I am going for KEF R7 speakers, fronts and center and some QAcoustics rears.
I want to merge HiFi with Cinema as it’s in the lounge.
I will be powering the speakers with a custom Apollon Audio Purifi Amp.
My question is that I want some kind of UI on my TV to control the audio from my NAS, and I want to be able to play MQA files fully decoded.
What is the best devices for this to use as a preamp, streamer, DAC?
I currently use an SMSL M400 DAC in my office, but that is pretty much USB input only for MQA and has no interface. I trialed Roon and liked it, but with this DAC i didn’t need it. Maybe there is some device with UI for Roon that will enable me to do the above?
There is no ui for Roon on a TV, closest you will get is running Roon on a pc and plugging it in to it, but then you need to control via a remote mouse and keyboard. Chromecasts only really show now playing and basic play controls nothing more. Android apps won’t run well unless they are designed for ATV or Apple TV. Roon and Bluesound are not. Roon is best controlled away from the screen on a tablet, laptop or phone.
YIf you want full MQA then depends on how much you want to spend. Bluesound Node 2i will give you full mqa and Roon rolled into one reasonable package but your not going to get a traditional preamp to do all this. If you want higher end than their is Lumin streamers, Mytech Brooklyn bridge , Matrix Audio Element Range amongst others. All handle Roon as endpoints and MQA but for all you still need a pc to run Roon core.
I have a very powerful server so running Roon core on a VM there is no issue > then Roon bridge on the NUC > USB to Smsl M400 DAC > XLR to Yamaha cx-a5200 > XLR to custom Apollon Audio 5 channel power amp with Purifi chips > KEF R7 speakers
So Roon will have to be controlled via my phone which is the only downside I see. The NUC has HDMI so some kind of frontend would be nice for when guests are round for example.
The Roon architecture has 3 components - server/core, renderer/bridge, and remote/control. While the server has a simple, the bridge has no UI, and the UI that you want is delivered by the Remote device. There is an app for Windows and macOS that wrap all three components into one but for Linux the only thing available is the Core or the Bridge. Even if the full Roon app was available for Linux, the TV would only display what was running on the NUC, there would be no way of using the TV to control the app.
So your options are to run Windows on your NUC or use Chromecast to stream the UI from your phone or tablet as has been suggested. If you want a native app to run on your TV, you need to look elsewhere. Some TVs have the ability of using DLNA to retrieve and play music from a local NAS. It works but is nowhere near as nice as the Roon interface. If you don’t have local music, I believe Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, and maybe others have native Android apps that you can run on a TV.