I think Chris’ assessment is fair and accurate, especially about Oppo being a media darling. One should remember he is clearly stating this in the context of his needs and preferences and as always others mileage may vary as did mine. I’ve never owned anything that didn’t represent making some sort of choice involving tradeoffs. For the average person I imagine an inexpensive stand alone BD player is the best choice. For us weirdos it comes down to features and performance.
I needed/wanted a player that would play almost any disk I put in it (BD83 doesn’t do VCDs), have analog outs, great BD playback quality, outstanding DVD playback quality, ability to do PAL and region free (after marked mod)(I travel a lot and buy things overseas), and reasonably fast load times since I hate waiting. Truncated audio has only happened to me on one Boston SACD so it’s a non-issue for me.
I didn’t need a gaming machine as I already have an XBox 360. I didn’t need lossless media playback or Netflix streaming, which my HTPC handles with easier more useful interfaces IMO. I don’t use secondary audio or BD live features while watching a movie (to distracting) so I don’t care about their effect on playback quality as I turn them off unless I want them for later less critical viewing.
Typically, I opt for the strategy of waiting for the second iteration to allow the kinks to be worked out. It never occurred to me......having said that, I also was in the mind set that if I keep waiting for the perfect beast or the most future proof product, I would never purchase. So....I read the reveiews, read the AVS comparison thread in its entirety(the owner's thread was insanely long) asked here (thanks Grunt) and made my purchase.
I totally agree with your strategy for waiting for the second iteration unfortunately for my needs their was no other option even close to the price of the Oppo and I had already put off buying a Blu-ray player as long as I could. [rant] I’m still hoping the format dies and gets replaced by something else soon because overall I think it’s a crappy hodgepodge of ever changing standards and I hope HDMI dies with it. [/rant]
When I read the reviews of the people not happy with the Oppo BD-83 most seem to have one thing in common. Lack of due diligence in researching their purchase which IMO is why I’m glad Chris and others are sharing their findings regarding various players.