Oppo Digital Phasing Out Disc Player Business
UPDATE! If you’ve been putting off the purchase of one of the best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/universal disc players on the market—the Oppo UDP-203 or UDP-205—you might want to get off the fence and make that purchase now.
The China-based company posted a notice on its web site this week saying that it is leaving the market for physical disc players, headphones and other audio devices, but it is planning to offer long-term life-line support and repair services (both in and out of warranty) for remaining models sold.
“We are gradually stopping the manufacture of new products,” Jason Liao, CTO of the 14-year-old company, told HD Guru. “Eventually it will lead to Oppo’s exit of the disc player market globally. There are many factors leading to the decision but in the end it is about the long-term viability of the business. We call a stop now so that we can still have resources to support the existing customers and products.”
In a statement on its web site, the company added: “We are proud to have made such well-regarded products and to have served the enthusiast community. Without our customers’ suggestions, encouragement, and support, we could not have accomplished these achievements… Though Oppo Digital will gradually stop manufacturing new products, existing products will continue to be supported, warranties will still be valid, and both in-warranty and out-of-warranty repair services will continue to be available. Firmware will continue to be maintained and updates released from time to time. Customers can rest assured that they will continue to receive the high-quality service and support that they have come to expect from Oppo Digital.”
The company’s players are some of the last so-called “universal disc” players that support a host of both current and legacy disc-based technologies, including the multi-channel and 2-channel high-resolution audio formats DVD-Audio and SACD. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players were also the first to provide support for the Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) video profile with dynamic metadata, in addition to the baseline HDR10 profile.
The company said it plans to continue to supply product firmware upgrades as needed for Oppo players. If a player is connected to the internet, it can be used to check for firmware upgrades by going to the device’s setup menu and checking the firmware upgrade setting via a network. New firmware will also be posted on the support pages of the corresponding products.
As for the future of Oppo Digital, the company said “from now on, Oppo Digital will focus our main effort on organizing and ensuring long-term support for the existing generation of products. As such, we will not have the resources to develop and release new generations of products.”
Although 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player sales reportedly have been strong in the United States and Western Europe since the format’s launch nearly two year’s ago, sales have been comparatively small in China, Oppo Digital’s home base. In addition, sales of physical disc-based formats like standard Blu-ray Discs and DVDs have been in steady decline for several years.
Coincidentally, the company’s announcement comes the same week that the People’s Republic of China has instituted counter measures in reaction to recent tariff proposals aimed largely at China by the Trump Administration.
The U.S. imposed tariffs have not yet advanced to consumer electronics products, although concerns are growing that smartphones (another Oppo category in China), TVs and other devices eventually might be involved if a trade war results.
Liao told us that the decision to wind down manufacturing at Oppo Digital “had nothing to do with the tariff dispute, but if consumer electronics are to be included (so far not) it will certainly make it worse.”
By Greg Tarr
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