Yes the keyboard works. Maybe not completely ideal but good enough. If your working on a bench and using a player for what ever testing the remote is just in the way and constantly lost. Front panel controls like the NAD are perfect. Thing is, 99.99% of the time I won't need this because it will just be used as a normal player. I was just expecting it to be a more common feature than it turns out to be. The front panel controls do work for navigation inside the menus so that proves it's possible. I'm canceling my return request.
Edit: Response from Oppo...
PLAY acts like ENTER. Please be aware that the front panel buttons will work for specific contents only, and will not work with most Blu-rays as the BD-JAVA does not allow the front panel buttons to be used to navigate menus.
OPPO Digital, Inc.
thanks again for the help, I'm still keeping it:-)