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Oppo Readies Universal Blu-ray Player

Mountain View, Calif – Value video products manufacturer Oppo Digital said it is preparing to enter the Blu-ray Disc player category in a big way, with a fully featured “universal” unit supporting, DVD video, DVD-Audio, and SACD, in addition to Blu-ray Discs with up to 1080p/24Hz output.

The Oppo BDP-83 is currently in development with beta testers but is expected to be released to a limited

number of purchasers under an early adoption program between Dec. 20, 2008 through Jan. 16, 2009. The estimated selling price will be between $499 to $599, the company said.

The unit will have full BD-Live functionality out of the box, facilitated by 1GB of internal memory (a USB port is included for addition memory if desired) and an Ethernet connection.

Other features include dedicated 7.1 multi-channel analog outputs as well as a dedicated stereo analog output; HDMI output with upconversion support to 1080p/24Hz, support for DVD, SACD, DVD-Audio, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio formats.

Audio playback has been enhanced with by increasing the power and efficiency of the power supply. The BDP-83 will also offer direct DSD output over HDMI and DSD-to-analog without any PCM conversion, which Oppo calls “a distinctly unique feature.”

As this was posted, beta models of the BDP-83 support BD Profile 1.1 (Bonus View), DVD-Video, SACD, and bitstreaming of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

The company said “progress is being made on a daily basis as our engineers work diligently around the clock to further enable DVD-Audio, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio onboard decoding, and BD Profile 2.0.”

The company will expand the player’s capabilities with firmware updates, which “are done on an almost weekly basis for beta testers.”

Oppo is selling the player directly to consumers through it Web site and is expected to make it available through e-commerce partner

According to a company statement: “One of the major design goals for the BDP-83 was to deliver first-class video quality for both Blu-ray and DVD. We based and expanded upon our top-of-the-line DV-983H up-converting DVD player and fully utilize the unparalleled performance of the VRS by Anchor Bay video processing solution.”