OPPO 103D Darbee Edition Blu-ray 3D Player Review
The companies that think "outside the box" are the most successful. Speaking of outside the box Oppo's new 103D includes a Darblet (built-in instead of out) which I Reviewed here. With there being a lot of interest in DarbeeVision, Oppo's fan club will certainly grow. Last year I did an extensive Review on the 103 model which can be read here. This year I will add a few screens showing the built in Darblet at work. Imagine a world where you can have both your TV (DirecTV or Cable) and your Blu-ray (DVDs too) go through one device and onto your display. Also at a touch of a button you can add Darbee Processing technology. For those who may not be familiar with Darbee you can learn more from their website here.
For me personally I love it mainly for sports (set on Full Pop). The NFL has never looked better. Still at a minimum to low setting there is a place for it with Blu-ray movies (set on Hi Def). The sharpness it adds without causing image issues is the key. Also I am very happy (actually ecstatic) to report the 103D's 4K upscale (3840x2160) is hands down the best I have witnessed. The main reason of course is because you can add the Darbee processing. As you can see below the back is the same as last year's 103.
Still the best packed players in the business!
This adjustment menu shows the Darbee and VRS ClearView settings.
Below is an image demonstrating the Darbee effect. Very cool!
at 75% which I like for sports
at 40% which is my preference for Blu-ray
Above are some stills from various football games. The colors really "pop" and close-ups are pure eye candy. I will say that there are some out there that say that during motion the Darbee is nonexistent. Sure sharpness is hard for the human eye to
discern during movement but a lot easier to perceive with close-ups. And what movie, TV show or game have you ever viewed that does not have any? It is obvious when you see a person's face up close when you don't have a Darbee engaged.
Once you get used to the crispness it is hard to go without. Below are some "action" shots during games. I still prefer having the Darbee and the VRS Clearview Video Smoothing to not having anything. Their Smoothing removes the rough edges of the image which creates the effect of a high resolution image with softening it. Also they add Detail Enhancement and Edge Enhancement. These Sharpening adjustments can have a positive effect on the image but like anything else too much is not a good thing. Set too high will cause etching (white lines) around objects. Experiment and you will be rewarded!
The remote is pretty much exactly the same except you do have a "Darbee" button which gives you immediate access to it. You can Demo it by tapping the Darbee button then tapping the Red button. All in all nothing against the Stand Alone Darblet model I reviewed last year but it is 100 times easier controlling it with the Oppo. That goes for changing settings as well as switching modes (which it remembers) for Blu-ray and TV. Not to mention I remember getting that IR Blaster for the Stand Alone Darblet only to still have a distance issue when using its remote. Not here with the Oppo!
SONY VPL-VW1000ES 4K PROJECTOR, McIntosh MX151 A/V Control Center, OPPO BDP-103D Blu ray, Simplay Labs DVDO DUO VP, OnkyoTX-NR 5010 Receiver/ Pre-Pro, DARBLET, DirecTV Genie, Xbox 360, PS3, Monster Power HTS 5100, Oppo 103 Blu ray,Sony S790 Blu ray player, MonsterVision 3D glasses, Sony 3D glasses, Parasound HALO A51 Black AMP x 2, Antec Component Coolers, Vutec SilverStar 120.5" screen with a Carada Masquerade Masking System. Speakers: MARTIN LOGAN STAGE X Center, THEOS (Left and Right), VANQUISH (Surrounds), AXIS (Backs), Subwoofers- Martin Logan DESCENT i, BG Woofer SW210, Dayton APA150 Sub AMP x 2, 8 Aura Pro Bass Shakers, 8 Black Seatcraft Venetian Home Theater Chairs, Remote: Harmony 1100. Monster 1000 HDX Ultimate HDMI cables top to bottom. And two Monster 35 foot HDX Hyperspeed HDMI cables.
EQUIPMENT USED FOR ALL OR PART OF THIS REVIEW:
"When I first heard the news of Mr. Darbee's passing I couldn't help but think back to some of the emails we exchanged. The one that stood out most was from last year. I couldn't help but recall it as I was working on the 103D Review. In it he told me how he was very hopeful that eventually DarbeeVision would be built into mainstream imaging products. Well Mr. Darbee, with the release of the 103D "Darbee Edition" I am thrilled to say your vision is now a reality. Mission accomplished! The video world definitely lost a great one and you certainly will be missed. And thank you for the Darblet."
Paul Darbee 2/3/1947 to 9/23/2013
So in conclusion what else can I say about the new 103D? How about what Oppo says, "The BDP-103D represents a marked evolution in OPPO's design and engineering. The Darbee Edition takes home theater beyond accuracy providing enhanced depth and realism to the visual experience making the BDP-103D a versatile player that delivers enhanced picture quality and premium sound." I have to admit I have not agreed more with a company when it comes to describing their own product. I compared the 103D with their own 103, a Samsung 7500, Panasonic 330, PS3 and a Sony 790. Obviously hands down the 103D is stunningly better with close-ups. Same results for 4K up scale (minus the PS3). Motion is also superior. I used Fast & Furious 6 (Blu-ray copy from UK) which has many action packed scenes for testing. As for 3D the Panny (which I consider the best on the market) is right there with the 103D. Just make sure you go into the 3D settings and select your screen size. So what is the biggest difference between all these players? You got it! The built-in Darbee. They say it's like lifting a veil. I say it's like removing a blindfold! Either way prepare to be barefoot often because it will blow your socks off!
Click here to learn more about the 103D->
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Up next, we change the 1000ES into a 1100ES. Frankenstein style! Review coming soon...
Thanks as always to my bestfriend and Wife Jaclyn. Her Minion Twinkies were delicious!