I’m sorry to hear about the troubles you’re having with streaming MQA content in Roon. Let me explain some of the technical details of the situation and provide some tips that may improve the experience for you.
While I’m unsure of how Tidal handles their buffering, I can give you some further insight into how the Roon application handles Tidal streaming. The second you click play on a track from Tidal in Roon, Roon will attempt to buffer the track in its entirety as quickly as Tidal’s servers will upload to your computer, and if it’s able to buffer the entire track we will attempt to buffer the next track as well. While MQA content is smaller in size and thus requires less bandwidth than regular 24/96 high resolution content, it’s still not quite as compact as CD quality streaming, because of the increase in the bit depth from 16 bits to 24 bits.
If you’re interested in further troubleshooting, I’d recommend running your Roon Core instance on your Mac temporarily to see if you’re able to successfully stream in that case. Looking at the specs of your QNAP, I don’t see a solid state drive listed to use as your database and cache mount. This can impact the performance of Roon since it is designed to be run with it’s database on a solid state drive. Also, the NAS based Roon Server instances depending on the device may subject to permissions and caching limitations that are not present using the regular Mac/Windows/Linux installers.
We have had a few customers with Tidal streaming issues report success by changing their DNS servers to either a “188.8.131.52” address (CloudFlare DNS) or 184.108.40.206 (Google Public DNS).