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Oppo DV980H review

This feature-packed player lacks the performance punch of its bigger bro’

Our Verdict

Crammed full of nifty features, but the upscaled pictures are hit and miss at best


  • Masses of features
  • Surround EX output
  • Wide format compatibility


  • Flaky video up-conversion
  • Prone to lock-ups

Fan-boy brand Oppo appears to have studied the Cambridge Audio Zen-like approach to electronics design and decided to do the exact opposite, cramming this skinny machine with every conceivable feature you could want.

Needless to say, upscaling all the way to 1080p is no problem for this can-do component.

Choc full of features

It's a very slim player, even though it packs a great deal in, and it looks like a quality machine, even though the buttons and much of the casing turns out to be metal-effect on close inspection.

Oppo also boasts an impressive array of logo scalps. Playback support includes SACD and DVD-A, XviD and DviX (not Ultra). The rear houses eight multichannel outputs for 7.1 surround.

To switch the video output from standard-def to the other resolutions is a hard button on the remote, although it turns out that changing the resolution in this way actually causes the player to come unstuck.

Passable standard-def

I found I usually had to turn the Oppo off and on again to make the new resolution stick.

Yet this command means a lot of extra processing for any player and usually takes a few seconds at the best of times, so it's a glitch that can be lived with.

Standard-def performance is passable for a budget player. Some video noise causes a little shimmering in the background with our Sunshine test DVD, but nothing too serious.

The progressive 576p output via the component video connection is the best bet for a clean image.

Jagged images

Pumping up the HDMI output introduces some errors in the picture with lines appearing fleetingly.

Our jaggies test disc highlights the jagged edges in moving images and technically, it failed the test.

Increasing the resolution to 1080p only exacerbates the situation with the video processor really struggling to keep up with the sweeping images on the test platter and the revolving space station in my sci-fi flick.

On my reference Optoma projector, you could clearly see the break-up onscreen.

A good DVD player

Knocking the resolution back down to 1080i helps.

It suits the 1920 x 1080 chip in the projector, while the Oppo isn't being asked to do any additional deinterlacing. The result is smoother, but even so, the most watchable image remains the standard-def one.

It's a shame about the scaler, because the Oppo performs fine as a regular DVD player. Far better is Oppo's £180 DV-981HD, which offers top Faroudja scaling and a fine all-round performance.