Date Posted:8 July 2014
Oppo Blu-Ray and Darbee Video Processing A quick look at what makes the picture quality of the Oppo BDP103D and BDP-105D so good. With a short break down of both Darbee Video Presence and Silicon Image's VRS ClearView Technology.
Over the last few years there have been some nice high end Blu-ray players come through Complete Audio, and at some stage with each and everyone one of them (including the Cambridge Audio) I had a client say something along the lines of: “That’s a good picture, but it doesn’t come close to the Oppo”.
So after much discussion we got our hands on a couple of these famed Oppo units (BDP-105D and 103D, both still setup and on display in store). Instantly I could see a difference. A marked improvement on the picture quality I had seen from all the previous Blu-ray players we had sold.
This then led to the question: How? How could these players be so much better than the other units out there at the same price point (or higher in some cases)?
The answer it turns out is two pronged; it starts with the “D” at the end of the model numbers. This letter stands for Darbee, Darbee Video Presence to be precise.
Darbee Visual Presence doesn’t affect the colour of the pixels, nor does it change the frame rate of the source material. To improve the picture quality this technology adjusts every pixel in every frame, in real time, according to the luminance information.
The image above shows the effectiveness of this system, and that the level of effect can be changed to suit your viewing pleasure. A visit to the gallery section on the Darbee web page shows a few more examples of just how well this technology works.
The second prong to this amazing Blu-ray system is Silicon Image’s VRS ClearView technology. This technology is an adaptive scaler that includes image enhancing features (sharpening and error correction). It reduces mosquito noise; the hazy boundaries that you can see on heavily compressed video. Lastly it actively removes jagged or irregular edges, providing smoother boundaries as well as enhanced fine detail with in the image. ClearView again does all this in real time.
Most importantly all of this adds up to a scaler that can take low resolution highly compressed content, like that found with streaming and online services (YouTube) and turns it in to high quality high definition video. The VRS ClearView technology can take SD and HD content and bring it up to 4K x 2K video resolution for use with modern 4K Ultra HD displays.
There isn’t much point in having this video processing power and restricting it to just the content that the Blu-ray players can handle themselves. Hence each of the D model Blu-Ray players having a “video in”, allowing the user to pass the video feed from another source (games machine, Austar) through the same video enhancement technology, turning the 103D and 105D into a separate scaler along the lines of the DVDO video processing units that a few years ago were costing $1999.
So with the Oppo models making use of both the Darbee Visual Presence and Silicon Image’s VRS ClearView technology they are an incredible machine capable of improving all your viewing material, be it on a disc, stored on a computer (locally or on the internet) or just a free to air channel being passed through from a PVR. But don’t take my word for it, come in have a look and see if you can see the difference.