By Todd Anderson on Apr 3, 2018 at 10:39 AM
  1. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    End of an Era: OPPO Digital Announces Its Retirement

    [​IMG]
    (OPPO Digital)

    (April 3, 2018) The market has spoken: OPPO Digital plans to stop manufacturing products. The company has spent the last 14 years leading the disc player segment, producing the industry’s best DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K UHD Blu-ray players. Many of the models have been celebrated by home theater enthusiasts and audiophiles alike, largely due to their ability to play nearly any disc format available, including SACDs.

    While generally regarded as pricey, OPPO’s players have collected universal praise for parts selection and build quality, in addition to resoundingly superior customer support. In fact, the company’s legendary industry status was largely built upon quick firmware updates and friendly customer interactions.

    In recent years, OPPO has branched into Hi-Fi audio realms, releasing several different planar magnetic headphones, audiophile DACs, and its well-reviewed Sonica wireless speaker.

    According to OPPO’s blog announcement, the company is planning to “gradually stop manufacturing new products.” And for those new and existing customers, the company will continue to support warranties, offer repair services, and issue firmware updates “from time to time.” OPPO says that its UPD-203 and UDP-205 4K Blu-ray players are the most likely candidates to receive firmware upgrades in the months ahead.

    Buyers that have purchased an OPPO product during the last 30 days can still return their purchase for a full refund.

    Ultimately, this is an incredibly sad day for fans of disc-based media, highlighting the fact that the CD and Blu-ray market is in serious distress. Warning signs have been abundantly present, however, headlined by Best Buy’s recent decision to cease in-store compact disc sales this summer. And, according to the Digital Entertainment Group, disc sales fell 14% last year while revenue generated by rentals slid 17%. The future is obviously subscription-based streaming, which officially surpassed physical media’s sales dominance during 2016. Add to that the looming rollout of HDMI 2.1 and the potential for 8K media in the coming years, and one has to wonder if any company will have success conjuring healthy sales as new players are needed to meet technology demands.

    I’ve reached out to OPPO with a few questions and will update this article as more information becomes available.


    Editor's Note:

    OPPO kindly replied to our request for additional information. The company contact re-itterated that the news is a "sad announcement for all us involved," and confirmed that the company's choice to cease production is largely due to sales numbers simply not supporting the long term viability of the business. It was added that a rather complex web of factors have contributed to the situation.

    The company is actively building its last batch of products and predicts that its store front will remain stocked through June or July. OPPO chose to go public with its decision now so that it has the proper staff on hand to service its customers, which clearly fits with its long history of amazing customer service. It's expected that product support will extend for several years into the future.
     
    #1 Todd Anderson, Apr 3, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018

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Discussion in 'AV Industry News' started by Todd Anderson, Apr 3, 2018.

    1. tripplej

      tripplej AV Enthusiast

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      Very sad indeed. I am a proud Oppo owner and my blu ray has been working like a champ ever since day one.

      :(
       
    2. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      I believe this is the first of many dominos to fall across the AV industry. Not meaning massive changes will occur in the coming months... but in the coming years. The simple fact is that consumer demands are rapidly changing and the product sphere that home theater enthusiasts have lauded for the last several decades doesn't match what new generations of buyers want.
       
    3. tripplej

      tripplej AV Enthusiast

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      Yeah, unfortunately, the masses want cheap and will settle on everything else.
       
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    4. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      I think they want convenient and portable... they also want instant. Those factors outweigh quality. Look no further than the rapidly expanding wireless speaker segment. Luckily, high-quality can still exist in that realm. Hopefully 4K Blu-ray streaming quality will someday be widely available and affordable.
       
    5. thrillcat

      thrillcat Active Member

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      I guess it's time to start saving for that Kaleidescape, provided they're able to keep it going. We all know they've also had their problems.
       
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    6. Jack1949

      Jack1949 Member

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      Bummer, I've also enjoyed my Oppo. Guess the times they are a changin'...but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
      Jack
       
    7. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Kaleidescape is a very cool product - ultimately, we need it to become available outside of the custom install realm. I was hoping that a company like OPPO might find a way to fill the coming void.
       
    8. Asere

      Asere AV Addict

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      This indeed is sad news. I love my 103D and the customer service is excellent.
       
    9. Tony V.

      Tony V. Moderator
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      Too early to say but I wonder if we will see some decent discounts on remaining Oppo products. I would seriously consider on if the price was right.
       
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    10. tripplej

      tripplej AV Enthusiast

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      Only problem is that there are most likely limited supplies since they stop manufacturing them so price may not go down.
       
    11. mechman

      mechman Senior Admin
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      And I was just thinking that I wanted to get a 203 for my other room. I guess it's time to look into one of the other names. Anyone have a preference?

      I could never see paying $6K for a Kaleidescape Strato player. That price is way too steep!
       
    12. thrillcat

      thrillcat Active Member

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      Or, perhaps Kaleidescape & their new investor could purchase the Oppo assets and IP and work it into its product line somehow?
       
    13. tesseract

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      Sad to hear, another audiophile icon gone.

      Bottom line is, few people want or need a universal player with uber DACs. I use a cheap Sony for Blu-ray/CD/SACD, a Pioneer unit and a Marantz "universal" for DVD-A, dumping the signal via HDMI into my pre/pro and using those DACs.
       
    14. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      I think you're safe buying another OPPO 203... in fact, this is the time to snag it!
       
    15. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      That would be great - and is an interesting idea.

      I spoke with the owner of Kaleidescape at CEDIA last year. He was fairly firm that the company is sticking with the custom install market. But... never say never.
       
    16. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      I hear ya, Dennis. I think the crowd of users that demand that kind of performance is shrinking - fast.
       
    17. Todd Anderson

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      Just added to the article:

      Editor's Note:

      OPPO kindly replied to our request for additional information. The company contact re-itterated that the news is a "sad announcement for all us involved," and confirmed that the company's choice to cease production is largely due to sales numbers simply not supporting the long term viability of the business. It was added that a rather complex web of factors have contributed to the situation.

      The company is actively building its last batch of products and predicts that its store front will remain stocked through June or July. OPPO chose to go public with its decision now so that it has the proper staff on hand to service its customers, which clearly fits with its long history of amazing customer service. It's expected that product support will extend for several years into the future.
       
      #18 Todd Anderson, Apr 3, 2018
      Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
    18. Sonnie

      Sonnie Senior Admin
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      Very sorry to learn this... always thought very highly of their products (and still do)... and have sure owned quite a few too.

      They are a class act in sticking around to service customers and not just bail completely like many companies would do. Kudos to them!
       
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    19. AudiocRaver

      AudiocRaver Senior Admin
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      There was a day when the whip was an essential accessory for every cart, buggy, and wagon. Try to buy one now, other than as a "vintage novelty."

      Streaming is where our market is heading, and the quality is getting better and better. No doubt, the management at Oppo has been watching this trend for years. It seems a travesty to think of an Oppo blu ray player like a buggy whip, but that's the reality.

      Welcome to the 20th century. Yikes, it's the 21st century, where does the time go?
       
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    20. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      I agree and I think this is ultimately what hurt Oppo. Their products were impeccable. Some may not remember this, but Oppo built its reputation on dirt cheap (and poorly made) DVD players with among the best scaling in the market. They had among the only DVD players that properly di-interlaced. I bought one pre-Blu-Ray days and had it for years until an electrical storm took it out. I think that actually tells another part of the story. Where Oppo at one time had a superior product because its video was better than competing products, Blu-Ray became perfect on every player and took away the need for better players. For the most part, every Blu-Ray player will replay the movie with the same audio and video fidelity when fed to a receiver or processor through HDMI.

      Now we have a market that is quickly embracing streaming platforms and discs are hurting. I think the writing on the wall is clear, discs will go away and I don't think there will be another interim physical medium. We will transition eventually to high quality video streaming services (something will come about I'm sure). I think Kaleidescape offers a great product, but I think their business model is a mistake. If they could bring a $500-$1000 player to market, that would be a great day. Right now I believe the cheapest is $2500.

      In terms of buying Oppo, I'm not sure what IP they have of value to a company like Kaleidescape.

      I do think we will see the market shrinking. I got word that the current manufacturing environment is conspiring against small American companies and that they may not survive. None have thrown in the towel yet, but apparently these political issues are putting their business model out and raising material costs, increasing their product costs to untenable levels. One insider suggested to me that if this continues, we might see an end to all the internet direct sale high value brands because they mostly all relied on imported goods or manufacturing and very thin margins.
       
    21. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      I just pulled this out of a storage stack and plugged it in: still works.

      OPPO’s DV-970HD DVD player.

      If I’m not mistaken, this is circa 2006 (which may as well be 100 years ago in AV time)

      3D8BAB25-F036-4DE1-B014-F013CE79BE6D.jpeg
       
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    22. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      I believe that is the same one I had which died.
       
    23. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      It can be yours again for the right price! :spend:
       
    24. bkeeler10

      bkeeler10 Active Member

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      First of all, this news makes me sad. Not only for losing Oppo, which is a real bummer, but also what it suggests about the future of physical media. Hey, I'm all for moving toward streaming, but if and only if the quality of physical media can be maintained. Many of us have spent large sums of money to build the best A/V systems we can afford, and I for one am not interested in feeding sub-standard source material to my system and having a sub-par performance/experience. I sincerely hope great strides are made in this regard before optical disc dies. That said, I haven't really looked at the current state of streaming - maybe its better than I am giving it credit for?

      I own a 103, but I have to say this issue is the main reason I have been undecided about picking up the Oppo 203. You've got to be sold on the other features/experience/service they provide to justify spending the extra coin. I probably would have, and maybe I still will, but outside of serious enthusiasts like us the Oppo is a really hard sell.

      Agreed.

      :eek: I don't like this one bit . . .
       
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