Here she is -- the world's very first universal Blu-ray player. Oh sure, we may have heard of Denon's absurdly expensive DVD-A1UD first, but that bad boy just got delayed for a second time over in Japan. OPPO, on the other hand, has managed to push out a few hundred of these BDP-83 decks to brave beta testers across America, and we were fortunate enough to score one. The player came boxed in what was far and away the most elaborate packaging we'd seen for a BD player -- particularly one that's priced at just $499 for the beta users (an MSRP for production units has yet to be finalized).

All the goods you want are here, including Blu-ray Profile 2.0 support, internal decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats, SACD playback and the promise of DVD-Audio compatibility in the future. Upon unboxing the unit, we were pleased with the rigid chassis and felt the design was simple yet classy. The remote seemed accommodating enough, and the port selection 'round back was admirable. We're planning to fire it up this weekend to see just how far along this beta firmware is, but 'til then, hit the gallery below to have a look at what's sure to become a favorite amongst well informed home theater aficionados.
Gallery | 42 Photos

OPPO BDP-83 universal Blu-ray player hands-on