OPPO BDP-831 Blu-ray Player - OPPO BDP-831 Blu-ray Player

By Danny Phillips



  • Recommended by TR
OPPO BDP-831 Blu-ray Player


Our Score:


The BDP-831 continues to amaze when it's time to load a disc - Spider-Man 3's first video screen appeared in 29 seconds, making this the fastest Blu-ray player we've come across. We're also hugely impressed by the BDP-831's picture quality, which gives our current midrange favourites from Pioneer and Panasonic a real run for their money. We plunged it right into the deep end with the Silicon Optix test disc and it produced a nigh-on flawless performance, tracking the movement of rotating bars smoothly without stepping along edges, and locking down the Video and Film Resolution test patterns without strobing, flickering or other such nastiness.

Next in the tray was The Dark Knight and the OPPO treats the superhero epic with the respect it deserves. Shots of Gotham are lavished with rich, forceful blacks, terrific shadow detail and clean, crisp lines. Fantastic detail retrieval gives the image irresistible punch and lucidity, the sort of artefact-free sharpness that'll make your jaw drop as soon as Chris Nolan's camera starts moving towards the skyscraper in the movie's opening scene.

It also nails the movie's testing colour palette, reproducing the vivid hues of Joker's clashing clothes with plenty of depth and accuracy, while delicately shaded skin tones look almost life-like. There's the slightest hint of noise in some areas of the picture that the noise reduction modes don't pick up but nothing that'll greatly affect your enjoyment - in every other respect the OPPO is an awesome picture performer.

That also applies to upscaled DVD pictures, which look sharp, clean and radiant, and if your TV supports it you can even convert them to 24Hz. As a run-through of our HQV disc confirms, it's right up there with the best DVD upscalers we've tested and is yet another string to the OPPO's bow.

Musically, the BDP-831 is obviously at its best with an SACD or DVD-Audio disc in the tray. Through the analogue outputs, it injects plenty of drive and detail into I Can't Stand Losing You by The Police on SACD, and a variety of Japanese jazz tunes on DVD-Audio sounds sublime. But CDs also scrub up nicely, getting a warm and well-balanced treatment.

Using the same multichannel outputs, the OPPO masterfully orchestrates The Dark Knight's Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. Rear effects are direct and precisely steered; while effects from the front channels are delivered with plenty of bite and dialogue is suitably velvety.


With OPPO's European arm recently relocating to this country and a new UK online store about to go live, the company is looking to raise its profile among British buyers - and the BDP-831 is the perfect way to do so."

That's because it's one of the finest Blu-ray players on the market. Its feature list is unparalleled, particularly at this price, and it's supported by stellar AV performance, terrific build quality and lightning-quick disc loading. For these reasons it's arguably an all-round better player than the Pioneer BDP-LX52 or the Panasonic DMP-BD80, which is really saying something.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Performance 9
  • Value 10
  • Features 10
  • Design 9

david brook

October 16, 2009, 1:55 pm

Bit late with your rave reviews guys, av forums and what hi-fi beat you by weeks. Problem is NO ONE CAN BUY IT, the oppo web store is not open yet, promised early october!!!

Danny P

October 16, 2009, 2:22 pm

We've had the OPPO player for about two months now but they asked everyone to hold off reviewing it until the online store went live. But given that the online store has been delayed (it was originally supposed to be up early September), other sites started reviewing it beforehand. What Hi-Fi hasn't reviewed it yet though.


October 16, 2009, 3:26 pm

In my view this is all fine and dandy having companies bringing out lots of lovely new high performing blue ray players, but when are we going to start seeing more people following companies like Panasonic and start producing blue ray recorders? The public have got very used to seeing blue ray players and i think most would agree that the technology for them has come on in leaps and bounds and the prices have generally fallen to a much more acceptable level for the average punter which is good. But the only way i'll be investing my hard earned is on a player that incorporates a recorder, preferably with twin Freesat tuners inside.

Matt Ross

October 16, 2009, 4:47 pm

I have a BDP-83 and it's sweet!


October 16, 2009, 5:04 pm

Good review as always but there's just one thing that'd be handy. With DVD players there was a massive gulf in quality between what the early devices could do and, say, the current mid-range decks. There seems to be very little info on how that applies to Blu-Ray players. Any chance of mentioning the major differences between, say, this player and a PS3 with the latest updates in terms of audio and visual quality?


October 16, 2009, 5:27 pm

I have to admit that unless you have money pouring out of several orifices I just don't see the point of buying an expensive standalone BR player.

For way less money than this you can have a PS3 and the quality of BR itself is already so high that quibbling over small differences in picture quality is getting less and less relevant.

Admittedly it does look better in the Hi-Fi rack than a PS3.

Personally I have Sky for most of my HD needs and still buy DVD's over BR as the price difference is big and the quality differences are often not.


October 16, 2009, 6:11 pm

What TV('s) does TR use to test new Blu-ray players? Do you use more than one TV to see how the picture differs or is it whatever you have available at the time of review?

I imagine you'd get far better results hooking the BDP-831 up to a 50" Kuro than a 32" Bravia for example. But that said, at the price of this player it's only going to apply to enthusiasts with decent TV's.

Great review though :)


October 16, 2009, 7:24 pm

@Mike Why on earth do you want a blu-ray recorder? You actually think it's a good idea to spend £5 on 25GB write-once discs.. that might or might fail when they are burned? You do know that you can get a 1.5TB hard drive for £72 and put that in a DVR? That's sixty silly little single layer BD-R's. If you want to take the video somewhere out of the DVR, then flash pen drives are £1 per GB now, they are much faster, more reliable and can be reused over and over. Plus they work in any device with a USB port. Surely that's the way to go?


October 18, 2009, 9:16 pm


Those individuals who wanted a PS3 have bought a PS3. The differences between the PS3 and the Oppo are more than just blu-ray picture quality. For me there are significantly more plusses to owning the Oppo than the PS3. I briefly owned a PS3 and it looked out of place in my rack.

Last, you don’t have to have money pouring out of several orifices to buy this player. (lol) Also, everyone has their own opinion about what is considered an expensive standalone BR player. Those who are buying the Oppo evidently don’t see it as expensive or can actually see its value. The only other players that support the same recorded media as the Oppo are significantly more expensive.


October 19, 2009, 9:03 am

Well the Oppo has been available here in Australia now for a shade over $1,000 AUS. Consider the following points, one, your going to struggle to find anything in this price bracket that betters it with BR discs, two, it's on a par with the Oppo DV-983H and Denon DVD-3930 in its ability to upscale DVD to 1080p, and three, its rather handy with CD, thus making it a genuine Universal player.

Oh I almost forgot (not), one other point, in Australia the Oppo can be purchased as a region free player with both BD & DVD discs. Factor all that in and the asking price for the Oppo is a steal, by comparison the PS3 isn't even in the hunt, in fact once you see what the Oppo brings to the table the PS3 is left looking like little more than a jumped-up games console.

Timbo 1

October 19, 2009, 2:32 pm

So, why no DLNA? If your going to stick and Ethernet port on something, you may as well use it for something other than just BR 2.0!

david brook

October 21, 2009, 12:46 pm

this player was reviewed by andrew everard on the what hi-fi forum quite a while ago, it supposedly beats £3k players in certain key areas and is a no brainer IMHO, pity we cannot buy it! OPPO, what is wrong with you guys, all the rest of the world has it but not us!!!


October 22, 2009, 12:50 pm

Hi Folks,

any chance of a review of the Sony 760? Now that What Hifi have rated that as a best-buy over the Oppo 831, it would be very useful to have a comparative review of how they compare for audio and picture quality....


October 22, 2009, 12:54 pm

p.s. does the Oppo play either FLAC or OGG format files (either from disc or USB) and does it have the 5 disc memory function that the import BDP83 has? Cheers!


November 27, 2009, 10:40 pm

Sadly Oppo has indefinitely postponed the BDP-831 indefinitely, and when I last looked no Oppo Blu-Ray players were for sale at all on opposhop.

Perhaps it is worth adding a paragraph in bold to the start of the review highlighting this fact?

Steve 38

February 4, 2010, 8:35 pm

I am in the US at the mo and already owned a 980H I bought a Panasonic BD60 rather than buy the more expensive new OPPO. I then read a review in Consumer Reports (the US "which" magazine) praising it. So I caved in and forked out $500. Am I glad I did, not only is the Blu ray excellent but the upverting of DVDs is phenomenal. A copy of Pearl harbour which refused to play because it had a scratch played flawlessly. I am using a panasonic 720p and I have to say I cannot see a vast difference between DVDs & Bluray so maybe when I return to the UK with the 83 I will see even greater picture on my 1080p.

Finally when comparing the oppo to the Panny BD60 the panny really is only 7 out of 10 but over here the panny now cost $98 yep 65 quid.


December 15, 2011, 10:41 am

Merry Christmas in advance for you!

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