Given the BDP-95’s already sterling reputation, reasonable readers are bound to ask what makes the BDP-105 genuinely different from and potentially better that the BDP-95 it replaces. Let me tackle that question by highlighting for you differences between the players in terms of expanded video and audio capabilities, with some mention of the 105’s greatly expanded connectivity options.
- Upscaling to “4k” Resolution: Unlike the BDP-95, the BDP-105 can upscale signals from all video sources (that’s right, “sources” plural) to 4K (that is, 3840 x 2160) output resolution. Yowza, that’s a lot of pixels!
- 2D-to-3D Conversion: Unlike the BDP-95, the BDP-105 can convert 2D material for 3D playback with adjustments for depth and eye convergence levels.
- Multiple Video Inputs: With the BDP-95 the main input sources were A) the disc player onboard, or B) various network content streams such as Netflix. The BDP-105 retains those inputs, but adds two more in the form of a pair of HDMI inputs (one of which is MHL compatible). This new wrinkle means that you can connect other video source devices, such as network streaming devices, set-top cable boxes, etc., to the Oppo, so as to take advantage of the BDP-105’s incredibly powerful onboard Marvell Qdeo Kyoto-G2H video processing engine—an engine much more powerful than those typically found in other source components or typical AVR’s.
- Improved Chassis: The BDP-105 features a steel chassis that is significantly more rigid than the chassis used in previous Oppo players (including the BDP-95). Does improved chassis rigidity make a difference? While some skeptics might scoff, my personal experience has been that improvements in chassis rigidity (and thus freedom from resonance) are far more audible than you might ever expect.
- Passive Cooling: Unlike the BDP-95, the BDP-105 is designed around a fanless architecture, meaning that it is entirely passively cooled. While the BDP-95’s cooling fan was never obnoxiously noisy, the BDP-105 is quiet as the proverbial tomb in operation, which is a pretty major improvement for those of us who might use the player in desktop systems where we would be seated at arm’s length from the player.
- Headphone Amplifier: Unlike the BDP-95, the BDP-105 provides a built-in headphone amp that runs straight off the player’s ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC. No matter what source(s) you listen to through the Oppo, you can monitor them through your high-performance headphones. Cool.
- A high res DAC with multiple, user selectable inputs: The audio section of the BDP-95 offered terrific onboard DACs, but it pretty much functioned with a limited array of inputs: A) the disc player onboard, B) USB and/or E-SATA storage device, or C) various network-accessible content streams. The BDP-105, however gives users a greatly expanded set of options including: 3 x USB ports—one accessible from the faceplate, one each Coaxial and Optical digital inputs, and two HDMI ports—one accessible from the faceplate. The point, and it’s a huge one, is that the BDP-105 is now more than just a disc player or network streaming device; it’s a full-on, high resolution, multiple input DAC.
- Asynchronous USB: Just to be clear, the BDP-105 offers an asynchronous USB DAC—the arrangement most audiophiles prefer.
Connectivity: we’ve touched on many of these points above, but they do bear repeating, as the BDP-105 is substantially more versatile that the BDP-95 ever was. Changes include:
- HDMI In: Dual HDMI inputs (one that is faceplate accessible and MHL-compatible).
- HDMI Out: Dual HDMI outputs, where users can select options that route video signals to one HDMI output while audio-only signals routed to the other HDMI output for lower noise.
- USB: Three USB 2.0 ports (one that is faceplate accessible).
- Digital Audio: One coaxial digital audio input and output; one optical digital audio input and output.
- Network Connectivity: Ethernet (RJ-45) and Wi-Fi connectivity (via included USB Wi-Fi dongle). In fairness, the BDP-95 shared these connectivity options with the BDP-105, but the fact is that the 105 can do more with them.