OPPO UDP-203 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
So not long ago I remember unwrapping the amazing Oppo 103D player (Review here). As exciting as that was this is definitely more considering the new 203 plays the new 4K Ultra HDR format. Drawing from over a decade of experience in advanced image processing you can see how Oppo poured their sweat and tears into their first 4K UHD player. Oppo has once again teamed up with MediaTek to come up with a specialized 4K UHD decoder (SoC quad-core OP8591) which has the most advanced image processing technology available today. So what makes this the UHD 4K player to get? 

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Looking at the back you can see it has two HDMI outs which comes in handy if you have a receiver or sound processor which won't pass 4K or HDR. You also get a HDMI input which can then be up scaled to match your display's resolution. Then there's USB inputs, Coax and Optical, LAN and 7.1 channel outs. Speaking of Audio, Dolby Atmos and DTS: X are also supported. Looking at the remote it is very close to the 103D with the exception of a Netflix and Vudu buttons. Oh and instead of the Light button in the bottom right corner we get a HDR button which allows you to switch it On or Off or leave it in Auto. We also get the Resolution button and set up which allow on the fly changing. The Info button when held down for a few seconds reveals all the info being sent in and how it is being played. Cool!
I will have to say I was surprised how fast it loaded and was ready to play the movie once inserted. The HDMI out does up to 18GHz so you are covered as long as your display can take it. No worries if not the Oppo will only send what it is capable of receiving. As for Apps this time Oppo has decided to keep them on the sideline. I guess between TVs, and a million other devices there really is no point to include them in a UHD player. Some will argue that but after recently hooking up an Amazon FireTV we are totally fine with that. So how does it play movies? In spectacular fashion. Standard Blu-ray look amazing. I was so impressed how "3D" like they look. Now in case someone asks I did test a couple of DVDs and they looked okay but I don't think there is a device today that can make them look like a 1080p or 4K disc. You can't make chicken salad out of chicken $hit or simply put you can't polish a turd (latter comment came from Angel of Audio Video Interiors Chicago)...

After testing many 4K UHD HDR titles it is hard not to believe we've reached the pinnacle of image quality excellence. From every spec of dirt, blades of grass, leaves on trees and pores on actor's faces you see every detail. We tested movies on the Sony VPL-VW5000ESES (Review here) and a Sony XBR-75X940D and a LG 55" OLED. Whichever display was used we always felt we were getting a top notch picture. Not sure how much better it can get even when Dolby Vision is added down the road with a firmware update. 

All of the current success has not come without some bumps in the road however. Early users experienced some slight drops outs (audio) and other minor issues. As of now though with the latest firmware I have not experienced any issues whatsoever. Not to say the player is home free at this point but it is definitely encouraging progress. 

The Oppo 203 is nicely built with a good tray loading mechanism. It features an optimized laser which delivers super fast loading and strong error detection to ensure smooth media playback. In continuing Oppo tradition the 203 is a very impressive looking unit. It will be interesting to see when and if we get a Darbee 4K model someday.                     
The Revenant pics came courtesy of my good friend George (G-REX)...
So generally speaking the UDP-203 features support for all current SD, HD, and UHD resolutions, including 4K@60p, 4K@50p, 4K@30p, and 4K@24p using various color spaces such as PC RGB, Video RGB, YCbCr 4:4:4, 4:2:2, and 4:2:0. The UDP-203 is capable of upscaling lower resolution content up to 4Kx2K at 50/60Hz to a compatible display, which is four times the resolution found on a 1080p Blu-ray disc. The UDP-203 also features advanced picture controls. Adjustments can be made to brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, and sharpness, allowing you to make adjustments to compensate for any limitations found in your other home theater components, or merely to adjust the image to your own personal taste. The UDP-203 has HDR-10 (high-dynamic range) video on board which heightens a picture's contrast between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks. Some displays look incredible with 4K HDR titles. Below is a pic of the Sony XBR-75X940D. If you have the space for a 75" TV I strongly recommend it. That and the Oppo UDP-203 of course. They make a great combo!
Comparing the Oppo to another high end model... I would say the Panny is more alike than different. With image quality at least. Both do a terrific job but for the money Oppo has them beat. Also with Dolby Vision coming the newer 203 is more future proof. Both units have nice backlit remotes. Yes, the Panny has Netflix but soon toasters will too. 

So what else can be said about the UDP-203? Oppo has its legion of fans deservedly so. I've said many times success breeds followers and Oppo has come through yet again. 

Sony VPL-VW5000ES, Sony XBR-75X940D, McIntosh MX160, McIntosh MC205, McIntosh MC207, DirecTV 4K, Oppo UDP-203, Panasonic DMP-UB900 4K Ultra Blu-ray, Darblet DVP 5000S, Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Ultra Blu-ray player, Zigen DA14-UHD HDMI distribution amplifier/splitter, Monster Power HTS 5100, Oppo 103D Blu ray, Value View 3D glasses, Antec Component Coolers, Stewart Studiotek 100 Screen, Speakers: MARTIN LOGAN STAGE X Center, THEOS (Left and Right), VANQUISH (HEIGHTS & ATMOS & T), AXIS (Backs), Subwoofers- Martin Logan BalancedForce 212 X 2, Dayton APA150 Sub AMP x 2, 8 Aura Pro Bass Shakers, 8 Black Seatcraft Venetian Home Theater Chairs (with Raffel Integrated Lighted Cup Holders), Remote: Harmony 1100, iPad Mini. Cables: Monster Black Platinum HDMI cables top to bottom. And two 35 foot Monster Black Platinum HDMI cables.
Equipment used for this Review:
Can't wait until the first time we get to put in that first family movie with our girls. They are already 11 weeks so the countdown continues...