Updated: Added new information about how to upgrade Oppo’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players with Dolby Vision HDR
In late 2016, Oppo released its UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray player. At the time, the company promised that a follow-up — the UDP-205 — would be coming in early 2017, though it didn’t say exactly how that model would differ. Now the UDP-205 is on the market, and it’s packed with features that will have audiophiles reaching for their credit cards.
Before we get to the UDP-205’s impressive list of audio specs, however, let’s talk about the new HDR update. Out of the box, both the UDP-205 and the UDP-203 only support HDR10, but the firmware upgrade to support Dolby Vision has finally become available for both models. If you’ve already connected your player to your LAN, the update is extremely easy to add. Owners can simply answer the player’s Dolby Vision screen prompt, or barring that, the upgrade should be available in the setup menu. If you don’t have your player connected to the web, you can also go to Oppo’s website (linked below) and request the firmware CD for either model.
“The addition of the OPPO Blu-ray player to the Dolby Vision ecosystem is a major milestone that will provide expanded choice and accessibility for consumers,” said Roland Vlaicu, Vice President, Consumer Entertainment Group, Dolby Laboratories in a press release. “With Ultra HD Blu-ray, we are able to scale faster to meet the growing demand for Dolby Vision content globally.”
As for the UDP-205’s audio features, alongside the usual HDMI outputs — of which the UDP-205 has two — analog outputs are also available, meaning that if you wanted, you could have the player hooked up to a 7.1-channel surround-sound A/V receiver as well as a stereo receiver for music. The analog outputs use a pair of ESS SABRE digital-to-analog converters (DACs), specifically the flagship ES9038PRO.
One of these DACs powers the stereo output, which offers both the standard RCA connectors as well as balanced XLR connectors. The other DAC powers the built-in headphone amplifier, which allows you to use the UDP-205 as a stand-alone listening device. Oppo says the UDP-205’s analog outputs offer “reference level sound quality,” while the digital HDMI output features improved clock precision compared to the UDP-203, making for better sound quality.
In addition to its built-in playback capabilities, which support a number of physical formats including SACD and DVD-Audio, the UDP-205 packs a few more tricks up its sleeve. It can function as a USB DAC, and features both coaxial and optical digital audio inputs, letting you take advantage of the high-quality DACs. High-resolution in both PCM and DSD formats is also supported.
Oppo’s UDP-205 retails for $1,299, while the UDP-203 will set you back $549. Both players are available via the Oppo website, or from select customer installers and specialty retailers.