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Circuit Breaker

Oppo has a new $1,300 4K Blu-ray player that’s made for audiophiles

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Four figure price tag for 4K Blu-ray

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So, you’re looking for a new Blu-ray player. 4K video, you hear, is all the rage these days, so why not make the jump to get a UHD compatible device.

You head over to your local Best Buy, and discover that pickings are somewhat slim. Sure, Sony, Samsung, Philips, and Panasonic all make players with support for 4K Blu-ray. Even Microsoft has support for the format in the Xbox One S. But you’re looking for something bigger. Something, say, like Oppo’s $1,299 UDP-205.

Now, you might be thinking: “Isn’t $1,299 a lot of money for a Blu-ray player? Especially when the next most expensive competitor costs less than half of that?” And you would be right. But, Oppo would have you believe in the superior capabilities of the $1,299 UDP-205, with its dual ES9038PRO DACs, HDMI audio jitter reduction circuit, and support for both XLR and RCA connectors.

Things are more pedestrian when it comes to the video side of things — HDR10 support, with a promise for Dolby Vision via a later firmware update, 4K upscaling for older content, and support for a wide range of formats from 4K Blu-rays to audio CDs.

At this point, you begin to realize that the $1,299 UDP-205’s main differentiation is in audio playback, not video quality, which may seem like a curious choice of focus for a Blu-ray player. But somehow I suspect if you’re paying that kind of money for a Blu-ray player, practicality is not the primary deciding factor for you anyway.