Unofficial OPPO BDP-83 Frequently Asked Questions

Questions frequently asked at AVSForum.

Updated April 06, 2014, 14:00 CDT. See the Change log.

Attention!

This page is not approved or sponsored by OPPO Digital or AVSForum or anyone else.

Everything here is just my opinion, nothing more.

Help improve this FAQ: send me your corrections and comments.

Table of Contents

General Topics

Is the manual available online?

Yes: BDP-83 Online Manual.

Tip

The table of contents entries in the online manual are clickable.

Where can I buy this player?

OPPO products are not available from most retail outlets. Most people buy directly from OPPO Digital, or from their resellers.

Where can I buy non-Region A/1 versions of this player?

Check these sites for OPPO products. They may have players modified for other regions:

What are the dimensions of the player?

As shown in the manual (References / Specifications): 430mm x 336mm x 77mm, 16 7/8 x 13 1/4 x 3 inches.

How do I pronounce OPPO?

The consensus of informed opinion is "OH no, OH Poe!"

The people at OPPO don't seem to care how you pronounce it.

Do you make any money from this FAQ?

Do you see any javascript on this page? Any affiliate links? Any tricky graphics pixels?

No. It is a labor of love. That or an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Features

Does the player resume at the last position when a disc is reloaded?

Yes, as long as BD-Java on the disc doesn't prevent it.

According to the manual (Advanced Operations / Memory and Automatic Resume) the player will remember the stopping point of up to five discs when they are ejected or the player is powered off.

Blu-ray discs with BD-Java cannot be resumed by the player automatically. You have to use the programming on the disc (if such exists) to set a bookmark or some other saved point.

The studios are responsible for disc authoring issues that the player cannot override. Starting in 2010 more and more titles with BD-Java are featuring an automatic resume point.

Note

If you don't want the disc position to be remembered, press Stop twice before ejecting the disc or turning off the player, or press Stop when the "resuming" message appears when the disc is loading.

Can output resolution and other controls be changed during playback?

Yes, most adjustments can be made on-the-fly without halting playback.

The manual (Advanced Operations / Output Resolution) recommends ejecting the disc before changing resolutions. I don't know why this would be necessary, other than perhaps to minimize HDMI handshaking issues with touchy A/V receivers or displays. Changing output resolution during playback seems to work fine.

Does the player come with a Blu-ray calibration and evaluation disc?

Yes, two:

Does the AVS HD 709 calibration disc work on this player?

Yes, both the AVCHD and HDMV versions of the AVS HD 709 calibration disc work on this player when burned onto DVD. I presume they work on burnable Blu-ray media also, but haven't tested it.

The AVCHD version will also work when copied onto a USB device. See Is AVCHD video supported?

Does the player have a setup wizard?

Yes, see the manual (Installation / Setting Up the Player - Easy Setup Wizard).

The Wizard runs the first time the player is turned on. If you prefer you can cancel it and make all your adjustments with the Setup menu directly. Of course, all the settings the Wizard makes can be changed manually later.

See the manual text for a complete description. The Wizard steps are:

  • Primary output: HDMI or Component
  • Output resolution: Auto, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p/576p, 480i/576i, and Source Direct
  • Aspect ratio: 4:3 vs 16:9 and their options. This is the shape of your display screen, not the aspect ratio of the discs you play. Use 16:9 Wide/Auto to have the player pillarbox 4:3 DVD titles.
  • Audio setting: Advanced is for receivers supporting HDMI 1.3 and high bit-rate streamed audio formats. Compatible is for everyone else.

You can rerun the Wizard at any time. See How do I rerun the Setup Wizard?

Does the player have an adjustable audio delay?

Yes, up to 200 milliseconds. See the manual (Setup Menu Options / Video Setup / A/V Sync).

Note that this applies only to HDMI audio.

What writeable disc formats are supported?

See the manual (Important Information / Compatible Disc Types).

Supported media formats include DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD-R. Dual-layer discs and CD-R/RW are also supported.

Users report than BD-R and BD-RE work.

What are the Zoom features of the player?

The Zoom settings are described and illustrated in the manual (Advanced Operations / Zooming and Aspect Ratio Control).

The Zoom levels are the same as on the OPPO 983H. Special features include:

  • Underscan to compensate for displays with overscan.

  • Vertical Stretch for Constant Image Height projectors.

  • Full Screen for black bar haters. This works for both 4:3 and widescreen "Scope" titles. It zooms them just enough to eliminate the black bars on the sides or above and below. The image is trimmed on the edges but the aspect ratio is otherwise correct.

    Note that Full Screen is also the correct setting for zooming 4:3 letterboxed DVDs to full screen width.

The special Zoom settings are available only for HDMI. Component output uses a series of linear scaling steps.

Is the Setup menu high-definition?

Yes, it is very nice. And well-organized!

Is there a bit-rate meter?

Yes, on the On-screen Display. It shows combined audio/video bit rate.

What is Demo Mode?

See the manual (Setup Menu Options / HDMI Options / Demo Mode).

Demo Mode splits the screen vertically so that certain picture adjustments modify only one half of the screen. The effected controls are:

  • Detail Enhancement
  • Edge Enhancement
  • Noise Reduction

Does the player support Deep Color?

Yes, see the manual (Setup Menu Options / HDMI Options / HDMI Deep Color).

The entire display chain must be HDMI 1.3 or later, and must support Deep Color, which is an optional, not mandatory part of the HDMI 1.3 standard.

Note that there are no Deep Color Blu-ray or DVD discs.

There is no interpolation for Deep Color in the BDP-83 or its Anchor Bay ABT2010 video processor. The extra bits (color depth) available in the HDMI 1.3 Deep Color mode are used to preserve the precision of calculation. For example, any time color up-sampling, color space conversion, brightness and contrast adjustment, and other video processing is applied to the 8-bit/channel signal, the result can have fractions. In an 8-bit system the fractions are truncated, but in the Deep Color mode the fractions are preserved so the data delivered to the display is more accurate.

Note

Some AVRs and displays give only lip service to 12 bit 4:2:2 or Deep Color 4:4:4 -- accepting the format as input but then immediately stripping off some or all of the low order bits prior to actually using that video stream. For example, many so-called Deep Color displays have physical display elements that can only handle up to 10 bits per component. The video processing engines inside the display feeding those display elements may also only do their math at 10 bits per component or even 8 bits.

Some Deep Color displays only actually implement Deep Color if you are feeding them a 1080p/24fps video stream -- i.e., not 1080p/50 or 1080p/60.

The result of all of this is that sometimes the only way to know what format is best for the HDMI connection is simply to try them all and see.

A Rant

I hope people understand that Deep Color does not mean "deeper color" and that it is of (nearly?) negligible benefit when playing Blu-ray and DVD discs.

Deep Color does not make your blacks "blacker" or your reds "redder." The most you can get along those lines is a characteristic of your display, not of the disc or player.

Deep Color (which ought to be called "greater than 8-bit color") provides a finer gradation of shades between the colors encoded on the disc. It is conceivable that Deep Color might reduce banding in some images, although I never see banding in real films (as opposed to cheaply produced logos and fx screens). Someone could produce a test pattern demonstrating the effect with and without, but I haven't seen one yet.

The sad truth is that Blu-ray and DVD use the same rather limited 8-bit greyscale and color gamut.

(Rec 601 vs Rec 709 is a very slight standards difference, not a change in gamut).

Turning on Deep Color doesn't change that. Both disc formats record their images as 8-bit YCbCr 4:2:0, meaning the color resolution is only 1/4 that of the black-and-white resolution.

(This saves a lot of space and the eye is rather insensitive to color resolution anyway).

Using greater than 8-bit computations when doing Chroma Upsampling to restore full color resolution may do something to preserve a more accurate color image, but it is a very minor effect.

Does it come with an HDMI cable?

Yes. Length: 6ft.

OPPO says:

The cable has been tested and verified to support 1080p/60Hz with 36-bits Deep Color. We have not gone through the certification process for the HDMI 1.3 or Category 2 ratings.

Can subtitles be repositioned?

Yes, as of the 48-1224 firmware (January 5, 2010).

There is a setting to control subtitle position in Setup -> Video Setup -> Display Options -> Subtitle Shift.

More conveniently there is an onscreen control to shift subtitles interactively:

  • Press and hold the Subtitle button on the remote. An onscreen widget will appear.
  • Use the up and down arrow keys to position the subtitles where you want them.
  • Press Enter.

This works even while playback is paused. Whatever setting you choose is automatically saved in Setup.

Note that this works for DVD and Blu-ray both with and without BD-Java features. It does not work for media file subtitles.

Another restriction is that the shift is purely "up" and "down". Sometimes subtitles appear high on the display (for example, so as not to obscure onscreen credits) and it would be nice if these were shifted down when lower titles were shifted up, but the player does not currently do that.

Note

Subtitle shifting is a feature the Constant Image Height users like. It can be used to shift subtitles out of the black bars and onto the image itself.

Anyone using full screen zoom could also benefit.

Even though I use a simple flat panel without zoom, I find myself using the feature as well. I like the subtitles as low on the screen as possible.

Can the On Screen Display be repositioned?

Yes, as of the 48-1224 firmware (January 5, 2010).

There is a setting to control OSD position in Setup -> Video Setup -> Display Options -> OSD Position.

Unlike Subtitle Shift, there is no interactive positioning widget.

Note

This feature is for use with the various Zoom modes. Without it the On Screen Display is shifted off screen when zooming.

Can the front panel be turned off entirely?

Yes, as per the manual (Setup Menu Options / Device Setup / Dimmer Control).

This can be done either from the remote or from the Setup menu.

The power light remains on.

Does the player support 1080i50 Blu-ray sources?

Yes, 1080i50 content is supported. The output depends on the player resolution and TV System settings:

  • when resolution is Source Direct: 1080i50
  • other resolution settings produce the expected result and the frame rate is determined by the TV System setting:
    • when TV System is NTSC: 60hz
    • when TV System is PAL or Multi: 50hz

There is no 24p output available for this type of source.

Obviously, your display must be capable of receiving a 50hz signal if you want to use one of those options.

Frame rate conversion is handled by the ABT chip when Primary Output is set to HDMI, or by the decoder chip when Primary Output is set to Component. We do not have details on the frame rate conversion algorithms.

See the List of Blu-ray movies authored in 1080i50.

What HDMI CEC functions does the player support?

OPPO says:

The HDMI CEC controls are based off of the commands typically used by Sony. They are designed only for the most basic of functionality, such as Power On/Off and play controls. They are not designed to support advanced functions like Resolution or Setup.

Are there any hidden features?

  • Pressing Eject on the remote will power on the player and eject the tray.
  • If you press and hold the Setup button on the remote you will get the Picture Adjustment menu directly.
  • Pressing the Display button for 10 or 15 seconds will reset the Video Setup options when you release the button. This includes the HDMI Options but not the Picture Adjustment settings. This is handy if you've accidentally made a change (Color Space, for example) that your display does not accept.
  • For DVD the Top Menu remote button is the same as TITLE, and the Popup Menu remote button is the same as the MENU function on DVD remotes. (Not all discs use both functions).
  • When playing DVD (not Blu-ray), pressing the YELLOW button on the remote will take you to chapter 1 of the longest title on the disc. You can use this during startup to skip the introductory material.
  • When playing DVD, the BLUE button performs the random/shuffle cycle for titles and chapters, just as with media files and audio tracks.
  • JACKET_P images on DVD are supported. JACKET_P is optional cover art that displays when a disc is stopped.
  • With mp3 files, the browser will display ID3v2 tags, including "PIC" cover art images.
  • CD-Text is shown on the On Screen Display: album name, artist and track title.
  • You can play AVCHD. See Is AVCHD video supported?
  • You can get Slow playback in forward and reverse by pressing Pause and then using the FWD and REV buttons. The speed steps are 1/16, 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2. (This is in the manual now: Basic Operations -> Slow Playback).
  • You can switch Secondary Audio processing on and off by pressing and holding the SAP button on the remote. See What is Secondary Audio?

Performance

Is the Blu-ray picture quality of this player amazingly better than any other player?

Opinions vary, but the consensus seems to be that Blu-ray player picture quality is very similar among all players producing 1080p images from 1080p disc content, which is how almost all film-based movies are mastered on Blu-ray disc.

Players will differ in:

  • how well they deinterlace 480i/576i sources like DVD
  • how well they scale those sources to high-definition
  • how well they scale a 1080p Blu-ray image to other resolutions
  • how well they deinterlace 1080i sources like concert videos
  • whether they accept 1080i50 sources

Other factors which differentiate players:

  • optional video processing, such as sharpness and noise reduction controls, and support for Constant Image Height projectors
  • ability to shift subtitles
  • optional Source Direct, which bypasses some video processing
  • optional Deep Color interpolation (note that there are no Blu-ray or DVD Deep Color sources, so interpolating larger color bit depths is the best a player can do)
  • choices for audio processing and outputs
  • support for other media types such as SACD, DVD-A, and media files on data discs and USB devices
  • Load times, responsiveness, speed of layer changes
  • networking features like DLNA and streaming
  • fan noise
  • build quality
  • quality of customer support, including firmware updates to fix bugs and add new features
  • community support

These comments from an industry insider may be of interest.

Minority Report

Not everyone agrees that "Blu-ray player picture quality is very similar among all players producing 1080p images from 1080p disc content."

In Gary Murrell's review he finds the OPPO picture quality superior and has written on AVSForum:

I think the OPPO may be the best -- not trying to build up hype or exaggerate, I care about video very much and I am very very picky -- no BD player I know of so far has a image as clean and naturally sharp as this unit, and that includes players I have used that I have modified for HD-SDI.

It's all about the decoder and the decoder that OPPO used is from folks that know what they are doing; they are the best.

Is the DVD picture quality of this player amazingly better than any other player?

Unlike Blu-ray, DVD seems to require a lot of craft to get the best possible images, particularly in deinterlacing ( = progressive scan = converting 480i/576i to 480p/576p). DVD video must be deinterlaced before it can be scaled.

You can learn a lot from the Secrets of Home Theater and Hi Fidelity shootout test database. There is a huge variety in progressive scan performance in DVD players. Particularly instructive articles on deinterlacing artifacts from that site are:

Sadly, the site is no longer maintained and many recent players have not been tested. Winston's Reviews is performing a similar function for Blu-ray players and he covers DVD performance.

Many people claim that ABT VRS processing, as used in this player and in the older 983H DVD player, is the current top dog in DVD image quality. I don't know what the limits are in getting the best possible picture out of the 720x480 pixels, but we must be close to the end.

I would never claim that a DVD image can match a good Blu-ray image, but many times I have looked at images on these players and said "I can't believe this is standard definition."

On the other hand, the better quality DVD players are probably very close to one another. When comparing players, the differences I see when doing A/B comparisons tend to fade away when actually watching a movie.

On the third hand, sometimes even small differences, once seen, tend to loom large in the mind and become bothersome.

My advice: it depends on how fanatical you are. If you have multiple calibration discs and spend a lot of time using them and trying different color spaces and other things in an attempt to squeeze that last few percent of video quality out of DVD, you will probably appreciate the DVD performance of this player.

If you don't, then which chip set a player uses for deinterlacing and scaling DVD is not the most important consideration.

What are the differences between this player and the OPPO 983H for DVD playback?

DVD performance of the BDP-83 is the same as or better than the 983H.

Looking just at DVD playback, the BDP-83 does not have these features of the 983H:

The BDP-83 adds these features which the 983H does not have:

  • 24p output
  • 480i over HDMI
  • Source Direct
  • New controls for Edge Enhancement, Detail Enhancement and Noise Reduction
  • Demo Mode

How fast are the load times?

Here are some timings reported during the beta period, as compared with the 40GB PS3 running firmware 2.43:

Ratatouille (Blu-ray)
test PS3 BDP-83
From power on to first previews image 00:53 00:40
From first previews to top menu 00:22 00:30
From top menu to total menus 00:14 00:20
From total menus to start of play 00:03 00:04
Chapter forward by 10 chapters 00:15 00:04
Chapter backward by 10 chapters 00:15 00:04
Men in Black (Blu-ray)
test PS3 BDP-83
From power on to first Sony intro image 00:47 00:50
From power on to main menu 01:05 01:09
From main menu to PG-13 warning screen 00:03 00:04
Chapter forward by 10 chapters 00:16 00:04
Chapter backward by 10 chapters 00:16 00:04

And here are times as compared to the Pioneer BDP-51FD:

test BDP-51FD BDP-83
From power on to "No Disc" message 00:24 00:11
Load Disc (from tray open to Top Menu) Fellowship Of The Ring disc 1 (DVD) 00:37 00:13
Load Disc (from tray open to Blu-ray Splash Screen) Wanted (Blu-ray) 01:24 00:37

And compared to the Panasonic BD-35:

The Nightmare before Christmas (Blu-ray)
test BD-35 BDP-83
Press open tray to tray opening 00:24 00:03
Press tray close to movie preview 00:44 00:24
Movie preview to main menu 00:38 00:23
Press play movie to Disney intro 00:03 00:03

Notes:

  • On the early machines, from power off to tray eject using the Eject button is about 11 seconds. With more recent hardware people are reporting eject times of about 2 seconds. Total boot up time is still about 11 seconds total.

  • If BD-Live is enabled some discs will download stuff from the network while loading. For example, the Transformers disc takes over 2 minutes to load the first time, and about 25 seconds to load if you play it again without erasing the persistent storage. Iron Man is said to be another example.

    See Can BD-Live be turned off?

How fast are the layer changes?

On DVD, it is reported that the Avia Pro layer change stress test shows a time of 0.8 seconds. This is the worst case; real world examples should be quicker. In my own viewing I can sometimes detect a DVD layer change, but it is too quick to estimate the time.

By way of comparison, using the same test, the PS3 (V2.50 firmware) shows 1.2 seconds and the Pioneer Elite DV-59avi SD-DVD player shows 2.0 seconds.

Note

It is hard to minimize layer changes with Blu-ray players which use SATA drives. The drives have a limited amount of buffer memory and although players can buffer at the decoder, this is not as effective in concealing the layer change. In the future chip makers may deliver a "single-chip" solution which contains both the "front end" (laser control and radio frequency analog stuff) and "back end" (decoding and A/V processing) which would allow better layer changes.

By which time no one will care.

How well does the player handle scratched and dirty Blu-ray discs?

Apparently very well. The other beta testers report taking no special care in cleaning their rental discs and have had no troubles.

As of October 18, 2010 I have played 146 Netflix rentals and 36 video store rentals, all Blu-ray, and had no disc damage or smudge/dirt issues except for one disc which was visibly bent and would not load.

Hardware

Does the player have a memory card slot?

No, but a USB adapter for memory cards works.

What are the USB specifications?

See the manual (Media File Playback / Playback from a USB Drive).

The player has two USB ports, one in the front and one in back.

What are the IR connector specifications?

See the manual (Installation / Custom Installation / External IR (Infrared Remote) Installation).

The IR input on the rear panel outputs +5 VDC on the tip for an accessory device: it is a 3 pin jack.

OPPO will provide an adapter cable to 2 pin to connect to a standard IR block upon request, or make your own:

Wire up a cable with 3 pin plug using ring and sleeve only (do not connect tip) and the rear IR port will work fine (ring, or intermediate terminal, is +).

This is the same configuration as the DirecTV HR21 Pro rear IR port.

How loud is the fan?

Comments from early users:

What fan?

*

Ditto.

*

Double ditto. No noise.

*

The fan does not run most of the time. During playback I never hear it, but I have the player in a cabinet behind doors. If the player has been running a while I hear the fan when the tray is ejected and the cabinet doors are open. It runs for a short time when a new disc begins playing but then goes silent again.

*

I have my OPPO sitting on top of the cabinet, in the open, just 10 feet away, and I never hear the fan, even after hours of use, except for brief instances when the fan control logic is resetting itself -- e.g. during new disc initial loading.

With decent ventilation, whether enclosed in a cabinet or out in the open, the fan should be a non-issue for everyone.

The Oppo meets my requirements for quiet operation during playback.

*

I have the BDP-83 installed in probably the worst possible ventilation scenario (which is sad for an HVAC engineer, but still true -- I keep telling myself it's to provide a test case rather than admitting that I haven't taken the time to improve on my cabinet). I also have three temperature sensors on the player: one at the intake underneath, one at the fan discharge, and one sitting inside the case next to the drive (the component that is most heat sensitive).

I can get the fan to run, but it involves ambient temperatures inside the player of around 105F or 110F and discharge air temperatures of up to 125F. I do not hear the fan, though, even when I open the cabinet door while it is running. Ambient noise (particularly my HD DVR cable box) drown out the fan itself.

*

Mine sets on top of my Integra combi player and has 5 inches of clearance on top and is open to the sides and back; I never hear the fan and I never notice a heat issue.

*

The Oppo BDP-83 includes a fan. If I didn't tell you that you would likely never know. There simply isn't fan noise during playback. I have my Oppo sitting out in the open about 10 feet from where I sit. The only time you ever hear the fan is when the fan control logic resets itself briefly, as for example during the loading of a disc. I kid you not, some of the Beta testers have taken to mounting a mirror behind their Oppo so they can even tell when, if ever, the fan is spinning.

*

I have mine on top of my Onkyo 605, and I never hear it kick on. I feel fan noise is really a non-issue for most folks.

*

I have been able to hear my fan come on at times, and once or twice, only during a quiet scene, was able to hear it from my sitting position watching a movie. This was only during 1 or 2 movies in particular, and only during a very quiet scene. The other times I've heard it was only when a disc was not playing, but perhaps afterwards, when removing the disc when I was up close.

Do the remote codes conflict with those for older OPPO players?

See the manual (Installation / Remote Control / Setting the Remote Code) and (Device Setup / Remote Control Code).

You can set the remote so that it either does or does not control other OPPO Digital players. There is a 3-way switch inside the battery compartment.

Code set 1 is the same as used for the other players. If you use code set 2 or 3 the BDP-83 will not obey the other remotes and its remote will not control the other players.

Note that the physical switch setting on the remote must match the Setup value. See Why did my remote stop working when I changed the code set?.

Is a rack mount available for the player?

Yes, see:

  • Middle Atlantic Products part # RSH4A2M OPPO BDP83

    (2RU, 14 inches deep; consider the -C clamp option which holds the player securely in the shelf)

  • (others? Send me your comments).

Are codes for other remotes available?

  • Logitech has the BDP-83 in its Harmony database.
  • Universal Electronics JP1.
  • Universal Electronics Nevo.
  • (others? Send me your comments).

How do I use the alternate code sets on my Logitech/Harmony remote?

Set the remote switch in the OPPO remote's battery compartment to 2 or 3 and follow Harmony's instructions, as posted on AVSForum:

We are sorry you have been experiencing this difficulty. As we suggested, you should be able to confirm the commands from the original remote. This will request 3 to 6 keypresses, and will not require you to learn the entire codeset. To do this, please follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your account using the Logitech Harmony Remote Software.
  2. Connect your Harmony remote to the USB cable.
  3. Click on the "Devices" tab, then beside the device, click on "Settings".
  4. Select "Confirm Infrared Commands" and click "Next".
  5. You will be asked for some button presses. Point your original remote to the bottom end of the Harmony, and from 2-5 cm away, press each button as the software asks for it. The computer screen will blink (refresh) once the key is detected, and you will see the message "Key detected." Once the software has found the best set of codes, you will get confirmation. You may need to answer some set up questions, just click "Next" to go through and make any changes needed.
  6. Update your remote to test this with your activities.

If there is a "remote address" you should be able to select or view this on the receiver itself without contacting OPPO. We almost certainly already have the codes in our database and you should not need to provide these. The easiest way to is to try following the steps provided above. Again, it should only require 3-6 keypresses.

Does OPPO publish the remote code values?

Yes, as an Excel .xls spreadsheet: OPPO BDP-83 Remote Control Codes.

All three code sets are shown and the last tab has large-scale images of the remote, front and back.

Is there an RS232 interface?

Yes, as an option for $89 extra.

A new backpanel and daughter board are required for RS232 support.

OPPO provides an RS-232 Control Protocol document.

Note

The primary benefit to RS232 control is that it allows the player to send feedback to the device that's controlling it. This would allow you to do things like have the control system dim the lights when a movie starts playing and turn them back up when the movie is paused or stopped, or display current track, elapsed time, etc. on a touchpanel controller (potentially useful if the player is in an equipment closet).

Based on the RS232 documentation for the DV-983H, there are also additional commands, like direct access to the various fast forward speeds.

To use RS232 control, you would need a remote control that is able to do RS232, such as AMX, Crestron, RTI, some of the higher end Prontos, URC, etc. These will usually have a remote that uses RF communication with a controller box that then sends out IR, RS232, and other types of signals to the equipment being controlled.

Most typical universal remotes like the Logitech Harmony don't have support for RS232 control of devices.

Component Output

Does the component output use the ABT chip?

No, ABT VRS processing is used for HDMI only.

Does the component output support 1080p?

No, 1080i is the limit.

For Blu-ray this limit is mandated by AACS, so the decoder chip maker decided to make the hardware support up to 1080i over component. This means non-encrypted DVD and other media files can be up-converted to 1080i over component, but not 1080p.

Are DVDs upscaled over component?

Non-CSS encrypted DVDs will upscale over component. Else they are limited to 480i/576i and 480p/576p.

Are component and HDMI outputs active at the same time?

Yes, although there are restrictions. It depends on the setting of Setup -> Video Setup -> Primary Output:

  • When set to HDMI, the component output will support DVD at 480i/576i only, and is limited to 1080i Blu-ray sources, such as concert videos. (This is because the decoder chip only outputs the native resolution of the disc in this mode. Most BDs are 1080p24, and there is no corresponding component output format for 1080p24).

  • When set to Component, both Blu-ray and DVD will play over both the component and HDMI ports, but because some of the ABT VRS functions are then bypassed, HDMI output will not be as good as when set to HDMI.

    Note

    This is what the manual says. I'm not sure what is missing from HDMI when Primary Output is set to Component. The image looks good to me and the picture controls work as expected.

    But: I'm sure if you have some problem with HDMI image quality you will be told the first step is to set Primary Output to HDMI before attempting any other diagnostic.

    It looks like the Zoom functions do not work over HDMI when Primary Output is set to Component.

Why isn't the video resolution reported correctly when using component output?

See the manual (Installation / Connecting to a Display / Component Video Connection) and (Advanced Operations / Output Resolution).

This is a difficult case because the same Resolution control is used for both HDMI and component, which you can switch between but which have different capabilities.

The Resolution setting should always be correct for HDMI, but for component what is shown in the On-screen Display may not be correct:

  • When Primary Output is HDMI:

    • For DVD, the component output is always 480i/576i.
    • For 1080i Blu-ray sources (like concert videos) the component resolution setting should be correct, except that 1080p will be interlaced to 1080i.
  • When Primary Output is Component:

    • When playing Blu-ray, the component resolution setting should be correct, except that 1080p will be interlaced to 1080i.
    • When playing non-CSS protected DVD, the component resolution setting should be correct, except that 1080p will be interlaced to 1080i.
    • When playing CSS protected DVD, the component resolution setting will be correct for 480i/576i and 480p/576p, but all other settings will produce 480p/576p.

These Blu-ray results over component presume that the disc does not have ICT, which as far as I know is not yet being used on Blu-ray.

Firmware

How do I check the firmware version?

As shown in the manual (Setup Menu Options / Device Setup / Firmware Information), use Device Setup -> Firmware Information. The firmware is the line labeled Main Version.

Will updating firmware erase my settings?

No, your settings will be retained. Persistent memory is also preserved.

Note

This is the intended operation. During the beta test period there were "big" firmware updates that reset the settings and erased persistent memory. It's possible this could happen again in the future, so it would be a good idea to note your settings before an upgrade.

Important

OPPO, in the "Installation Instructions and Download" link at the Help & Support page, recommends doing Setup -> Device Setup -> Reset Factory Default after each firmware upgrade and manually reapplying your settings. That is what I do.

The BDP-83 Settings Checklist (PDF) is a handy way of noting your settings customizations.

If I have missed some firmware updates, should I install each one?

No, each firmware is cumulative, completely replacing what was installed before. You can install the latest version without concern for the previous ones.

How do I update firmware using a USB stick?

See the "Installation Instructions and Download" link at the Help & Support page.

Usually the player detects the presence of firmware when you insert the USB device. If it doesn't, sometimes cycling power on the player will help. Or, as the instructions say, just do Setup -> Device Setup -> Firmware Upgrade -> Via USB.

If the player is not finding the firmware:

  • Verify that the stick is formatted with FAT or FAT32. NTFS and other file systems will not work.
  • Verify that the player mounts the stick correctly. Use the Home button on the remote to bring up the media file browser and make sure you can navigate into the stick and see its other contents.
  • Verify that the firmware files are in a top-level folder called UPG.

How do I update firmware using an optical disc?

See the "Installation Instructions and Download" link at the Help & Support page.

Note the list of recommended disc burning utilities at the bottom of the page linked there in the section called General instructions on working with ISO image files.

Another utility often recommended for burning iso files is ImgBurn.

Can firmware be updated over the internet?

Yes, it is quick and painless if you have high speed internet. I wouldn't recommend it otherwise.

See the manual (Setup Menu Options / Device Setup / Firmware Upgrade).

Does the internet update know when the player firmware is current?

Yes. If the firmware is current the player will not perform the update.

Why is the Firmware Upgrade option grayed out?

See the manual (Setup Menu Options / Device Setup / Firmware Upgrade).

Make sure no disc is playing. Or: just eject the tray.

Why isn't my player showing that new firmware is available via the internet?

There are several possible reasons:

  • The new firmware is BETA. BETA firmware won't install via the internet due to its risk of instability in performance or installation.

    (Note: if you are already running beta firmware then new beta versions will be visible and available for installation).

  • The Firmware Notification Setup option is not On.

  • The player already has the updated firmware applied.

  • The player can't access the OPPO's support web site due to some kind of internet access/connectivity issue.

What are the different firmware files?

Firmware updates can include several different files:

UPG/BDP-83.bin:the main firmware
UPG/DVD.BIN:the disc loader
UPG/MCU.BIN:the micro controller unit (which runs the fan among other things)

Not every firmware update will include each type of file.

When updating the firmware, there will be a separate on-screen dialog box for each file.

Is there a listing of the Setup options and their defaults?

Yes, in this PDF file: BDP-83 Settings Checklist.

The purpose of this document is:

  • To show the default settings when you use Setup -> Device Setup -> Reset Factory Default and run the Setup Wizard again.
  • To provide a convenient place to note your own Setup customizations.
  • To show the differences between the Setup Wizard "Compatible" and "Advanced" Audio Settings: all the differences are in the Audio Format Setup section.

Picture

What is the best output resolution for my display?

See the manual (Installation / Setting Up the Player - Easy Setup Wizard / Select the Best Output Resolution).

What is the best color space?

See the manual (Setup Menu Options / HDMI Options / Color Space) which recommends Auto as the best setting.

I would recommend YCbCr 4:4:4 for HDMI and RGB Video for DVI. This what the Auto setting gives you anyway and you might as well set it explcitily.

What if I want to set the color space manually?

Spears & Munsil have an article: Choosing a Color Space.

In theory, when every device in the chain is using 8 bits for all components, there should be no difference between RGB Video Level and the two YCbCr settings. Blu-ray and DVD are both recorded using YCbCr 4:2:0. This is chroma upsampled by the hardware decoder to YCbCr 4:2:2 which then must be upsampled to YCbCr 4:4:4 and converted to RGB for display. These last two conversions can occur in the player, in the display, or in some intermediate box.

In practice I would try all the settings, calibrating for each one separately, to see if any looks better than the others. In the past there have been examples of displays that did not handle certain color spaces settings very well. I would hope this has improved with time.

Note

Some (most?) displays do their internal calculations in YCbCr, so if you send them RGB they have to convert the signal to YCbCr for computation, then back to RGB for display.

Converting between RGB and YCbCr is simple math and is lossless (if the software uses enough bits of precision) but the principle of "keep it simple" suggests sending a YCbCr signal to the display is less error-prone.

RGB PC Level should not be used unless you know your display expects it. Some computer monitors may require this, but A/V gear should be using RGB Video Level.

Unlike HDMI, a DVI video connection is always RGB regardless of the player setting.

If your display supports Deep Color and HDMI 1.3 you can experiment with the player's Deep Color options; I have no experience with that.

Specific advice from an expert

  • My recommendation is that folks start with:

    • YCbCr 4:4:4 if the next device is an HDMI device
    • RGB Video Level if the next device is a DVI device

    The Auto setting should already do this for you.

    Note

    The OPPO firmware already handles the SDTV (rec 601) vs. HDTV (rec 709) YCbCr color space stuff correctly and automatically -- there is no setting in the OPPO to alter that.

    If the next device has a control for this it too should be set to Automatic (i.e., it should be expecting HDTV color space if it is getting YCbCr from the player at 720p or above and SDTV color space if it is getting YCbCr from the player at resolutions below that).

    If RGB is being used, this choice is not relevant. The SDTV vs. HDTV stuff is only relevant to YCbCr output.

    If the SDTV vs. HDTV color space stuff is wrong (i.e., the devices at either end of the cable are not in agreement) then the error will show up primarily in the greens -- which will be 15% hot or dull depending on which way you have the error.

  • If your next device supports Deep Color then turn that on as well in the player. This will yield YCbCr 4:4:4 or RGB Deep Color data format.

  • If the next device supports Deep Color and it appears to be working bug free, then you are done. Continue using YCbCr 4:4:4 or RGB Deep Color output from the player.

  • If you are using YCbCr 4:4:4 and the next device does not support Deep Color, then, after you are familiar with how YCbCr 4:4:4 is working for you, try an experiment with YCbCr 4:2:2 output from the player to see if your next device supports that.

    If it accepts the signal, calibrate the video levels again for YCbCr 4:2:2 (don't just assume your YCbCr 4:4:4 level settings are also right for 4:2:2) and see which data format seems to be working better for you -- seems to be giving you a more pleasing image. YCbCr 4:2:2 may be able to give you smoother gray scale and color ramps for example.

    Note

    YCbCr 4:2:2 is an alternate data format (not supported by all receivers or displays) which allows you to transmit the fineness of gray scale and color step sizes characteristic of "Deep Color" connections while only consuming the signal bandwidth of "normal" connections. It makes this all fit by the trick of sending only half the horizontal color resolution: that is, sending 12 bit values for each of the 3 components but only sending one or the other of the color components for each pixel -- like this -- YCb, YCr, YCb, YCr, etc -- so that it still only consumes a total of 24 bits per pixel.

    YCbCr 4:2:2 is part of the older HDMI specs. So you may discover that you have hardware which is not HDMI V1.3 (or is HDMI V1.3 without the optional Deep Color feature) but which does accept YCbCr 4:2:2 at 12 bits per component. And if, so, it is worth giving that format a try -- what I call "Deep Color for the rest of us"!

  • If, on the other hand, you have a DVI device (or an HDMI device that has a bug in its handling of YCbCr input), you may discover that the starting choice of RGB Video Level is making it hard for you to properly set black and white levels. In that case, see if RGB PC Level output from the OPPO works better for you.

    Note

    This will typically be the case if the next device is engineered primarily for computer use, as with some projectors.

    You may also discover that the DVI input on the next device has a setting that configures it to expect Studio RGB (Black=16) or Extended RGB (Black=0) in which case switching it to the Studio RGB choice should make it match up well with RGB Video Level from the OPPO. Some home theater devices with DVI inputs will actually state that their DVI input is not intended for computer use. That's fine too. It just means the device is set to receive Studio RGB (RGB Video Level) and offers no setting to change that.

    Switching between RGB Video Level and RGB PC Level will make the image look darker or lighter (which is why the RGB black levels choice in some devices is even labeled "Darker" vs. "Lighter), but that's just because you have not yet reset the levels properly in the next device to account for this change in the player's output.

    If the next device has enough calibration range, RGB Video Level and RGB PC Level will look identically light or dark once matched with the corresponding, proper level settings in the next device.

    If the next device doesn't have enough calibration range, then pick whichever of RGB Video Level or RGB PC Level works better. If both work, you really ought to use RGB Video Level unless there is some bug in the next device that forces you to use RGB PC Level.

What is the best Deinterlacing Mode?

The manual (Setup Menu Options / HDMI Options / De-interlacing Mode) has a nice summary of the options and recommends Auto, which is what I use.

Note

Deinterlacing is required for DVD playback. Some extras on Blu-ray may be interlaced, and some main features like concert videos, but most Blu-ray titles are stored in a progressive format that does not need to be deinterlaced.

Which means this setting is not relevant for most Blu-ray main features.

Tip

I have DVDs where changing the default deinterlacing mode can improve playback. An example is the 1965 TV series Honey West. Using Auto deinterlacing, the image often shimmers, shows broken diagonal lines and spectacular moiré on striped shirts.

For some reason the way this disc is authored makes it difficult for the player to detect and lock on to the correct cadence. Forcing deinterlacing to Film Bias Mode gives a big improvement in image quality.

Since this setting, like most others, can be made while the title is playing, you can quickly see whether or not the changes are an improvement.

What is the best CUE-Correction setting?

The manual (Setup Menu Options / HDMI Options / CUE-Correction) has a nice summary of the options and recommends Auto, which is what I use.

Note

See this article for more on Chroma Up-sampling Error (CUE) and Interlaced Chroma Problem (ICP): Chroma Upsampling Error.

CUE is a fault of the video decoder chip, and since all of the OPPO players are free of the fault, they won't have CUE anyway.

ICP may still be present in interlaced video and CUE-correction will detect and correct it.

In any case, both CUE and ICP are issues of interlaced video. This applies to DVD, some Blu-ray extras and a few Blu-ray features, but most Blu-ray main features are stored in a progressive format and will not have either problem.

Audio

Are all audio outputs active at the same time?

Yes, this is true of all OPPO Players.

Note that some receivers will not accept certain inputs while others are connected, so check that carefully.

Do I need to set Speaker Configuration and Downmix?

See the manual (Setup Menu Options / Audio Processing Setup / Speaker Configuration).

The Speaker Configuration and Downmix settings are used only for multi-channel analog output, that is: the 5.1 or 7.1 analog cables.

You do not need to do anything with these settings if you are using any of:

  • a direct connection to the TV with HDMI or with stereo L/R cables
  • an HDMI connection to a receiver
  • a coaxial or optical connection to a receiver
  • a two-cable stereo connection to a receiver

What is DSD and how can I use this player's DSD features?

See the manual (Setup Menu Options / Audio Format Setup / SACD Output).

DSD over HDMI is a direct bitstream of an SACD Direct-Stream Digital format to your receiver. In order to use this feature you must have a receiver or processor that can decode DSD.

When the player is set to output DSD for SACD, the analog outputs will also output a direct DSD-to-analog conversion.

In both the above scenarios, you avoid a DSD-to-PCM conversion in the player. Setting the player for PCM output for SACD will output PCM over HDMI and also cause a DSD-to-PCM-to-analog conversion over analog outputs, which some people feel degrades the audio quality.

Does PCM have any advantages over DSD for SACD?

Setting SACD to PCM will allow the BDP-83's audio DSP to provide local signal processing such as bass management, downmixing, channel delays and channel trim. It can't do those things when SACD is set to DSD.

Selecting PCM also lets AVRs that cannot decode DSD directly play SACDs by losslessly transcoding DSD to PCM and sending it over the HDMI connection.

Despite the conversion concerns mentioned previously, PCM output for SACD will still produce a very high quality audio stream.

When converting DSD to PCM over HDMI, what is the highest resolution supported?

When the BDP-83 converts DSD to PCM internally, the resulting PCM data is 24bit/88.2kHz. This is the nominal processing rate produced by the conversion process, with no upsampling applied.

How do I switch between an SACD stereo mix and an SACD multi-channel mix?

Most SACD discs contain both a stereo mix and a multi-channel mix of the recording on the SACD layer. To switch between the stereo mix and the multi-channel mix of an SACD disc, press the Audio button on the remote.

However, selection of the CD layer contained on a hybrid SACD disc is not supported through the Audio button at this time. In order to select the CD layer of a hybrid SACD disc, you have to eject the disc and change SACD Priority as shown in the manual (Setup Menu Options / Playback Setup / SACD Priority).

Note

In early firmware it was reported that repeated switching back and forth between the SACD stereo mix and the multi-channel mix with the Audio button could render the playback of a disc unstable. In the context of an occasional switch the feature works normally. If the playback of a disc becomes unstable, eject the disc and start over.

What is the optimum volume setting that preserves full audio dynamic range?

Higher than 80%. Settings of 80% and lower will cause data truncation. The result is lowered dynamic range and loss of sound information at low volumes. For the best possible dynamic range, you should keep all your digital outputs at 100%.

Note

As stated in the manual, the volume control does not apply to digital bitstream audio, although setting volume to 0 will mute all audio.

What is the difference between the stereo and 7.1 outputs?

The 2-channel output uses a discrete stereo D-to-A converter. The 2-channel output is always downmixed multi-channel audio, and is independent from all audio settings in the player, with one exception:

If Audio Format Setup -> SACD Output is set to DSD, then multi-channel SACDs will not be downmixed to the dedicated 2-channel outputs.

This is not a problem for stereo SACDs, but for multi-channel SACD you will get only the FL and FR channels from the dedicated stereo outputs when using the DSD setting. Use PCM in this case.

The Discrete L/R Stereo output has been designed with a higher output level of 2.40Vrms at 0dBFS, while the Multi-channel output is 2.0Vrms at 0dBFS.

The dedicated stereo output uses the Cirrus CS4398 DAC. The multi-channel analog output uses the Cirrus CS4382A DAC.

Why am I not getting sound when using the AIX Records DTS-MA 7.1 Channel Identification test?

By design this test produces sound only when using a 7.1 system. The author of the disc posted this to AVSForum:

Hi Folks, I'm Brent Curtis, I work for AIX, and we made the Blu-ray disc that came with the OPPO. The DTS-MA downmix was set to the lowest possible setting to prevent users from playing a 5.1 stream when they had chosen a 7.1 test. We wanted to set it to silence. Regrettably, we should have mentioned this somewhere on the disc.

If you have the settings in your OPPO and AVR set correctly and really have 7.1, then the DTS-MA test will play at the normal volume. This test should only be used if you have a 7.1 system. While not DTS-MA, there are other 5.1 tests that can be used. For those people who are having troubles with the settings, we noticed some interaction between using the analog outputs and having the Secondary Audio turned on. Please contact OPPO directly for clarification, but first try turning off the Secondary Audio.

We're glad people are enjoying the disc and am sorry for any confusion this has caused, but in a way, the trick is doing its job in illuminating when the 7.1 is not really playing.

Within the DTS-MA encoder tool, there is no option to specify separate files for the 5.1 (or 2.0) core. There are only downmix coefficients which are used to generate the "core". I'm not sure if this is handled on the fly in decoding or if an actual sub-stream is created during encoding.

On the Dolby TrueHD side for 7.1, the encoder allows you to specify both the downmix coefficients and separate core files for the 5.1 and more downmix coefficients for the 2.0. I must admit, I am not clear on the permutations that decide if the core plays or if the downmix coefficients are used, but I would hope the core always plays if specified.

Should I perform audio decoding in the player or in the receiver?

Bugs aside, there is no reason to expect that decoding in the OPPO and decoding in the AVR will produce different results.

The new "lossless" audio packing formats for Blu-ray (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA) are "lossless" in the sense that what comes out of the decoder is bit-for-bit identical to what went into the encoder in the first place when the studio created that track.

The result of decoding is high-bandwidth, multi-channel LPCM -- the simplest form of digital audio. The LPCM the OPPO sends out over the HDMI cable after decoding is the same LPCM as the AVR would get internally if it were asked to do the decoding.

The certification process from Dolby Labs and from DTS is supposed to ensure this.

The bottom line is that if you detect a quality difference in your setup, then you have likely discovered a bug or a user setup error -- either in the OPPO or in your AVR.

Note also that even if you like bitstreaming to your AVR, you still need to get an AVR that handles HDMI LPCM input properly -- because otherwise you won't be able to listen to the raw (uncompressed) LPCM tracks found on quite a few Blu-ray discs.

Letting the OPPO do the decoding also makes it easier to take advantage of "secondary audio mixing" on Blu-ray discs.

All in all, you might as well just let the OPPO do all the decoding and just leave it that way. Pretty much the only thing you lose will be that the little TrueHD or DTS-HD MA light won't turn on in your AVR because once the track has been decoded to LPCM the AVR can't tell what format it was prior to that.

What are the proper subwoofer/LFE settings?

Some definitions:

LFE:Low-frequency effect (LFE); an audio channel for low-pitched sounds.
bass steering:or bass management or LFE Crossover; redirecting a portion of the bass from other channels to the LFE output, making it into a "subwoofer" output (LFE and steered bass already combined).

The Short Version:

  • Bass management occurs in the player for analog output only. With digital, bass management happens in the AVR or prepro. So, if you are using analog, set the speaker sizes in the player. If you are using digital, set them in the AVR.
  • The only exception to doing analog bass management in the player occurs with a few expensive receivers that can redigitize the analog inputs. In those cases, the user should set speakers to Large and output levels to 0db, which allows the AVR to handle bass management.
  • The OPPO outputs analog LFE (plus steered bass, if any) -15dB regardless of whether speakers are set to Large or Small.
  • With analog, the user needs to apply the 10db or 15db boost in his receiver or at the sub itself. Unlike digital, where the AVR software applies the needed boost, most receivers do not do this by default with analog. It's up to the user to apply it himself.
  • If the receiver cannot do the needed boost, you can add up to 10db of gain for the subwoofer channel in the OPPO. But that's not the recommended approach because it runs the risk of clipping during extremely loud passages.

The Long Version:

This is a complicated topic, too much to explore here. To fully understand the details read LFE, subwoofers and interconnects explained and The Misunderstood 0.1 LFE Channel in 5.1 Digital Surround Sound.

What about DVD-A?

DVD-A works like movie tracks. Nothing special is required.

What about SACD?

SACD does not include the 10dB level difference in its LFE channel. (Why? I don't know).

The OPPO does the usual trick of lowering the LFE component of SACD content by 10dB and treating it from there just like a movie track. Which means the user need make no special adjustment in the receiver regardless of which output he is using from the OPPO. If you have it set up correctly for movies, you are also OK for SACD.

Please note that it is not particularly useful to compare what the OPPO is doing to what other players do, as many other players screw this up in one way or another. Even players from the major "audiophile" manufacturers have been known to ship with LFE level bugs of one form or another.

What is Secondary Audio?

Secondary Audio is an optional yak-track that goes with the Blu-ray Picture-in-Picture (PIP) feature. It is mixed in with the main audio so both tracks are audible together. See the manual (Basic Operations / Picture-in-Picture and Secondary Audio).

Like BD-Live and excessively complicated menus, it is a marketing-driven Blu-ray feature that no one ever asked for.

Is audio quality reduced when using Secondary Audio?

Yes, for some audio formats. See the two charts in the manual (Setup Menu Options / Audio Format Setup / Audio Signal Reference Chart). They show the different results for various formats and outputs when Secondary Audio is off and on.

Die, Secondary Audio, Die!

If you are concerned about Secondary Audio reducing your audio quality, do all of the following:

  • Turn off Secondary Audio in the Setup menu.
  • Use the on-disc menu of the title you are playing to turn off any PIP and SAP options that may be present.

How can I tell when Secondary Audio processing is being used?

The On Screen Display has a special icon for this.

On the lower left of the screen, the normal audio icon is three overlapping circles. When Secondary Audio processing is enabled, the icon changes to a jagged waveform.

Why am I not getting any Secondary Audio with my Picture-in-Picture?

  • Make sure you have Setup -> Audio Format Setup -> Secondary Audio set to On.

  • Some discs are authored in such a way that you must turn features off and on through the disc's menus; not everything can be done with the remote.

    For example, I have noticed this with several of Universal Studio's discs with "U-Control". You can toggle Picture-in-Picture on and off with the remote's PIP button, but toggling Secondary Audio on and off with the SAP button does not work unless you first turn on U-Control in the menu.

    Further, the disc's instructions state that U-Control can be toggled with the RED button; this works, but I've found you still get no SAP audio unless you do it with the menus.

    I've also encountered discs (Serenity, for example) where PIP and SAP cannot be toggled from the remote; everything has to be done from the disc menu or U-Control widget.

Can I toggle Secondary Audio on and off without using the setup menu?

Yes, as of firmware 50-0424 (May 5 2010), press and hold the SAP button on the remote to switch Secondary Audio processing on and off. As to why you would want to, see Is audio quality reduced when using Secondary Audio?

Note that if the disc uses BD-Java the disc software must cooperate in making the PIP and SAP features work correctly. See Why am I not getting any Secondary Audio with my Picture-in-Picture?

Why do I get no CD Audio when the TV is turned off?

OPPO says:

This is likely related to your receiver not supporting HDMI repeating functionality. If the television is off the receiver is not handshaking HDCP, which will cause the player to completely disengage HDMI output.

In such situations you will either need to turn on the television, or completely remove the HDMI cable from the back of the receiver to the television, or use digital coaxial or optical for CD-Audio playback.

24hz Output

What is 24hz output?

Until recently, DVD and Blu-ray players have produced 60hz signals in NTSC countries and 50hz signals in PAL countries. But film-based sources are recorded at 24hz and converting them to something else can produce motion artifacts. Many players now have the option of producing 24hz directly.

Can I use 24hz output?

Only if your display accepts a 1080p24 signal; check your display documentation.

You should also verify that your display supports 1080p24 signals at multiples of 24hz. Some displays accept a 24hz signal but convert it to 60hz, which reintroduces the motion artifacts.

How to check this yourself:

  • Set explicit 1080p HDMI output in the OPPO with 1080p/24 OFF.
  • Play any normal, Blu-ray movie shot on film that has the typical, vertical credits scroll at the end. Scene select to the closing credits. Observe closely the vertical upwards motion of the credits.
  • Now switch the OPPO to 1080p/24 Auto. Check that the front panel shows the OPPO as switching to 1080p/24 output. If the OPPO doesn't shift into 1080p/24 then your display (or AVR) is telling the OPPO it won't accept that. Some displays that do handle 1080p/24 input properly are known to not publish that fact to the player during the HDMI handshake. If you think that might be the case with your display, switch the OPPO to 1080p/24 ON. For 1080p/24 content coming off the disc, this will make the OPPO use 1080p/24 output even if the display says it does not want that. (You'll still get 1080p/60 if the disc contents are not appropriate for 1080p/24 output.) If you lose video, you can recover by using the Resolution button on the OPPO remote to switch to 1080i (press Resolution, press Down Arrow, press Enter), and then go turn 1080p/24 back OFF again.
  • Presuming you can get 1080p/24 into your display at all, now recheck the motion of those scrolling end-credits. If your display is "doing the right thing" with 1080p/24 input, then the vertical scroll of those credits should appear as smooth motion. Switch back to 1080p/24 OFF (i.e., 1080p/60 output from the OPPO) and you should see a fairly subtle stepping or ratcheting upward of those credits instead of a smooth motion. That's the "cadence judder" you are trying to eliminate. Get up close to the screen to check this.
  • If the display accepts 1080p/24, but the credit scroll doesn't get smoother when fed 1080p/24, then your display is not doing the right thing with 1080p/24. It is accepting it, but converting it to 1080p/60 on input. There may be a setting you need to change in your display to correct this.

How do I turn on 24hz output?

See the manual (Setup Menu Options / Video Setup / 1080p24 Output).

Can I force 24hz output?

Yes, as described in the manual (Setup Menu Options / Video Setup / 1080p24 Output).

As it says there, if you force 24hz output and your display does not really accept it, you will get no video.

Can I get 24hz output for DVDs?

Yes, as described in the manual (Setup Menu Options / Video Setup / DVD 24p Conversion).

24hz playback for DVD is not always reliable. OPPO Customer Support has provided these comments:

  • Some discs are inherently mastered poorly and will result in audio sync errors. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and The Departed are two movies which have variable sync errors. This is due to incorrect cadencing which confuses the reverse telecining required for 24p.
  • Enabling subtitles on DVDs can cause frame tearing. This is because the subtitles are at a different frame rate/cadence than the movie. OPPO generally does not recommend enabling 24p when using subtitles for this reason. It throws off the player's cadence detection.
  • In both cases, turning off DVD 24p conversion in the OPPO Setup menu eliminates these issues.

Note

Since the transition between /60 output and /24 output requires a new HDMI connection setup "handshake" (meaning a couple seconds of distorted video while the new connection -- and its copy protection -- gets established) the player will tend to stay in "convert to /24" mode after it sees enough film-based repeat cadence to begin doing this at all. This keeps you from having constant re-handshakes in and out of /24 on a flakey disc.

But it also means that a flakey disc may very well turn on /24 and then stick with it even though it can't really be converted in a pleasing fashion because it is more flakey than not.

The workaround is to turn off the DVD /24 option while playing that disc. The player will then stay in /60 output throughout the playback of that disc.

And even though the disc is flakey, the OPPO will switch rapidly between film-based and video-based deinterlacing as necessary so things will look way better than you might be used to from playing such a disc on some other players. That's a transition that does not require a new HDMI handshake.

Why is the DVD 24p Conversion option grayed out?

As stated in the manual (Setup Menu Options / Video Setup / DVD 24p Conversion) and (Setup Menu Options / Using the Setup Menu System) Setup -> Video Setup -> DVD 24p Conversion is disabled unless Setup -> Video Setup -> 1080p24 Output is set to On or Auto.

Source Direct

What is Source Direct?

According to the manual (Installation / Setting Up the Player - Easy Setup Wizard / Select the Best Output Resolution), the Source Direct resolution setting is for use with external video processors or high-end TVs.

When the resolution is set to Source Direct, the player acts as a transport, outputing the original resolution of the disc content with minimal additional processing.

The manual (Installation / Setting Up the Player - Easy Setup Wizard / Select the Best Output Resolution) has a table of resolutions for various content types.

Some ABT VRS processing is bypassed when using Source Direct. When set to Source Direct the player does:

  • color space conversion
  • picture controls (brightness, contrast, saturation)

...but does not do:

  • PReP
  • deinterlacing
  • noise reduction
  • detail or edge enhancement
  • scaling
  • frame rate conversion
  • chroma upsampling error detection and correction
  • Y/C delay
  • aspect ratio control
  • zoom

Note that your display must be capable of receiving a 1080p24 signal, or you will get no video when playing Blu-ray with Source Direct.

Similarly, the display must accept 480i or 576i over HDMI or you will get no video when playing DVD with Source Direct.

What is the difference between Blu-ray 1080p24 and Source Direct?

Some ABT VRS processing is bypassed when using Source Direct. Some of the video settings will not be used. See What is Source Direct?

What is the difference between DVD 480i and Source Direct?

Some ABT VRS processing is bypassed when using Source Direct. Some of the video settings and the player's aspect ratio controls are not used, so Wide/Auto will not pillarbox 4:3 material. See What is Source Direct?

Why are 4:3 DVDs not pillarboxed with Source Direct?

That is an example of the type of video processing that is bypassed when using Source Direct. Use one of the other resolutions if you want the player to pillarbox 4:3 DVD titles with the 16:9 Wide/Auto setting.

Media Files

What are the supported media file types?

These are the actual file name extensions the player can read. For example, the player will see and display a file called abc.jpg, but if you rename it to jpg.abc it will become invisible to the player and you will not be able to display it. ".abc" is not a supported file name extension.

These file types are currently supported:

  • avi
  • divx
  • gif
  • jpg
  • mka
  • mkv
  • mp2
  • mp3
  • mpg
  • png
  • vob
  • wma

These file types are not currently supported:

  • 3gp
  • ac3
  • bmp
  • dts
  • fla
  • flv
  • m4v
  • mlp
  • mov
  • mp4
  • mpc
  • m2ts (except in AVCHD directories)
  • ogg
  • ogm
  • tif
  • ts
  • pcx
  • wav
  • wmv

Most of my testing was done with the downloadable divxtest.com disc. For more detail, see the results of the divxtest.com disc.

There is also a comparison of media file test results for several OPPO players.

What are the supported media file containers?

See:

What is the difference between a container and a codec?

A container is a file, an envelope to hold audio and video data. The audio and video is encoded by a standard codec, a program or format.

People ask "I thought AVI (or MKV or DIVX...) was supported. Why won't my file play?"

AVI (or MKV or DIVX) are the type of container. They are supported. But the video inside the container must be of a supported video codec or you won't get any video. The audio inside the container must be of a supported audio codec or you won't get any audio.

What are the supported media file audio codecs?

  • AC3 (Dolby Digital)
  • AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) (including HE-AAC)
  • DTS (Digital Theater System)
  • LPCM (Linear pulse code modulation)
  • MP1 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer I)
  • MP2 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer II)
  • MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3)
  • WMA (Windows Media Audio) (up to 192kbps and 48kHz) (not WMA Pro, Lossless or Voice)

See:

What lossless audio file formats are supported?

The only lossless codec currently supported (either via media USB or DLNA) is LPCM, and only in specific containers.

Other lossless formats like FLAC, WMA Lossless, MLP, etc, are not supported. OPPO is aware of the need, but support for this must come from the decoder chip maker.

These combinations are known to work:

  • .vob STEREO 24bit/96kHz (or 48 kHz)
  • .mkv/.mka STEREO 16bit/ up-to-192 kHz
  • AVCHD (we need a list of supported audio codecs and parameters)

The following do not work properly:

  • .mkv/.mka with any 24bit LPCM resolution data
  • .vob 5.1 16bit/48 kHz LPCM (which is supported by the DVD-Video standard)

As an aside, here is an article on creating DVD-A discs from .flac and .wav files: Playing Downloaded High Resolution Music Albums on a Universal Player Instead of Your Computer.

Is there a maximum number of media files the player can see?

One tester reports that 6000 files on a hard drive works fine, but that 20,000 is too many: the player does not reliably display the drive contents when it has too many files.

Is AVCHD video supported?

Yes, on both disc and USB.

The AVCHD directory name must be all capital letters as shown, but can be within any subdirectory, meaning you can have a collection of AVCHD directories on one disc or USB device.

See the directory layout in the AVCHD wiki article.

Does it support .iso disc images as data files?

No.

The chip maker balked at this due to copy protection concerns. Apparently "iso" means "illegal content" to the industry.

How do I return to the browser in the same folder when playing a video file?

As shown in the manual (Media File Playback / Playing Movie Files), press Stop twice.

Why don't all media video files show attributes in the browser?

For .avi containers the browser will show:

  • time
  • resolution
  • frame rate
  • format

...but for other container types it shows nothing. I don't know why, but presume each container type has it's own API and development for each type has to be prioritized.

Why are media file names not sorted alphabetically?

It's a bug. Files are shown in their physical ordering on the device, which is usually their creation order. Some mp3 players and other devices exhibit the same non-sorting behavior.

Here are some utilities that will sort the files on a USB FAT device correctly (use at your own risk! make backups first!):

Are data discs with long file names supported?

Yes, with some restrictions.

  • For a disc created with ISO9660 version 2 (ISO-9660:1999) the player will show 207 characters of directory names and 120 characters of file names (by scrolling).
  • A disc created with the joliet long file name extension will show 103 characters of directory and file names (by scrolling). The file name limit is actually 99 because you need 4 characters for the "." + extention.

Note

Regarding the joliet long file name extension, the Linux documentation says:

Allow Joliet filenames to be up to 103 Unicode characters, instead of 64. This breaks the Joliet specification, but appears to work. Use with caution.

Are DVD directory structures on USB devices supported?

No. Individual .vob files are supported but DVD directory structure is not, meaning the supporting information found in the .ifo files is missing.

When playing .vob files:

  • there are no chapters
  • there may be no total time or time remaining
  • subtitles can be strangely colored
  • transition between .vob files will not be seamless

Can the player be used as a media server?

In a way. As of the 48-1224 firmware (January 5, 2010) the player is a DLNA client. See What is DLNA?

To be a complete media server you would want features that are not currently supported:

  • files larger than 4GB on local USB storage
  • .iso files
  • DVD directory structures
  • more containers and codecs
  • ...and no doubt other things

Networking

What network functions are supported?

So far:

  • BD-Live
  • firmware updates
  • notification that new firmware is available
  • DLNA
  • BluTV

Other functions are often requested, but we have no indication that they will ever be added: Netflix and other video service streaming, CD track information.

Does the player have built-in wireless networking?

No, but OPPO sells an optional wireless adapter kit. The kit includes both transmitting and receiving adapters, so you can use it if you have high speed internet but no wireless access point.

The documentation is online: WK-1 User Guide (PDF).

This kit uses the ASUS WL-330gE hardware; you are getting two for (almost) the price of one. The units are "pre-paired" with custom firmware.

The advantages of this kit is that:

  • There is no configuration required; just plug and go.
  • You don't need an existing wireless access point, just an ethernet port on your router or modem.

The disadvantages:

  • You cannot use it with an existing wireless access point.
  • Power for the adapter attached to the player requires a USB port; the player has two but only one will be available if you use this kit.

Other ethernet-to-wireless adapters have been used successfully, for example:

  • Apple Airport Express
  • Apple Airport Extreme
  • ASUS WL-330gE
  • Belkin F5D7330 802.11g Wireless Ethernet/Gaming Adapter
  • D-Link 4-port Wireless Bridge DAP-1522
  • D-link DGL-3420
  • D-Link RangeBooster G Multifunction Print Server DPR-1260
  • Linksys WGA54G
  • Linksys WGA600N
  • Linksys PLK300 PowerLine AV Ethernet Adapter Kit
  • Netgear 54 mbps Wireless USB Print Server with 4-port Switch WGPS606
  • Netgear Powerline HDXB101
  • Netgear Powerline XE104
  • Netgear WN802T wireless-N Access Point/Bridge connected wirelessly to a Netgear WNDR 3700 simultaneous N dual-band router.
  • Netgear WNCE2001 Universal WiFi Internet Adapter
  • ZyXEL Powerline PLA470V2 & PLA401V2
  • (others? Send me your comments).

Can BD-Live be turned off?

Yes. See the manual (Setup Menu Options / Network Setup / BD-Live Network Access).

What is DLNA?

Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) "is a standard used by manufacturers of consumer electronics to allow entertainment devices within the home to share their content with each other across a home network."

With a DLNA server running on a PC or NAS box, the player can access and play certain media files over the network.

Benefits:

  • Network access might be more convenient than optical discs or USB devices.
  • You are no longer limited to the 4GB file limit size imposed by the FAT file system on USB devices.
  • File name sorting is controlled by the DLNA server; this gets around sorting limitations of the player when reading USB and data discs. See Why are media file names not sorted alphabetically?

Limitations:

  • The player only accepts and plays a limited number of file types. The server may offer more types but the player either will not see them, or they will be visible in the browser but not playable.

    Currently these file types are supported:

    • jpg
    • mkv
    • mp3
    • mpg
    • pcm
    • png
    • vob

What are some DLNA servers?

See a list at How to choose a DLNA Media Server for Windows, Mac OS X or Linux.

Here are some servers people are using with the BDP-93. If you have any usage notes on these please send me your comments:

How do I get DLNA working?

Networking is a big topic, beyond the scope of this FAQ. If anyone has links to online resources that address just this problem, please send me your comments.

Some resources:

Some brief notes:

  • You need a DLNA server.

  • You have to have a working network connection between the player and the server. If Setup -> Network Setup displays correct DHCP settings from your server, you should be ok.

  • There may be firewall and security issues on your PC. DLNA requires port 1900 open for both TCP and UDP.

  • The server must be looking at the correct network interface. For me, Twonky works without specifying any additional parameters, but I have to startup Mediatomb as:

    mediatomb -e eth0

  • The OPPO has to be working correctly. DLNA support is still experimental and you may have to try an operation more than once to get it to work.

What is BluTV?

See the Dreamercorp pages on BluTV.

Region Coding

Can it be made region-free for Blu-ray or DVD?

No, not with the supported hardware and firmware.

Unofficial hacked firmware and hardware modified by third parties exist but are not discussed in this FAQ.

Warning

Using modified hardware or firmware voids your OPPO warranty. Any support must be provided by the third party making the modification.

Later: according to OPPO customer support: "Technically hardware modifications void the warranty, but we have never denied a customer service due to modifications. We may remove the mod (if necessary for a repair) but that is it."

What is the point of having PAL support if the player is locked to region 1?

It will play PAL (and NTSC) DVD region 0 discs. Region 0 means "all regions".

Where do I get region 0 discs?

Backup software that removes CSS copy protection will set the DVD region code to 0.

See the wiki article on regional lockout.

Will OPPO Digital create versions of this player for markets outside of North America?

No, according to email from OPPO Digital:

Our player is being designed for North America, which is DVD Region 1 and Blu-ray Region A compliant. We have no plans selling these units internationally or allowing the end user to adjust any regional controls.

For all information related to a European BDP-83, we would recommend contacting OPPO.SE (INFO@OPPO.SE).

See Where can I buy non-Region A/1 versions of this player?

Why won't OPPO Digital allow region unlocking for DVD?

OPPO Digital has said:

The Blu-ray Disc Association does not allow us to support any region unlocking capabilities, even for DVD-Video playback.

The people who own the technology, who write the contracts specifying how you may and may not use their property, will not allow region-free playback. If OPPO Digital were to violate those contracts they would be subject to legal action.

Why would the BDA care about DVD playback? No one has told me, so I can only speculate. Studio members of the BDA still make DVDs and still want their region coding enforced. This is an opportunity for them to enforce their rights

Problems

How do I get rid of the funny icons on the upper right of the screen?

Use Setup -> Video Setup -> Display Options and set all of these entries to Off:

  • Angle Mark
  • PIP Mark
  • SAP Mark

How do I rerun the Setup Wizard?

As shown in the manual (Installation / Setting Up the Player - Easy Setup Wizard / Access the Easy Setup Wizard) use Setup -> Device Setup -> Reset Factory Default.

Warning

This will erase your current settings, so write them down if they are important to you.

Print off and mark up the BDP-83 Settings Checklist (PDF) to document your custom settings.

Why does the player turn off when I turn off the display?

Or vice versa, or some other weird interaction.

As explained in the manual (Setup Menu Options / Device Setup / HDMI CEC) this is a feature of the HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) standard. It allows multiple devices to mess with each other more effectively.

Use Setup -> Device Setup -> HDMI CEC to set the feature to Off or Limited.

Why is there a vertical black line in the center of the screen?

That sounds like Demo Mode. Use Setup -> Video Setup -> HDMI Options -> Demo Mode and set it to Off.

See What is Demo Mode?

Why did my remote stop working when I changed the code set?

As shown in the manual (Installation / Remote Control / Setting the Remote Code) eject the tray (using the control on the player, since the remote is not working), point the remote at the player and press the Enter button for 5 seconds.

This will resynchronize the remote and the player. The setting of Setup -> Device Setup -> Remote Control Code will be changed to match the remote. A confirmation message will appear on the front panel.

How do I resume from the screensaver on Universal Studio discs?

Try any arrow key, Enter or the Popup Menu. It's not intuitive, but that's how these discs are programmed.

What does PBC - Play Back Control do?

Play Back Control determines whether menus for old VCD and SVCD discs are used. It has no effect on Blu-ray or DVD discs.

How do I show title and chapter time elapsed and remaining?

See the manual (Basic Operations / On-Screen Display).

When the On-Screen Display is showing, use the Page Up and Page Down buttons to cycle through title and chapter elapsed and remaining times.

The front panel continues to show the selected mode when the On-Screen Display is dismissed.

Why is my remote not working correctly?

See the manual (References / Troubleshooting / Remote control failure).

If you've been changing the remote codes, see Why did my remote stop working when I changed the code set?

Are you using any sort of IR repeater or extender? If so you need to be aware that the player has a multi-path rejection on the IR sensor so if it's receiving multiple signals it may reject them all. If you're using the IR input on the back, the front sensor might need to be covered.

Else, it's probably the batteries. The backlit remote seems to use batteries faster than the older remotes. Operation can become intermittent even though the buttons are still lighting up.

If new batteries don't help, try this first:

  • Remove the batteries.
  • Press and hold each button, one at a time, on the remote control for 3 seconds.
  • Put fresh batteries into the remote.

Note that OPPO recommends not using lithium batteries.

Note

There is a gotcha when using older OPPO remotes around the BDP-83. If you press and hold Enter on an older remote when the BDP-83 tray is ejected it will will resync the player to code set 1, which will be a problem if you were using a different code set. So: don't do that. Or resync with the BDP-83 remote if it happens.

Why does it behave this way? It could not be otherwise, given you want (a) code set 1 as an option for compatibility with older players, and (b) the ability to resync the code set from the remote.

The requirement to have the tray ejected when resyncing was added to make this problem less likely.

See Why did my remote stop working when I changed the code set?

Why does the On Screen Display show every title as #1?

This will happen with some Blu-ray discs that are authored as one title -- the contents are split out using an internal playlist structure. The player has no way to display a title number.

Why does the player ask to update firmware when I load a disc or USB stick?

If there is firmware on a data disc or USB device the player will ask if it should be installed.

Delete the UPG/ folder and try again.

Why won't my USB device work?

See the manual (Media File Playback):

  • The device must be formatted as FAT or FAT32.

    NTFS and other file systems are not supported.

  • From the manual:

    This unit supports "USB Mass Storage Class Bulk-Only Transport" devices only. Most USB thumbs drives, portable hard disk drives and card readers conform to this device class. Other USB devices such as MP3 players, digital cameras, and mobile phones may not be compatible.

  • Hard drives should have external power.

Warning

It is reported that USB-powered 2.5" drives do in fact work with the player, but I have heard cautions that these can burn out the USB ports. As OPPO advises, use external power.

Why is the player not remembering my settings?

Settings are saved when the player is powered down, not when the setting changes are made. If you have some sort of irregular shutdown, for example if the player locks up, the recent setting changes may not be saved.

Do an orderly shutdown to make sure your settings are retained.

What do I do if a Blu-ray disc will not load or play, or if it freezes the player?

  • Eject the tray, then press Setup.

  • Do Device Setup -> Reset Factory Default.

    Important

    This erases any custom settings you have applied, so note them down first. The BDP-83 Settings Checklist (PDF) is a handy way of noting your settings customizations.

  • turn off BD-Live: Network Setup -> BD-Live Network Access -> Off.

  • Erase BD-Video Data: Device Setup -> Persistent Storage -> Erase BD-Video Data.

  • Exit Setup, power off and on again.

  • Reapply any custom settings to Setup (leave BD-Live off for now)

  • load the disc.

Why does the player need firmware updates before it will play certain Blu-ray discs?

Here are OPPO's replies to a set of questions I submitted regarding Blu-ray disc compatibility and firmware updates (August 2009):

What happens on OPPO's end when a new problem disc appears?

Blu-ray Disc compatibility issues generally have the highest priority in our TODO list. Once a problem disc is identified, we obtain multiple copies of the disc to perform tests and confirm issues. Our firmware engineers start to analyze the problem and work with our decoder chip maker to develop a solution. Depending on the nature of the problem, we may be able to resolve it in-house; or our chip maker may provide an updated decoder library for us to integrate into the firmware.

Are you entirely on your own or do you get any help from the studio, a chip partner, or the BDA?

We are not entirely on our own. The chip maker is very supportive. We also have contacts with the studios and so does the chip maker. The BDA is not generally involved in individual disc issues, but there are "round robin test" (RRT) events organized by the BDA to bring studios and player makers together to test for compatibility. We participate in RRT events but the events are not frequent enough to discover all disc compatibility issues.

What are the causes of the issues? Are the studios adding new features or is the existing spec too sloppy? It's not just a matter of DRM updates, is it?

There could be many causes. Most of the issues are related to Java and copyright protection. The BD-Java specs are very complicated and a lot of details are not well defined. The Java implementation (middleware) in different players can come from different sources and each has some variation. The disc authoring tools may use a Java implementation and libraries from different vendors.

The copyright protection mechanisms used by the studios are updated from time to time, and the players must be updated to support them.

Is OPPO in a more difficult position than other vendors in this regard? Do bigger companies get better support?

Since we are new to the Blu-ray industry, at the early stage we may be lagging behind other well-established Blu-ray player manufacturers a little bit. However we are catching up quickly. The studios and disc authoring houses are very supportive of our effort. It also helps that many movie reviewers are starting to use our BDP-83 as their reference player, and they are helping us to communicate with the studios. I am not sure if bigger companies get better support, but it is likely that systems like the PlayStation 3 are used in every studio's QA process so this is an advantage.

Is this a problem for the BR industry, and is anyone doing anything to address it?

This is indeed a problem for the Blu-ray industry. Based on our recent experience, we found that the studios and disc authoring houses are very supportive in resolving disc/player compatibility issues. Since the release of the BDP-83, we have made some really good progress in placing the BDP-83 into the studios and disc authoring houses so it becomes a part of the disc QA process. We and our chip maker are also involved in testing newly pressed discs although due to confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements I cannot provide any details on this front. This type of cooperation will allow us to fix issues earlier on, or allow the studios to re-author the discs before mass production.

Overall, we believe disc compatibility issues will be gradually reduced, and most issues will be resolved before the users get the discs. On the other hand, due to the complexity of the Blu-ray standard and the evolving nature of the business, all player brands and models may still encounter compatibility issues from time to time. Should that happen we believe that we will be the quickest to respond with firmware updates.

Why are the menus on some DVD-A discs not working properly?

On some DVD-A discs the player does not properly display the cursor or highlighting on the disc menu. Sometimes it's invisible, sometimes it appears intermittently.

This seems to happen when the player aspect ratio is set to Wide/Auto. The workaround is to use a different setting (Wide, for example) when playing these discs.

OPPO support says:

This is something that we can investigate for a future firmware release, but in our experience with DVD-Audio media this is likely something that won't be addressed. The DVD-Audio authoring was designed for 4:3 (originally) and was only in its late cycle changed to 16:9. This is why compatibility issues exist with some DVD-Audio discs. We have other samples of media which exhibit similar issues which we are working with MTK in resolving through future firmware upgrades.

Example discs that exhibit the problem:

  • Talking Heads, "Remain in Light" (US Dualdisc)
  • Talking Heads, "Speaking in Tongues" (US Dualdisc)
  • Porcupine Tree, "The Incident" (just-released UK DVD-A)

Calibration

These issues are not specific to this player, but since they get asked a lot...

This is intended for absolute beginners.

Do I adjust the player or the display?

The standard advice is to adjust the display unless you have some specific reason not to. The display is likely to have finer adjustment controls than the player.

Can I use a DVD calibration disc to adjust Blu-ray settings?

DVD and Blu-ray use the same grayscale standard, so Brightness and Contrast should be the same on DVD and Blu-ray calibration discs.

Blu-ray uses a slightly different color standard than DVD, but if the player converts the signal properly when upscaling, a DVD calibration disc should work well enough for a Blu-ray player. All the OPPO players do the correct color standard conversion.

However, since a free Blu-ray calibration disc (AVS HD 709) is available, I would use that, especially for color adjustment.

What is Y/C Delay?

The luma (black-and-white) and chroma (color) channels of a video signal must be synced up when they are displayed or image artifacts will appear. See the Guide to the Progressive Scan Shootouts for details.

The Y/C Delay control adjusts this timing.

The calibration DVDs include Y/C test patterns, but the only Blu-ray version I have is on the Spears & Munsil disc.

Do I need to calibrate if my display has already been professionally calibrated?

The user controls (brightness, contrast, saturation) still need to be adjusted for each input device.

How do I calibrate when my system does not pass Blacker-than-Black or Whiter-than-White?

Many users will not have the problems passing the Blacker Than Black and Peak White data anticipated by these comments, but this approach to setting up gray scale levels will work whether or not your setup has that problem.

First of all, try the alternate data formats from the OPPO to your AVR and from your AVR to your display. Some devices only clip YCbCr or only clip RGB.

Note

If you use what the OPPO calls RGB PC Level there is no place in the data format for Blacker than Black (BTB) or Peak White (PW) data so they will, necessarily, be clipped. Other devices often call this format something like "Extended RGB" or even "Enhanced RGB" although there's certainly no reason to prefer it for home theater use. The PS3 calls it "RGB Full" (although the PS3 has a bug that even clips BTB and PW data when using "RGB Limited").

What the OPPO calls RGB Video Level and others usually call "Studio RGB" will pass BTB and PW data to properly engineered and set up receivers and displays. For some background on what's going on in these data formats and some hints as to why you might prefer one over the other when paired with particular hardware, see What if I want to set the color space manually?

Again, it is worth trying to find a way to set up your hardware to pass BTB and PW data, but with some AVRs and displays you just won't be able to do it.

In that case you can still use the Spears & Munsil disc to calibrate your video levels.

I'm going to assume you are directly connected to a display. If connected through an AVR, you have an additional point of adjustment.

The first suggestion is that you leave the OPPO's Picture Adjustment settings at their factory default values. Try calibrating using only the controls in your Display. If that doesn't provide a complete solution, next look for level adjustment settings in your AVR. If that also doesn't provide a complete solution, or if you are having problems coming up with display/AVR settings that work for all your source devices (and your display/AVR don't provide separate memory settings for use with different devices), then, finally, use the controls in the OPPO.

The reason for this is that the OPPO puts out "correct" levels at its default settings. So if you find things are not right using those default settings then that's an indication there is something wrong in the settings in your display and/or AVR.

One more preliminary

The factory default settings in most displays are flat out wrong for best quality viewing. These are the justifiably disparaged "torch mode" settings -- way too bright and contrasty, overly sharpness "enhanced", way too blue a color temperature, and overly red pushed to compensate for the faulty color temperature. The "torch mode" settings are designed to be eye catching in garish store lighting. So do not hesitate to move away, often far away, from the factory default settings.

Everybody has to do that.

Many modern displays offer "picture modes" that are different combos of factory default settings. Avoid like the plague any modes labeled "vibrant", "dynamic", "scorch your eyballs" or the like. Try to find one labeled "movies".

If you can't figure out which to use, pick the one that looks darkest and softest and start from there. And don't assume you can pick just any "picture mode" and alter it via user settings to be correct. "Picture modes" often make hidden setting changes in the background that you can not alter from the user controls. So find the correct "picture mode" to begin with and make your adjustments from there.

So again, assuming you are directly connected to a display:

  • You will use the Brightness control in the display to adjust Black levels (a good way to remember this is that they both start with "B").
  • You will use the Contrast (or Picture) control to control White levels.

The two controls interact so you will need to iterate to find the sweet spot setting for both of them that works best.

The next thing you need to know is that the data coming off an SD-DVD or Blu-ray disc encodes "Black" as digital 16 and "Reference White" as digital 235. The range from 1 to 15 is the Blacker than Black data (not intended to be seen) and the range from 236 to 254 is the Peak White data (intended to be seen but not essential). 0 and 255 are reserved values.

The Spears & Munsil charts actually label blocks that have been encoded with values above and below Black and Reference White.

  • Use the Dynamic Range Low chart for a best look at Black levels.
  • Use the Dynamic Range High chart for a best look at White levels.
  • Use the Contrast chart to view both at the same time in an image that's got a kind of "in between" average image brightness.

So what you do is lower the Brightness control until 17 and above become invisible (blend into the black background) and then raise it until 18 becomes slightly visible (and perhaps just the slightest hint of parts of 17 are also visible -- i.e., a few "dither pixels" light up). Note that you should not see 16 = Black or below. All of that data should merge into one, uniform, indistinguishable "Black". Also note that you will need to check this sort of thing in a darkened room.

Note

Some displays have "floating" black levels that vary according to the average brightness on screen. So if you look at say the Pluge Low and Pluge High charts you may see a distinct change in your effective black levels. Some such displays have dynamic brightness or automatic brightness settings that can be turned off to prevent this. If not, you will need to pick a compromise Brightness setting that works well across a range of content for you. Typically you would target a lower Brightness setting that works well in dark scenes so that you don't see noise in dark scenes -- at the expense of losing some "near black" details in brighter scenes.

At the other end, lower Contrast quite a bit. The bright blocks in the Dynamic Range High chart should be visible although you won't see any above 234 due to the clipping in your display or AVR. Now raise Contrast until whites have a pleasing "whiteness" to them rather than looking grayish, but don't raise it so far that you lose the ability to distinguish the blocks at and below 234. If those blocks at and below 234 start to blend into one common "white", lower Contrast until they become visible again.

Note

If your display and AVR don't clip the BTB and PW data you still want to adjust Black levels so that 16 and below are completely invisible. At the other end, see if you can find a Contrast setting that is high enough to give a pleasing "whiteness" to whites but also low enough so that you can distinguish the Peak White blocks all the way up to 252 or even 253. The "correct" Contrast setting will almost certainly be quite a bit lower than its factory default setting.

You may find that you have a small set of Brightness/Contrast pairs that look equally good. If so, you can choose between those pairs by viewing the gray scale ramp on the Contrast chart. Pick the pair that produces the smoothest look to the ramp -- the least amount of "banding".

Brightness and Contrast control the end points of the gray scale ramp. The response of the display to values between Black and Reference White is controlled by the Gamma setting. Many modern displays have Gamma set too low by factory default as this gives "false pop" to the imaging in stores. Just another "torch mode" setting.

Adjusting Gamma is complicated. Doing it right requires an optical sensor tool. Nobody has much luck trying to do full Gamma curve adjustments by eye alone -- although some displays offer a single, all in one Gamma adjustment that may prove helpful. So I'll only point out here that if you do adjust Gamma you will probably find that Gamma, Brightness, and Contrast all interact. So you will need to iterate -- re-checking Brightness and Contrast as you adjust Gamma. (Proper Gamma correction is a major factor in eliminating "banding" or "false contours" in your video. So it is worth the effort to get right. But as I said, this is complicated).

There's a whole Calibration Forum here. Check out the sticky threads in that forum for additional suggestions.

Why aren't displays calibrated correctly at the factory?

Old joke:

Spectator: Say, Mister, how do you tune that banjo?

Banjo Player (outraged): What do you mean? I bought this thing tuned!

A/V gear has adjustment controls for a reason -- the units need to be adjusted to compensate for:

  • variations in individual hardware
  • differences caused by combination of hardware
  • local viewing environment
  • viewing preferences

Change log


Special thanks to the beta testers.

This document was generated on April 06, 2014 at 14:00 CDT with docutils.

Comments?

Bill McClain (wmcclain@watershade.net)