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US company OPPO continues its assault on the UK market with another DVD player that comes equipped with a mind-blowing array of features. And despite boasting a superior feature set to the sensational DV-981HD it actually costs less, which could make it one of the DVD player bargains of the century. There are still no UK distributors but you can buy one at the company's European online shop at OppoShop either directly or via Amazon.
But it's not only the feature list that looks great - the actual unit does too. OPPO has squeezed all the electronics into a skinny box that measures just 49mm high, which make it unobtrusive and easy to slip under your TV. It's fairly light but crafted from sturdy materials, and the sparse fascia gives off a cool minimal air, with a circular silver control pad adding a dash of glitz. Also on the front is a USB 2.0 port (unusually hidden behind a rubber cover), which opens up the possibility of viewing media files from external drives and devices.
OPPO has also packed the rear panel full of connections and offers one or two surprises, the most important of which is the HDMI output. This is one of the few players on the market to sport an HDMI v1.2a socket (most offer 1.0 or 1.1) which makes it possible to pipe multichannel PCM and DSD (as used by SACD) to an amplifier. This socket can also output video in 1080p, 1080i and 720p, which polishes the picture for playback on hi-def TVs.
Another nice surprise is the inclusion of 7.1-channel analogue outputs, which enable you to take advantage of the deck's on-board Dolby Digital Surround EX decoding - offering an extra surround back channel that results in a more immersive surround experience. These sockets also let you take advantage of the unit's DVD-Audio and SACD compatibility, two more features that make this deck such a talented blighter. Rounding up the connections roster are usual suspects like component, S-video and composite video outputs, plus an RGB-capable SCART socket and optical/coaxial digital audio outputs.
The deck supports a range of other formats that earn it true universal status. Not only does it handle common formats like MP3, WMA, JPEG and all versions of DivX from DVD, CD or USB, but also plays more obscure types like XviD, .SRT, .SMI, .IDX and .SUB. Sadly it wants nothing to do with WMV files though. As for disc compatibility, it takes DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW and DVD+R DL in its stride, along with CD-R and CD-RW.