I see your point about the distractions, but I remember that the Roon team’s origin is in Sooloos, where they had to build their own hardware because nothing else was available. It was very cool originally, but it rapidly became obsolete, big and clunky and unresponsive and expensive — ooh, was it expensive. (I still have one in the basement, if you are interested.)
The mainstream manufacturers have huge development budgets and low manufacturing costs, because of volume. Nobody else can compete.
But the idea is good. I think we can define a software configuration on top of mainstream hardware. I would suggest getting a minimalistic iPad, registering it with another user name, not your regular one, so no mail or text or other stuff will know about it. No distractions will arrive. Uninstall everything else, and just install Roon. (An Android device of course works too, and is cheaper, I don’t know much about them.)
The Tidal connection is not a problem, because it is from the Core, not the remote.
Just remember not to use it to communicate with the Forum! Once you open the door to the Internet, stuff will begin to leak in.
Cool! I think I’ll do it.