I can't compare to the 981 as I haven't tried it, but I can tell you in my experience the 983 has a clearly superior picture to the 980. I also had better results with the digital output on the 983. Short of the Panasonic Blu Ray player I tried out, the 983 yields the best picture I've seen on my 1080i CRT (upsampled DVD via HDMI). It does not give up much to Blu-ray either. Oppo's Blu-Ray player is supposed to be coming out soon and will supposedly have the DVD section of the 983. They've discontinued production of the 983, but you may still be able to find a new one at a dealer, or a refurb at Oppo. You'd sure save a bunch of $ going to the 981 though. Have you tried phoning Oppo and just asking them? I've spoke with them a couple of times and found they were very helpful.
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Thanks for the response. I have not called Oppo but have noticed the 983 has been discontinued. I'm trying to solicit some opinions here before I decide on which unit to get. I already have 3 cheap DVD players and was thinking to get an Oppo to improve on the picture quality. I think I'll skip the 981 as it does not have component outputs, and I need that for my projector. So it's either the discontinued 983 or the upcoming blu-ray player, which I suspect would cost quite a bit.
Ryder - If you're interested in a new 983 one of the last Oppo dearlers to have any was Projector People. Currently they are showing it in stock, but I'd call to double check. Also, Oppo occasionally has refurbs available. The target pricepoint on the BDP-83 that I heard was $599 which was confirmed by someone at Oppo when I spoke with them in January. Of course, that could change depending on what hoops they're having to jump through to make it work. The release date has been pushed forward several times at this point. The company line I was told was that they want to make sure the player they release is the best they can build with the technology they have available and that it works flawlessly. They do have a beta program which they seem to be offering for the Blu-ray player. I signed up for notification and have not heard from them. 983's also show up used both here and on eBay on occasion, and Oppo also pushes their refurbs on eBay.
PS VERY IMPORTANT if you are expecting a superior picture quality from the 983 - check with Oppo if the component outputs you intend to use will yield an upsampled image. I seem to recall that upsampling was only via the HDMI output. I could be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that's the case. Regardless, my opinions of the 983 are strictly via that output into a Sony CRT. I don't know what improvements, if any, may be yielded through the component outputs into a projector.
02-07-09: RyderDon't assume that. The 983 was $400. There are several Blu-ray players in that price range with internal TrueHD and DTS-HD MA processing. Seems to me that if the BDP 983H was going to be much more than the DV-98eH they would have kept it in the lineup.
Oppo is all about delivering a higher level of performance at entry-level to mid-level cost. If their Blu-ray player was much more than $400, they'd be deviating from their business plan. Not impossible, but not so likely IMO.
I was correct, RE: Component outputs - from the Oppo site:
Component video output with progressive scan (Up-converting over component output is only available for unencrypted DVD discs such as home video and consumer-created contents. Most commercially pressed DVD discs are CSS-encrypted and will be limited to 480i/480p output over component. HDMI output is protected with HDCP and has no such restriction.)
I don't know if this is true of all upsampling DVD players (anyone?). If you are limited to 480i/p I don't imagine you'll see the kind of improvement I've experienced via the HDMI output.
Thanks for the information on up-conversion via component outputs. Unfortunately I have no other choice since my projector and AV processor/amps are all obsolete with component and DVI only, and I don't think I'll change both the projector and amps anytime too soon since they are bought new 3 years back. Gosh these things get obsolete quicker than I thought!
I just hope the upcoming Oppo blu-ray player would be able to up-convert via its component outputs.....tough chance but all I can do is hope.
Unfortunately I have no other choice since my projector and AV processor/amps are all obsolete with component and DVI only, and I don't think I'll change both the projector and amps anytime too soon since they are bought new 3 years back.
You should be able to use an HDMI>DVI cable, like this one, and you may be able to get the upconversion that way - check that your DVI input on your projector is capable of HiDef.
the Oppo 983 is better in every respect than the 980 it uses the Anchor bay video chip set also the audio is a higher grade set up ,and scored a 10 in 2 seperate magazines ,Oppo Now has the New Blue ray machine out for under $600.
I completely agree, but the poster was asking about the 981 vs 983. The 981 has a better video chip than the 980 and will likely compare more favorably to the 983.
Oppo's website does not indicate anywhere that the BP-83 Blu-Ray player has been released yet. Where have you seen it available?
Which two magazines gave the 983 a '10'? I only know of the review online at Secrets of Home Theatre...