Tweaking Home Theater Pt. 10 - Oppo UDP-205 Blu-ray Player

DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,374
edited July 2017 in Electronics
Introduction

My wonderful, built like a battleship, 8 year old Pioneer Elite BDP-09FD audiophile blu-ray player was recently retired in favor of a new Oppo UDP-205 ultra high definition (4K resolution) blu-ray player.

At this time, I do not have a 4K television, nor do I have any 4K blu-ray media, nor do I have plans to acquire these any time soon. My video collection consists of 77% DVDs and 23% blu-rays. This review focuses on the UDP-205's performance with DVD, blu-ray, and multichannel DSD music. The UDP-205's major selling points for me were its:

1. Higher video performance with blu-ray and DVD.
2. Multichannel SACD/DSD file playback.
3. High quality digital audio performance.
4. Build quality.

smqby3quxc1e.jpg
Figure 1. In the future, when I am more dedicated to video than I am now, I will buy a 4K set and 4K media and try out the UDP-205's 4K performance. For now, DVD and ordinary blu-ray are just fine.

The UDP-205 ($1299) was compared to the Pioneer Elite BDP-09FD ($2200) and to the Oppo BDP-103 ($499). The summary of results is as follows:

Blu-ray and DVD video performance (best performance to least):

1. UDP-205, best detail, contrast, dark scene detail, least amount of grain and video noise.
2. BDP-103
3. BDP-09FD

Analog sound quality (best performance to least):

1. BDP-09FD
2. UDP-205
3. BDP-103 - quite horrible based on audiophile standards. Compared to the other two players, very thin sound and lacking in any semblance of realism.

Digital (HDMI) sound quality (best performance to least):

1. UDP-205
2. BDP-09FD
3. BDP-103 - quite horrible based on audiophile standards. Compared to the other two players, very thin sound and lacking in any semblance of realism.

Blu-ray And DVD Video Performance

Since nearly 80% of my video collection is DVD, I really appreciated the UDP-205's upscaling capability.

The following screen shots were taken with a Fuji Finepix 9 megapixel digital camera at f3.1 with an exposure of 1/20th of a second. The camera was 3'-5" from the TV. The scene capture is from "Mission Impossible III", chapter 1, at the 4:49 mark. Due to effects of house lighting, the color rendition is not the same as what is seen by the eye. Larger versions of these pictures are attached at the end of this post.

um3r3m1skdtf.jpg
Figure 2. Scene capture from MI3, DVD native resolution of 853 x 480 pixels.

jfshcgfscarc.jpg
Figure 3. Scene capture from MI3, DVD upscaled resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Significantly less grain, better detail, better color rendition.

Blu-ray video - The following screen shots were taken with a Fuji Finepix 9 megapixel digital camera at f3.7 with an exposure of 1/13th of a second. The camera was 3'-5" from the TV. The scene capture is from "Star Wars - Revege Of The Sith", chapter 7, at the 25:09 mark. Due to effects of house lighting, the color rendition is not the same as what is seen by the eye. Larger versions of these pictures are attached at the end of this post. The differences in video quality were easily seen from the viewing position 12-13 feet from the TV.

3zx6xjmjddzf.jpg
Figure 4. This is one of the scenes used to evaluate blu-ray video performance.

vkian9qztoow.jpg
Figure 5. Good-close up of Samuel L. Jackson's eye area rendered by BDP-09FD.

drtqc21v2drq.jpg
Figure 6. Better-close up of Samuel L. Jackson's eye area rendered by BDP-103.

25dcfks0t1pl.jpg
Figure 7. Best-close up of Samuel L. Jackson's eye area rendered by UDP-205.

If you right click on figures 5-7 and download them, then view them in succession, you should see that detail, contrast, and color rendition improve as you go from the BDP-09FD's picture to the BDP-103 to the UDP-205.

It's all in the eyes. Looking closer, at the reflections of studio lights in Samuel L. Jackson's irises, the light reflections get sharper as you move from the BDP-09FD to the UDP-205

59qm4bperjgs.jpg
Figure 8. Good-close up of studio light reflections in Samuel L. Jackson's eye rendered by the BDP-09FD.

psildf99kzwa.jpg
Figure 9. Better-close up of studio light reflections in Samuel L. Jackson's eye rendered by the BDP-103.

f6uar8u6zt7q.jpg
Figure 10. Best-close up of studio light reflections in Samuel L. Jackson's eye rendered by the UDP-205.

Looking at the right studio light reflection. The top row of lights is not fully resolved by either the BDP-09FD or the BDP-103. The left studio light is more of a blob compared to the sharper detail of individual lights shown by the BDP-103 and even more so by the UDP-205.

Music Performance

The BDP-09FD was the undisputed king with regard to analog two channel music performance, but the UDP-205 had very good performance in this area and I highly recommend it for people who want to build a dual 2 channel/home theater system around the UDP-205. For me, the UDP-205's lower analog music performance is irrelevant because I have a dedicated, high resolution 2 channel system, and I will primarily use the home theater system to listen to multichannel music, which the BDP-09FD does not do.

In both 2 channel and multichannel modes, the UDP-205 produced a large, detailed sound stage with good image weight, clarity, and detail. There was no listening fatigue after many hours of listening.

"So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
"Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
"Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
"Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK

Comments

  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,374
    edited July 2017
    Remote Control

    I have only one criticism of the UDP-205 and that is with regard to its remote control capability. In a day and age when home automation and computer audio is commonplace, it is inconceivable that Oppo did not provide a web-based control interface for the UDP-205. They provide Android and iPhone apps that can be used to fully control the UDP-205. The app's graphical interface provides a full reproduction of all the handheld remote's buttons, as well as graphical representation of what media is playing. Oppo told me they had received some requests for a web-based control interface, but they don't know when, if ever, they will provide it.

    The work around I use is an android emulator that runs on my Windows PCs and tablets. Oppo was thoughtful enough to provide a download of the control application package on their website. I insalled the app into the NoxPlayer version 3.8.1.1Android emulator and it worked very well. The only complaint is that, since the application is written for cell phones, the graphical user interface fills up only a small portion of a PC monitor or tablet screen.

    ye1g82fy7hlj.jpg
    Figure 11. Screen shot of NoxPlayer control interface with a multichannel music selection playing.

    doen8jv1zkmf.jpg
    Figure 12. Screen shot of NoxPlayer control interface with reproduction of the handheld remote buttons. Scrolling down on the interface shows the entire complement of the remote's buttons, arranged exactly as they are on the remote.

    I tried seven other Android emulators with little to no success:

    1. Bluestacks 3 - kept crashing on my tablet and causing the UDP-205 to hang and require a restart. Paid version costs $24 a year.
    2. Droid4x - cumbersome to use. Crashed fairly often.
    3. DuOS - cumbersome to use. Paid version costs $15.
    4. Genymotion - cumbersome to install, configure, and use.
    5. Windroy - cumbersome to use, horrible graphical user interface.
    6. Andy - intrusive ads.
    7. Leapdroid - horrible, cartoonish graphical user interface.

    The original remote's functions were also duplicated on my Logitech Harmony One remote. Logitech did not have a profile for the UDP-205's remote in their database. Programming of the Harmony One had to be done in learning mode from the original remote. Tedious, but it worked.

    etbzwogc9i47.jpg
    Figure 13. Of course, Oppo intends for the owner to primarily use a TV screen and handheld remote for control functions. However, when listening to multichannel DSD files, I don't want to light up and burn my plasma TV's phosphors when I am not engaging in video activity. It doesn't make sense.

    Build Quality

    The BDP-205 has a spec weight of 22 pounds (mine weighed 21.7 pounds) and has build quality that is uncommon among today's ubiquitous "disposable" sub-$200 blu-ray players. It features a heavy steel chassis, heavy internal bracing and shielding, and a 3/8" thick billet aluminum face plate.

    h7zoj1m6a533.jpg
    Figure 14. Inside the UDP-205. The left third contains a large shielded power supply and toroidal transformer. The transformer is actually larger than it appears in this picture because it is 2" tall. The right third is the two channel analog output board, which, of course, I won't be taking advantage of.

    General Operation

    Setup and operation was very intuitive and easy. The 96 page manual is very thorough and well written.

    Upon turning on the player, I received a notification that a firmware update was available (my player was actually two updates behind). After six repeated failures at connecting to the update server, I downloaded the two updates to two different USB sticks and attempted to do a manual update. Curiously, when I inserted the first USB stick, the player asked if I wanted to do a firmware update and then proceeded to download the first update from the Internet! The second update over the Internet went without a hitch. My BDP-09FD would sometimes require repeated tries to access Pioneer's update server.

    Packaging

    I appreciate good, highly protective packaging. A with all of Oppo's players, the UDP-205 came in a double-wall, double-box, with stiff foam blocks all around and wrapped in a thick canvas "carrying bag". Accessories were in a separate heavy cardboard box. Very high class.

    mf2sgdppohdu.jpg
    Figure 15. The UDP-205 came in Oppo's typical heavy duty, highly protective packaging.

    Further Study

    My initial plan was to move the BDP-09FD to my home office and retire the Sony BDP-2000ES. However, after installing the BDP-09FD, I realized that its tall, bulky appearance didn't fit in with the sleek contemporary aesthetic of my home office. Therefore, the BDP-S2000ES stayed and the BDP-09FD went into storage. The BDP-103 has gone back to storage to await SACD ripping duty.

    I will keep searching for a 4K TV that gives me that mesmerizing sense of wonder that the Pioneer Elite Kuro plasma did years ago. I didn't go out and replace all, or even a lot of, my DVD's with blu-ray versions. When, and if, I make the move to a 4K set, I don't foresee repurchasing a significant portion of my video library. Similar to the present, I think I will be quite satisfied with upscaling my lower resolution media.

    The next move is most likely replacing the LSiM 705 front speakers with LSiM 707s...and tracking down more of those audibly delicious multichannel SACDs.

    Associated Equipment

    Pioneer Elite Kuro PRO-151FD 60" Plasma TV
    Oppo UDP-205Blu-ray Player with external Samsung EVO 850 500 GB solid state drive
    Bryston BDP-1 digital player with external Samsung EVO 840 500 GB solid state drive
    Yamaha CX-A5100 Preamp/Processor
    Adcom GFA-565se Power Amp (250 wpc 8 ohms)/Front Speakers
    Adcom GFA-565se Power Amp (250 wpc 8 ohms)/Center Channel Speaker
    Adcom GFA-565se Power Amp (250 wpc 8 ohms)/Surround Speakers
    Polk Audio LSiM 706C Center Channel Speaker
    Polk Audio LSiM 705 Front Speakers
    Polk Audio LSiM 702 F/X Surround Speakers
    SVS PB12 Ultra/2 Subwoofer
    PS Audio P5 AC Regenerator
    PS Audio P10 AC Regenerator
    PS Audio AC-5 Power Cords for AC Regenerators
    PS Audio Statement SC Power Cords for all electronics
    Revelation Audio Labs Prophecy Cryo-Silver Digital Coaxial Cable
    AudioQuest Cinnamon HDMI Cables
    Monster Cable Z3 Reference Speaker Cables, Front, Right, Center
    DSR Silverline (Out Of Wall) And Monster UL/CL3 (In-Wall) Speaker Cables, Surround
    Blue Jeans LC-1 In-Wall Subwoofer Cable
    Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR Interconnects (Preamp to Power Amps)
    Two PS Audio Soloist SE In-Wall Passive Power Conditioners
    Two Dedicated 20 amp AC Circuits
    Salamander Synergy Quad 30 Audio Cabinet
    Dell Venue Pro 11 7140 Tablet Computer For System Control

    References

    1. Better SACD Ripping With Oppo:
    http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/175239/better-sacd-ripping-with-oppo

    2. Tweaking Home Theater Pt. 9 - Adcom GFA-565se Power Amplifiers:
    http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/178167/tweaking-home-theater-pt-9-adcom-gfa-565se-power-amplifiers#latest

    3. Yamaha CX-A5100 AV Preamp - Processor Review:
    http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/177729/yamaha-cx-a5100-av-preamp-processor-review
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 10,003
    Needs some aluminium foil around the PS, Ray.......

    But other than that small oversight.....a thorough and conclusive review as always. Thanks for doing this so us lazy Luddites don't have to.
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,374
    Dynamat has an aluminum foil backing, so, when I do the Dynamat treatment on the power supply I can kill two birds with one BB. ;)
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 10,003
    Can't throw one past you low and inside....half step back and adjust your swing.
  • sgmsmgsgmsmg Posts: 343
    Another excellent writeup. These are always great reading.

    If I may ask what functions of the Harmony One did not work with the Oppo UDP-205? I just tested mine and it seems to work. At least for the basic functions. I have the Harmony 950 but it should be the same commands.
    2 Channel
    Pre:Bryston BP173
    Amp:Bryston 4B3
    Speakers: Golden Ear Triton One
    Source: Oppo UDP-205, Bryston BDA-3, Bryston BDP-3, Bryston BCD-3, Apple TV, Amazon Fire
    Cables: Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 Speaker, Wireworld Gold Eclipse 7 XLR, AQ Diamond USB/HDMI
    Power: PS Audio P10 Regenerator, AC12, AC10 and AC5 Cables
    Display: Sony XBR65-Z9F

    Home Theater
    Reciever: Yamaha CX-A5100
    Amp: Parasound A21, A31, A51
    Speakers: Polk LSiM 707 (FL/FR), Polk LSiM706 (Center), LSiM 703 (SL/SR), Polk 900-LS (Atmos)
    Subwoofers: SVS SB13 x 4
    Source: Oppo UDP-205, Apple TV, Amazon Fire
    Cables: AQ Rocket 88, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7
    Power: PS Audio P5 Regenerator, Furman IT Reference 15i, Pangea AC14SE and AC9SE Cables
    Display: Sony XBR75X940D
  • vmaxervmaxer Posts: 4,335
    edited July 2017
    Very nice, maybe one day i will have one.
    Pio Elete Pro 520
    Panamax 5400-EX
    Sunfire TGP 5
    Micro Seiki DD-40 - Lyra-Dorian and Denon DL-160
    PS Audio GCPH phono pre
    Sunfire CG 200 X 5
    Sunfire CG Sig 405 X 5
    OPPO BDP-83 SE
    SDA SRS 1.2TL Sonicaps and Mills
    Ctr CS1000p
    Sur - FX1000 x 4
    SUB - SVS PB2-Plus

    Workkout room:
    Sony Bravia XBR- 32-Inch 1080p
    Onkyo TX-DS898
    GFA 555
    Yamaha DVD-S1800BL/SACD
    Ft - SDA 1C

    Not being used:
    RTi 38's -4
    RT55i's - 2
    RT25i's -2, using other 2 in shop
    LSI 15's
    CSi40
    PSW 404
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 10,348
    I have the Oppo 203 and the 4K UHD Sony XBR-75Z9D TV (WTF naming scheme is that), and the video is awesome. As with going to BR, I am now buying new BRs in 4K UHD, and rebuying old movies. LOL. Just helping the economy.

    Music wise, I can care less how the Oppo performs. My HT audio is the Bryston BDP-1 and Auralic Vega DAC, with Shunyata power cords into a Triton v3.

    Anyway, good move going with the Oppo. However, they are still debugging their firmware, but with only DVDs you might be okay. :)

    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_15875XZ9D/Sony-XBR-75Z9D.html?tp=60890

    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin S1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • sgmsmgsgmsmg Posts: 343
    BlueFox wrote: »
    I have the Oppo 203 and the 4K UHD Sony XBR-75Z9D TV (WTF naming scheme is that), and the video is awesome. As with going to BR, I am now buying new BRs in 4K UHD, and rebuying old movies. LOL. Just helping the economy.

    Music wise, I can care less how the Oppo performs. My HT audio is the Bryston BDP-1 and Auralic Vega DAC, with Shunyata power cords into a Triton v3.

    Anyway, good move going with the Oppo. However, they are still debugging their firmware, but with only DVDs you might be okay. :)

    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_15875XZ9D/Sony-XBR-75Z9D.html?tp=60890


    Haven't used my Oppo 205 for music yet but I should.

    I am so jealous of your TV. Couldn't justify the cost though. My 940D will have to do. If you haven't picked it up and you enjoy nature stuff Planet Earth 2 is awesome in 4K.
    2 Channel
    Pre:Bryston BP173
    Amp:Bryston 4B3
    Speakers: Golden Ear Triton One
    Source: Oppo UDP-205, Bryston BDA-3, Bryston BDP-3, Bryston BCD-3, Apple TV, Amazon Fire
    Cables: Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 Speaker, Wireworld Gold Eclipse 7 XLR, AQ Diamond USB/HDMI
    Power: PS Audio P10 Regenerator, AC12, AC10 and AC5 Cables
    Display: Sony XBR65-Z9F

    Home Theater
    Reciever: Yamaha CX-A5100
    Amp: Parasound A21, A31, A51
    Speakers: Polk LSiM 707 (FL/FR), Polk LSiM706 (Center), LSiM 703 (SL/SR), Polk 900-LS (Atmos)
    Subwoofers: SVS SB13 x 4
    Source: Oppo UDP-205, Apple TV, Amazon Fire
    Cables: AQ Rocket 88, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7
    Power: PS Audio P5 Regenerator, Furman IT Reference 15i, Pangea AC14SE and AC9SE Cables
    Display: Sony XBR75X940D
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 10,348
    Thanks. The TV is awesome, especially since it replaced a November 2004 Hitachi 57" 1080i, and calibrated, RPTV. It is like being at the movies. :)
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin S1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • Update - Oppo UDP-205 2-Channel Music Performance

    I did a bit of testing and reconfiguration of the 2 channel music functions of my home theater system in order to:

    1. Take advantage of the UDP-205's much better DAC compared to the Yamaha CX-A5100 preamp/processor's. The UDP-205 uses ESS Sabre Pro ES9038PRO DAC chips compared to the Yamaha's ESS Sabre ES9016S Ultra DAC chips.

    2. Facilitate playing DSD files from the BDP-1 digital player rather than from USB sticks plugged into the Yamaha CX-A5100.

    The CX-A5100 does not provide a USB-B input to its DAC stage, therefore I could not play DSD files from the BDP-1 digital player through the CX-A5100. DSD files can be played by the CX-A5100 via USB stick, but the CX-A5100's music file user interface is not as full featured and user friendly as the BDP-1's.

    The UDP-205's user interface for music files sucks worse than the CX-A5100's, but I only need to use it for multichannel DSD files. I asked Bryston if it was possible to add multichannel DSD capability to the BDP-1 in a firmware update. They said it's possible, but they haven't implemented it because there was no demand for multichannel capability with these players.

    1iomz7xyeb1v.jpg
    Figure 16. The BDP-1/UDP-205 combination provided significantly increased stereophonic performance over the BDP-1/CX-A5100 combination.

    Some trials were conducted to see how low I could go in USB cable performance. The candidates were:

    1. A generic computer grade USB cable ($3).
    2. A Pangea USB-PC USB cable ($35)
    3. A Revelation Audio Labs Prophecy Cryo-Silver dual conduit USB cable ($549).
    4. A Revelation Audio Labs Prophecy Cryo-Silver split conduit USB cable ($549).

    c7z15uayfjbw.jpg
    Figure 17. The BDP-1 is connected to the UDP-205's USB DAC stage by a high performance Revelation Audio Labs split-leg USB cable.

    The best clarity, detail, sound staging and overall stereophonic performance was with the RAL cables. The split conduit cable offered the advantages of allowing the power conductors to be separated from the signal conductors and allowing the power leg to be disconnected after the USB connection was established.

    The BDP-1 only has two USB-A jacks on the rear panel, and one of those was taken by the external drive for music files. The power leg of the RAL USB cable was plugged into one of the USB-A jacks on the rear panel of the UDP-205.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • RascalmaxRascalmax Posts: 2
    it look great
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!