Apologies if my description made the Pi solution sound intimidating. Here are the parts you need if you go this route and want to use a Hifiberry Digi+ to connect the Pi to your stereo's DAC using either TOSLINK or SPIDF.
- Raspberry Pi 3B (other versions may work, but depending on the version, you could lack sufficient processing power to stream 192/24, or you may lack desired network capabilities, etc. With the 3B, you will have no trouble)
- A 5V DC power supply with a micro-USB connector that supplies at least 2A of current (I use the iFi Power 5V version, which includes a micro-USB tip)
- Hifiberry Digi+ or Digi+ Pro (it will come with all of the small parts necessary to connect the Hifiberry board to the Pi -- no need to buy any others assuming you use one of their enclosures).
- An enclosure for your Pi/Hifiberry device (Hifiberry makes several that are sized properly, https://www.hifiberry.com/shop/
, although the cases can also be purchased from other sellers, including Amazon I believe)
- A micro-SD card, which you will use to install an operating system on your Pi (the OS will be used to play music). The RPi 3B has a micro-SD slot, so once the OS is installed on the card, you will insert it into the slot and simply leave it there.
The hardest part will be installing the OS on your micro-SD card. Follow these instructions:https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/installation/installing-images/
If you have decided to get a Hifiberry board in order to add TOSLINK/SPIDF outs, be sure to choose an OS that supports it. I know that Moode and Roon both support it. I can't say for sure whether other OSes support.
If you go with Moode, here is documentation to configure it to work with the Hifiberry once it has been installed on an SD card. https://www.hifiberry.com/build/documentation/moodeaudio-installation-and-configuration/
Be advised, however, that this documentation makes no mention of configuring the RPi to work on your network. My advice is after completing Step 8, wait a few minutes for your Pi to reboot and then return to Steps 4 and 5. This time, Instead of clicking "Audio" (step 6), click "Network" and make the necessary changes so that the Pi connects properly to your network. At this time you can also disable unnecessary components (e.g. Bluetooth adapter, wireless network adapter if you are connected with ethernet cable)
I hope I demystified this solution somewhat. Again, good luck!
is absolutely correct that there are also many other small kits available that can serve the same function as the Pi, if this still sounds intimidating.