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Old 04-02-18, 07:40 PM   #1
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Oppo Calls it a Day

Oppo Shock: Popular AV Brand Announces That 'It's Time To Say Goodbye'

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Oppo Digital has revealed today that it is going to cease development of new products. In a formal press statement, the US brand responsible for some of the AV world’s most respected high-end DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players declared that ‘as Oppo 4K UHD players reach the pinnacle of their performance, it is time to say goodbye’.

The news will likely be received with shock and dismay by legions of serious AV fans given Oppo’s reputation for pushing performance boundaries with its uncompromising, cutting-edge products. It’s especially surprising given that the brand’s recent UDP-203 (reviewed here) and UDP-205 4K Blu-ray players seemed to have proved impressively popular with discerning AV buyers despite their relatively high price points.

It seems that Oppo’s announcement isn’t just limited to the development of new products, either. It also looks like Oppo is winding down product production entirely. Certainly the Oppo Digital UK press announcement clearly states that the UK arm of the company with only continue to trade ‘while stocks last’, and ‘expects to close its doors in the summer’.

Clearly this all raises concerns for owners of Oppo products over whether the brand’s disc players, speakers, headphones, headphone amps and DACS will continue to receive service and firmware support.

This is an especially important issue when it comes to the 203 and 205 4K Blu-ray players, given that a) the 4K Blu-ray format is still evolving and b) one of Oppo’s main attractions is the regularity with which it issues firmware updates to fix bugs and add extra features - usually in response to feedback from its enthusiastic fanbase.

However, Oppo claims that while it will gradually stop manufacturing new products, ‘existing products will continue to be supported, warranties will still be valid, and both in-warranty and out-of-warranty repair services will continue to be available. Firmware will continue to be maintained and updates released from time to time.’

The tech support, warranty, servicing and spares business will apparently be handled by an as yet unnamed third party.

A few concerns...

While this sounds reassuring in some respects, I suspect that the words ‘from time to time’ won’t exactly fill Oppo owners with confidence that they’ll get as many firmware updates as they’ve become accustomed to receiving. Maybe it will just be ‘critical fixes’ from now on rather than lots of new features? And you can’t help but wonder if Oppo’s 4K Blu-ray players still get the promised update for delivering Dolby Vision compatibility with Sony’s newly Dolby Vision-enabled TVs.

I’ve asked Oppo to answer those two questions and will update this story if they reply with anything useful. I've also asked Cambridge Audio if Oppo's announcement will impact its 4K Blu-ray player business, given that the British brand's CXUHD players have Oppo electronics at their heart.

For now, though, I’ll just wrap up this sad tale with a quote from Oppo Digital UK’s Managing Director, Nigel Rich:

‘We can be very proud of our achievements over the past few years. Along with market leading products, we have provided first rate customer service and support from our offices here in Norwich. I am very proud of our staff and very sad that we will now be closing our doors for good. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our European distributors, retailers and, of course most importantly, the people that have purchased OPPO products in Europe. We will continue to support products in and out of warranty and we have made provisions to continue this high level of service.’
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnarc.../#5b4fa9cf3acc
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Old 04-02-18, 08:08 PM   #2
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

And of course I have a 203... fuck.
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Old 04-02-18, 08:10 PM   #3
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

I thought about buying a 203. Maybe eBay will be flooded with owners trying to offload them... or worse, their value will skyrocket.
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Old 04-02-18, 08:14 PM   #4
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

So I’ve been thinking about a 4k player for the living room but I don’t need top of the line model. Should I consider an Oppo at this point?
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Old 04-02-18, 08:55 PM   #5
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

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Originally Posted by milo bloom View Post
So I’ve been thinking about a 4k player for the living room but I don’t need top of the line model. Should I consider an Oppo at this point?
Same here.

No firmware updates means you can be stuck with a brick down the line.
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Old 04-02-18, 09:09 PM   #6
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

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No firmware updates means you can be stuck with a brick down the line.
This seems to be standard procedure for most mass market dvd/bluray players for as long as I can remember. Basically buying another $50 (or less) new player when the old one dies.
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Old 04-02-18, 09:26 PM   #7
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

FWIW, my parents have a Samsung Blu-Ray player from 2009 that's been updated ONE time and they haven't had problems with it- granted they don't watch very many Blu-Rays.

I read this news today while eating, felt like a punch to the gut. They were one of the only electronics companies left that still made a quality product at ANY cost, rather than going for the lowest price possible, and also the last one that seemed to at least care somewhat about what their customers thought. I don't know of any other company that still has SACD and DVD-Audio capability in their players, granted there wasn't a lot of great material on those formats but I still want the ability to play them.

I'm hoping at least firmware for their players becomes open-source and hobbyists can keep developing tweaks for them. There's a few issues I have with the 203 that I hope will still be fixed- mainly that it plays MPEG-1 VCDs with a squeezed picture, and there's no way to tell it to output PAL/50hz natively unless your TV specifies that it can support that. For some reason when set to Auto, my player will convert PAL to NTSC which looks like ass, I have to manually set it to PAL at that point but then set it back to Auto or else it'll convert everything else to PAL which also looks like ass. The BDP-93 had a setting that eliminated that problem.

I was also hoping that Oppo would eventually make a no-nonsense display device- one that supports 3D, all existing video standards and doesn't have useless apps or settings like motion smoothing that ruin the picture. guess that won't happen now.
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Old 04-02-18, 09:38 PM   #8
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

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Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
I'm hoping at least firmware for their players becomes open-source and hobbyists can keep developing tweaks for them.
I would be quite surprised if this ever happened. It would make it very easy to crack the aacs encryption system, if the firmware can be easily modified.
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Old 04-02-18, 09:42 PM   #9
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

Anyways if you do want to modify the firmware unofficially, do you know how to write ARM assembly code?

IIRC, Oppo was using various Mediatek chips in their bluray players. Many mediatek dvd/bluray chips are programmed in arm assembly.
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Old 04-02-18, 10:26 PM   #10
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

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This seems to be standard procedure for most mass market dvd/bluray players for as long as I can remember. Basically buying another $50 (or less) new player when the old one dies.
True. One also got to have two players to make sure all discs are playing right.
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Old 04-02-18, 10:31 PM   #11
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

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True. One also got to have two players to make sure all discs are playing right.
It wasn't quite as drastic for dvd players. Firmware issues were much more problematic for computer dvdr drives in those days, especially when it came to burning discs.
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Old 04-03-18, 07:16 AM   #12
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

May be another company like Sony or Panasonic will buy out OPPO and its technology.

Just like Pioneer Elite Plasma TV was bought by Panasonic to make fabulous Panasonic Plasma TVs
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Old 04-03-18, 08:19 AM   #13
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

Sad to see Oppo go. I have their Blu ray player and has been working like a champ since day one..
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Old 04-03-18, 08:34 AM   #14
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

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Originally Posted by tripplej View Post
Sad to see Oppo go. I have their Blu ray player and has been working like a champ since day one..
I still have a 971 in the bedroom. Still works great after 13 years. I've been to their original location to pick up an order in Mountain View before they moved to Menlo Park. Really nice people, too.
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Old 04-03-18, 08:41 AM   #15
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

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Originally Posted by Dan View Post
I thought about buying a 203. Maybe eBay will be flooded with owners trying to offload them... or worse, their value will skyrocket.
On their website it says it will continue to support the players and will continue with firmware updates so the value most likely will go up or remain stable.
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Old 04-03-18, 08:55 AM   #16
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

No particular reason given so far.. I wonder if it was a financial decision. Not much profit for all the R&D investment they gave?? Hopefully over time, the reasons will be given out..
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Old 04-03-18, 09:40 AM   #17
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

Really sucks to hear this. I haven't made the jump to 4K yet but had been considering in the next year. Was planning on getting a 203 - part of me feels like I should get one now. I've been using the same BDP-83 for over a decade now - still going strong and the only recent discs I couldn't play on it where all the new Harry Potter bonus discs.

Will be sad to no longer see the Oppo boot screen some day.
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Old 04-03-18, 09:42 AM   #18
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

I really wish I cared, but after getting one for region free blu’s, I think it was a poor investment for me. Especially since my Curtis Mathes does an equally good job. I can handle entering a code every time.
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Old 04-04-18, 12:20 AM   #19
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

No need to get rid of your Oppos just yet:
https://www.oppodigital.com/farewell.aspx

A shame really...Oppo has been making the finest disk players on the market for a very long time.
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Old 04-04-18, 01:11 AM   #20
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

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Originally Posted by tripplej View Post
No particular reason given so far.. I wonder if it was a financial decision. Not much profit for all the R&D investment they gave?? Hopefully over time, the reasons will be given out..
I'm not sure it's damage control but the whispers indicate a couple of reasons for Oppo's decision. First, Oppo made this decision last year and their distributors knew it was coming.

Apparently the engineering resources needed for developing UHD and implementing things like Dolby Vision going forward were capital intensive, more than a small outfit like Oppo could afford in a declining A/V market for dedicated media players. While based in California, they are a division of a huge Chinese company that is shifting all its focus to their line of smartphones.

Let's hope that one of the major UHD manufacturers now step up in the sudden absence of Oppo. I worry that Oppo had staked so much of the premium UHD category for itself that their exit is going to permanently cripple the UHD market. This is coming right as physical media sales are waning and retail stores are devoting less and less shelf space to packaged media.
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Old 04-04-18, 08:47 AM   #21
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

Thanks for the update. Good info..

Yeah, let's hope another company fills the hole oppo will leave behind. Otherwise, we shall see what we have to deal with..
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Old 04-04-18, 10:21 AM   #22
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

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Let's hope that one of the major UHD manufacturers now step up in the sudden absence of Oppo. I worry that Oppo had staked so much of the premium UHD category for itself that their exit is going to permanently cripple the UHD market. This is coming right as physical media sales are waning and retail stores are devoting less and less shelf space to packaged media.
Has this ever happened historically in the electronics sector, after a high end quality company exits a sector?

Or is it more likely for the commodity companies to get lazy let everything slide to mediocrity?
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Old 04-04-18, 01:52 PM   #23
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

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Has this ever happened historically in the electronics sector, after a high end quality company exits a sector?

Or is it more likely for the commodity companies to get lazy let everything slide to mediocrity?
Oppo had so thoroughly taken over mindshare in the high-end player market that their exit leaves a gaping hole. It's a business opportunity for the right company, but the dimming prospects for A/V media players could mean no one replaces Oppo.

Many are hoping that Panasonic now brings over their high-end player which was originally intended for foreign markets.
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Old 04-04-18, 02:02 PM   #24
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

As you alluded to, we are in the midst of a transition from physical media to streaming so the idea of starting up a new company to make expensive Blu or 4K disc players seems pretty antiquated now.
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Old 04-04-18, 02:39 PM   #25
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Re: Oppo Calls it a Day

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As you alluded to, we are in the midst of a transition from physical media to streaming so the idea of starting up a new company to make expensive Blu or 4K disc players seems pretty antiquated now.
If there is a "transition," it's an exceedingly slow one.
Check out NF and look at how many big-time movies are available for streaming.
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