Streamer with PLEX-like UI and companion app? Or sending PLEX stream through DAC?

TLDR: I got my friend upgraded to a nice stereo, but I can't get him to stop using PLEX and a bluetooth soundbar for his digital collection because he loves the PLEX UI, mainly for the gallery-style navigation. Are there any streamers with a similar gallery-style UI? Or even better, is there any way to send a PLEX stream to a DAC without quality loss?

Long story...

I helped a friend upgrade his (his words) "$99 pair of Sony towers and $99 a/v receiver from Circuit City" to something worthy of his amazing vinyl collection.

The problem: He has a huge digital collection on a QNAP NAS that he streams on his TV via PLEX and then sends the TV audio to a soundbar via bluetooth. He loves the PLEX UI, so the only way I'm going to sell him on ditching the soundbar for a streamer and DAC is if I can find a streamer that has as UI similar to PLEX, in terms of being user friendly.

The chain I personally use is UPnP server > Streamer > DAC > Stereo. While I love the sound of my Naim streamer, the UI of their app is horrendous, but for me it's about sound, not the UI, so I deal with it. I'd like to get my friend set up with a similar chain so he can start using his main system for his digital collection instead of a soundbar, but I don't know what kind of streamers have a similar gallery-style UI.

If there is a way to keep using PLEX on his TV for music selection and playback control, but have the music files processed by a DAC to send to his main system, that would be the ideal solution since he's comfortable with the PLEX UI. He likes being able to control the library from a TV, but I could sell him on using an iPad if the streaming solution has an iOS companion (control) app.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Is the NAS close to the stereo? If so, try connecting a USB DAC to the NAS and using that as audio output.


Alternatively, if the TV has optical digital output, that can be connected to a DAC if the NAS is inconveniently located.