and network streamed content.

In more thorough testing, the BDP-103 passed all of the tests on the HQV Benchmark DVD, which measures video processing and upscaling performance.

The tests revealed that the BDP-103 does excellent on jaggie elimination, noise reduction, detail enhancement, motion adaptive processing, and moire pattern detection and elimination (see result samples)

The BDP-103's 1080p upscaling performance easily matched, or surpassed both the previous OPPO BDP-93 Blu-ray Disc player and standalone DVDO EDGE Video Scaler used for additional video upscaling references.

Note: I was unable to verify the 4K upscaling capability of the BDP-103, as I did not have a 4K-capable TV or video projector onhand.

Also, the BDP-103 did not have a problem converting HDMI to DVI. I connected the BDP-103 to a DVI input on a Westinghouse LVW-37w3 1080p LCD monitor. Using an HDMI-to-DVI adapter cable, there was no problem with signal recognition. Also, rerunning the HQV tests, no detectable performance difference was detected using DVI or HDMI, except for the fact that DVI cannot transfer 3D signals.



For 3D playback, I found that the 3D Blu-ray discs did take longer to load than standard Blu-ray Discs, but the BDP-103 is a fast disc loader and from disc insertion to menu display, the time rarely took more than 30 seconds. Also, once the 3D content was accessed, the BDP-103 had no difficulty playing the disc. There was no playback hesitation, frame skipping, or other issues that could be attributed to the player.

The BDP-103 lived up to its role in supplying the correct 3D signal to the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020e, used for 3D display.

Also, keep in mind that with 3D, the Blu-ray Disc player is only one part of the 3D viewing chain. What you ultimately see on the screen depends on the quality of the source content (how well the 3D movie or program is filmed or post-processed for 3D Blu-ray), the integrity of transmission medium (in the case of this review both high-speed HDMI cables, and WHDI wireless transmission between the player projector were used (The Epson 3020e comes with a WHDI transmitter/receiver system), the 3D signal decoding of the 3D-enabled TV or video projector, and, finally, how well the 3D glasses used synch-up with the 3D TV or video projector.

Audio Performance

Just as its three predecessors (BDP-80, BDP-83, and BDP-93), the BDP-103 offers complete onboard audio decoding of currently used audio formats, and also provides undecoded bitstream output for compatible home theater receivers. In addition, the BDP-103 comes equipped with both HDMI and 5.1/7.1 channel analog audio outputs, allowing Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio access to both HDMI and non-HDMI equipped receivers.

The BDP-103 delivered stable audio output for Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs, SACDs (Super Audio CDs), DVD-Audio Discs, as well as good quality audio playback from both the Pandora and Rhapsody online services. I noticed no audio artifacts that could be attributed to the BDP-103.

The BDP-103 demonstrated versatility as an excellent Blu-ray Disc, DVD, CD/SACD/DVD-Audio, and internet streaming player. It is too bad that SACD and DVD-Audio discs are more niche audio playback formats, as this player really delivers the audio goods for both.

Proceed to Page 2: Internet Streaming, Media Player Functions, and Final Take

Official Product Page - Buy From Amazon

Manufacturer's Site

Internet Streaming

Just as with the previous BDP-93, OPPO has included internet streaming as part of the player's feature package. However, although the offerings on the BDP-103 have expanded, when you compare OPPO's offerings with competitors, such as LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and LG internet-enabled players, the selection is definitely more limited, and although the selections included are very common and popular (such as Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, and Rhapsody), the very popular HuluPlus service is not included.

On the other hand, accessing, viewing, and listening to the available content services is easy, and with the BDP-103's video processing capabilities, the viewing quality is very good, especially Netflix and Vudu.

However, it must be noted that there is a lot of variation in the video quality of the streamed content, ranging from low-res compressed video that is hard to watch on a large screen to high-def video feeds that look more like DVD quality or slightly better. Even the 1080p content streamed from the internet will not look quite as detailed as 1080p content played directly from a Blu-ray Disc.

Another factor that is out of the control of the BDP-103 is the speed and stability of your own internet connection. You need a good high-speed internet connection to access good quality movie streaming. In my area, my broadband speed is only 1.5mbps which resulted in some video playback stopping periodically to buffer, especially with Vudu.

However, Netflix is pretty good at determining your broadband speed and adjusting accordingly, and in my case, the video played relatively smoothly, but at reduced image quality.

Media Player/Extender Functions

Two other features incorporated into the BDP-103 are the ability to play audio, video, and image files stored on flash drives and the ability to access audio, video, and still image files stored on a home network.

While accessing content from flash drives was easy, one disappointment is that the BDP-103 is not iPod compatible. If you plug an iPod into one of the USB ports, nothing happens. What is interesting to point out is that I was able to access iPod content on OPPO's first Blu-ray Disc player, the BDP-83, which is no longer available.

On the other hand, in addition to accessing content on flash drives, I was also able to access shared audio, video, and still image files stored on my network connected PC without a problem, as the BDP-103 is compatible with DLNA compatible PCs, NAS drives, and media servers.


More Stuff!

In addition to core audio, video, streaming, and network/internet functions, OPPO has added some additional functionality.

4K Upscaling

OK, so you don't have a 4K UltraHD TV or video projector yet (unless you purchased one of the few currently available at the time you are reading this review), but when you get one, since there isn't much actual 4K content available, the BDP-103 is ready with the capability, via menu selection, to upscale all content (DVD, internet streaming, and 1080p Blu-ray) to better match the native display resolution of a 4K UltraHD TV or video projector.

Obviously, results will vary depending on the quality of the original source content in combination with the capability of the BDP-103's video processors.

HDMI Inputs

HDMI inputs are starting to appear on a few Blu-ray Disc players, but they are not used as way to input video for recording. On the BDP-103 they serve two roles: As way to expand the number of HDMI inputs on your TV or home theater receiver, without having to add another, external switchbox, and to give users the ability to take advantage of the BDP-103's video processing and scaling capabilities for external sources.

Also, the HDMI input on the front of the player is MHL-enabled. This means that you can connect an MHL-compatible portable device, such as smartphone or tablet and view that content on your TV, even if your TV's HDMI inputs are not MHL-compatible.

In addition, I mentioned previously in this review that I felt that the internet streaming selection was somewhat limited. However, with the MHL-HDMI connection, you can plug in the newly available Roku Streaming Stick and access all the internet content services that Roku offers using the BDP-103 as the pass-through to your TV.

Of course, any video source device you connect, including a Roku Stick, to either available HDMI port on the BDP-103 can take advantage of added video processing and scaling the player offers.

Audio Return Channel

Audio Return Channel (ARC) is a feature that I would never expect to be included on a Blu-ray Disc player, but the BDP-103 includes it, and for a very practical reason.

In a lot of home theater setups, the new TV might have ARC built-in, but the home theater may be a little older, so it doesn't. With the BDP-103's ARC capability, the player will be able to send the audio signal coming from the TV's ARC-enabled connection to one of the BDP-103's HDMI outputs (you get to choose which output). Then the audio signal can be sent downstream to the home theater receiver, allowing you to hear audio originating from the TV's built-in tuner, or other compatible sources connected directly to the TV, on your home theater sound system. This means that you don't have to upgrade your home theater receiver simply to get the convenience of a TV's Audio Return Channel features.


If you have the BDP-103 connected to the internet, when playing Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs, and some digital media files, you can access the Gracenote global media database and view cover art and additional facts and other material associated with the disc, the artist, the music style, etc...

What I Liked About the BDP-103

1. Excellent Blu-ray Disc Video Playback and DVD upscaling.

2. Two HDMI outputs (both are 3D enabled and can be used simultaneously).

3. Two HDMI inputs, plus the bonus of MHL-compatibility on one of the inputs.

4. Three USB ports for accessing video, still image, and music files.

5. Ethernet and Wireless Internet connectivity. Access to several popular online streaming services, including Netflix, Vudu/Vudu3d, Pandora, and Rhapsody.

6. Continued inclusion of SACD and DVD-Audio playback and 5.1/7.1 channel analog audio output support.

7. Subtitle Shift and Constant Image Height functions for 2.35:1 projection screen application.


What I didn't like about the BDP-103

1. A limited selection of internet streaming content providers - No HuluPlus.

2. Unlike OPPO's DV-980H, DV-981HD, and DV-983H Upscaling DVD players, the BDP-103 cannot be made region code free via remote hack. Region Code free modifications require third party software or hardware - but may invalidate warranty.

3. USB ports not iPod compatible. No access of iPod media files or menu navigation.

4. 2-channel analog audio output combined with 5.1/7.1 channel audio output function.

5. Although WiFi functionality is provided, it requires the plug in of a provided external adapter. It would be nice to have the WiFi functionality built right into the chassis, leaving the required USB port free for something else.

6. Lackluster, and unnecessary, 2D-to-3D conversion feature.

Final Take

I have had the opportunity to review OPPO products going back to their first upscaling DVD player (OPDV971H) and with every Upscaling DVD and Blu-ray Disc player I have seen from them, up to this point, they have consistently provided solid build quality and the latest audio and video innovations, while retaining excellent core audio and video performance.

The OPPO BDP-103 carries on in this tradition with flying colors, displaying excellent video and audio quality, supported by features, such as fast loading, dual HDMI outputs, two HDMI inputs (one with MHL-compatibility), and three USB outputs, down to the easy-to-use backlit remote control, that are practical for users. Although its price point bucks the downward trend of its competitors, it is still worth every penny.

However, if you feel you want something more, also check out their step-up BDP-105 (Compare Prices), with additional features and enhanced analog audio performance specifically targeted towards critical audiophiles.

It will be interesting to see what OPPO comes up with on the next go around (It would be nice to get iPod playback and control compatibility, added access for some digital media files, as well as more internet content provider access).

For a more detailed look at the OPPO BDP-103, also check out my supplementary Photos and Video Performance Text Results.

Official Product Page - Buy From Amazon

Update 12/3/13: Read my review of the OPPO Digital BDP-103D Darbee Edition Blu-ray Disc Player.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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