Late last week, OPPO Digital officially unveiled its latest firmware update that adds VUDU movie streaming to the company’s BDP-93 and BDP-95 Blu-ray players. For owners of those models, this is a long-anticipated and very welcome development.

These days, Blu-ray players need to do a lot more than just play Blu-rays. They’re media hubs for all sorts of digital entertainment, chief among them movie streaming. After all, it’s only natural to want to centralize many forms of movie playback in one movie-centric device.

Since OPPO’s BDP-93 player was released at the end of last year, it has offered Netflix and Blockbuster streaming, plus a service called Film Fresh that I’d never heard of before (and that doesn’t appear to contain much of interest). The company suggested that it would add further streaming options in the future. VUDU was long-rumored to be in development. At one time, the VUDU web site even listed OPPO Digital among its partners, but then later removed that listing. VUDU’s 1080p “HDX” movie files are near-Blu-ray quality and often have significantly better video than Netflix streaming. VUDU seems like a good fit for OPPO Digital, a company known for the high quality of its Blu-ray playback.

I’m not sure what caused all the delays (perhaps licensing negotiations or technical issues?), but it took a long time for VUDU to finally appear in OPPO players. OPPO released a firmware update with the VUDU app to its beta testers about a month ago, and now that firmware has gone live for public consumption. The new firmware can be installed from the internet via the player’s Ethernet connection, or downloaded from the “Customer Service/Support” page of the OPPO Digital web site. By activating the VUDU app in either the BDP-93 or BDP-95 players, you will receive a $5.99 credit good for one HDX rental, even if you already have a VUDU account registered on another device.

I first signed up for VUDU with the service’s now-discontinued dedicated download box. I recently uninstalled that and switched to the VUDU app in the PS3 instead. However, I have one of the older PS3s with fan noise like a Hoover when I turn it on, and I’m not fond of using the PS3 controller as a remote during movie playback. For those reasons, I’m pretty excited to be able to switch to the OPPO player for my VUDU needs. The free movie credit doesn’t hurt either.


  1. I really want to buy an Oppo but it’s been a long time since I’ve paid that much money for something that only does 1 or 2 things. I hadn’t looked at them in a while, if they can do Netflix and Vudu, I might be tempted. Get HULU on there and it’s pretty much a done deal. Kind of how I wanted my XBOX 360 to do Blu-Ray. I already have a PS3 but I’ve read that one of the Top of the line Oppo’s can out do the PS3 in speed and picture quality. I’ve been pretty impressed with the PS3’s video quality on Blu-Ray so that would be pretty nice If I could get better picture especially since I finally just moved to a 60′ LG Plasma.

    • Josh Zyber

      When it comes to Blu-ray quality, pretty much all Blu-ray players these days are equal, assuming you don’t turn on extra processing crap features like DNR or sharpening. Where an OPPO player will mainly outshine the PS3 is DVD upconversion quality.

      As I recall, the PS3 will also not upconvert standard-def bonus features on a Blu-ray disc. That can be annoying. A standalone player will do that for you.

      The PS3 is a good machine. It has a lot of useful features, including Netflix and VUDU. It’s nothing to sneeze at. However, it does have some drawbacks too. In the end, whether you need another player will depend on your personal priorities.

  2. PaulB

    PS3 with fan noise like a hoover?? I have an original and it is effectively silent (background noise level). My orginal 360 however, especially if you were spinning up a disc on the orginal..

    • Josh Zyber

      I’m sure that these things must be relative. Compared to the Xbox 360, perhaps it’s not loud, but compared to a standalone Blu-ray player it certainly is. The amount of other background noise you have in your room will also play a role in whether you can hear the PS3’s fan or not.

      • For the most part my PS3 is pretty quiet but that’s only because it takes much longer for it to turn the fan on than the 360 (original or otherwise) ever did. However on the new 360 which I upgraded to earlier this year, the fan is pretty darned quiet and has become my Netflix/Hulu goto machine for the moment. I’ve given up on the pipe dream of one machine doing it all, although a future purchase of a Mac Mini may do just that.

        We shall see.

  3. August Lehe

    I’m sure this is hardly an original request, but how about some notes or discussion from you guys about recommended A/V receivers…say, under $500, under $1,000 and (God Forbid!) Top of the line models which MOST of us will never need? Thanks!

    • Josh Zyber

      I’m reluctant to make “What should I buy?” recommendations unless I’ve used the gear myself. A/V receivers are particularly difficult, because swapping out an A/V receiver is a lot of work. My own receiver is a couple years old, and I have no plans to replace it.

  4. August Lehe

    Josh, everywhere I go friends claim Plasma sets are “cheap,” or “obsolete” or burn out too fast. I am now considering a Viera 46-inch since our screen-to-eyeball distances in my den are 10 & 12 feet. Also, any reason why you would recommend against my buying an OPPO 95 Blu Ray Player? Sounds like a winner even for a KLUTZ LIKE ME! No kids…No games, just a MOVIE NUT!

    • Josh Zyber

      Plasma sets do eventually burn out, but we’re talking years (if not decades) down the line. A more realistic concern may be screen burn-in, but you can easily avoid that with proper calibration of brightness and contrast settings.

      Plasmas are usually more expensive than LCD sets, so I’m not sure where the perception of “cheap” comes from. In general, plasma has better picture quality than LCD. But that’s not to say that you can’t get nice picture quality from LCD as well.

      As for the OPPO player, the only thing that the BDP-95 offers over the less expensive BDP-93 is an “audiophile” upgrade to the analog audio output section. If you’re planning to connect with HDMI, there’s no reason to spend more for the BDP-95 when the BDP-93 is otherwise the exact same machine.

      • Drew

        Plasmas absolutely are not cheaper than comparable LCD sets! Not even close! You can get a 65″ flagship plasma for the price of a 55″ flagship LCD right now! The price difference is even greater as you move into the mid to low-end market.

        An entry level 42-43″ 3D plasma can be found for as little as $500. For a comparable 3D LCD, the price will be close to double that much.

        I believe you paid at least $500 for your entry level 32″ 3D LCD.

  5. August Lehe

    Josh, Love ALL the Discussions, even when I am totally lost in the topic or techniques. Such as your recent 2.35 to 1 discussion…I was always a huge fan of VistaVision and Todd-AO, Camera 65, Super Technirama 70, Cinerama and on and on. Panavision I always understood as a replacement for 2.35 CinemaScope after the death of CinemaScope 55…. p.s. You might want to re-educate your readers about these formats every so often. Thanks!

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