After an incredibly successful run in the highly competitive arena of reasonably priced, high-performing audio/video equipment, Oppo Digital has announced that it will cease the development of new products. This may prove disappointing to those who have been with the company since the introduction of their DVD, Blu-ray, and most recently 4K Ultra HD disc players. Oppo has gone beyond the boundaries of videodisc performance by offering universal players with the latest DACs that provide sensational audio performance, and most recently through a firmware upgrade that made the UDP-205 capable of playing MQA source material.
From company headquarters comes the following statement. “As our latest 4K UHD players reach the pinnacle of their performance, it is time to say goodbye. 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 the company 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.”
For the many thousands of satisfied customers of these products, myself included, this press release comes as a shock and surprise, particularly since this company has also become quite successful in the headphone and headphone amplifier manufacture and sales. Rather than speculate on the rationale for this corporate decision and, remembering that Oppo has become the biggest smartphone manufacturer in China, business decisions ultimately come down to what makes the best return on investment. Perhaps, in today’s constantly shifting and evolving markets, audiophile/videophile components are not what make the most sense for corporate profit/loss statements.
So, a word to the wise. If you want to get in on some of the best components in their respective categories, you might want to considering buying the Oppo Digital products of your choosing while they are still available. Otherwise, you could expect to pay premium prices for these components on the secondary market.