Ran across this interesting thread. A box like he describes would give us the best of both worlds. Use a tablet or computer or cell phone for the UI and DLNA. Then push the music data to an audiophile DAC. Otherwise we could wait many years for Anedio or Audio-gd to add UPnP inside their DACs.
Looking for a box that works much like the Airport Express, but offers DLNA/UPnP instead of AirPlay. That is, it shows up on the LAN over wireless, acts as a kind of renderer, but actually just spits the song out a TOSLINK cable, leaving the bits untouched.
Why do I want this? Right now, sitting on my bedside table, is an Audio-gd Sparrow headphone DAC/amp. Plugged into it are some CIEMs that go into my ears. Also plugged into it is a TOSLINK cable coming out of my Airport Express. And I can use my Android phone or my iPad running various software to push music through the above and into my ears.
A lot of the chain will stay the same, but I wanted to move on past the AirPlay era and use UPnP and move on past iTunes. And, most audiophile DACs, haven't heard of DLNA. So a box like this would act like a shim. And really its basically simply a DLNA replacement for the Airport Express. Ideally small and simple and passes through the data unmolested.