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Apple TV for Zwift

Old 01-27-22, 11:05 AM
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force10
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Apple TV for Zwift

Thinking of going this way because I dont have a laptop and my tablet is ancient.

I'm not familiar with Apple tv but it seems an easy way into zwift.

Any advice on whether to go this route and/or which version I want?
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Old 01-27-22, 11:31 AM
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Eric F
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I've been using an Apple TV (4th gen, I think) to run Zwift for almost 2 years. It works great...except the remote. The Apple TV remote sucks.
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Old 01-27-22, 02:27 PM
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I believe it's a good option for Zwift. I would get the latest version (2nd gen 4k) as it's relatively cheap and an impressive, versatile piece of kit.
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Old 01-27-22, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I've been using an Apple TV (4th gen, I think) to run Zwift for almost 2 years. It works great...except the remote. The Apple TV remote sucks.
This.

It also is somewhat limited in that it will only do bluetooth. This may not be an issue for you if you have a newish trainer. I used it for a season with kludgy but workable solution because I had a dumb trainer and an Ant+ powermeter on my bike.
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Old 01-27-22, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
This.

It also is somewhat limited in that it will only do bluetooth. This may not be an issue for you if you have a newish trainer. I used it for a season with kludgy but workable solution because I had a dumb trainer and an Ant+ powermeter on my bike.
I have wondered about this buetooth limitation. I have a 2021 tacx neo 2t trainer. Power readings come from that. Will I have to choose between cadence and hrm?

Also, somewhat unrelatedly, is there any reason to have my garmin head unit (edge 530) looped in?
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Old 01-27-22, 04:59 PM
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ATV is limited to 2 bluetooth connections, but you can connect additional devices through your smartphone running the Zwift companion app.
I've not done this, but others on the internet suggest it works fine. Not sure what happens if you're also running other apps on your phone. (I use my phone for music, etc while riding).

There's no need to use your Garmin head unit while on Zwift. Zwift will record the ride and can then upload data to whatever platform you're using (Garmin Connect, Strava, etc). Recording on your Garmin would just duplicate the info.
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Old 01-27-22, 05:05 PM
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As for which version of ATV to get, I think it mostly depends on if you want 4k or are fine with 1080p. Zwift can do 4k, but I think only newer/upgraded versions of ATV will support it.
Otherwise the older/refurbished ATV units will work fine if you don't care about that and are good with 1080p. I'd just buy the cheapest one you can find.
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Old 01-27-22, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
This.

It also is somewhat limited in that it will only do bluetooth. This may not be an issue for you if you have a newish trainer. I used it for a season with kludgy but workable solution because I had a dumb trainer and an Ant+ powermeter on my bike.
Yes. This is an important point. All my sensors are BT. Keep in mind that the Apple TV has a limited number of BT channels (3), and one of those is taken up by the remote. My trainer has speed/power/cadence on one channel. My HR monitor is another channel.
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Old 01-27-22, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by force10 View Post
I have wondered about this buetooth limitation. I have a 2021 tacx neo 2t trainer. Power readings come from that. Will I have to choose between cadence and hrm?

Also, somewhat unrelatedly, is there any reason to have my garmin head unit (edge 530) looped in?
I don't think you'll have any issue. As for the Garmin, I wouldn't bother. Zwift will just upload the ride to whatever app you want.
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Old 01-27-22, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
As for which version of ATV to get, I think it mostly depends on if you want 4k or are fine with 1080p. Zwift can do 4k, but I think only newer/upgraded versions of ATV will support it.
Otherwise the older/refurbished ATV units will work fine if you don't care about that and are good with 1080p. I'd just buy the cheapest one you can find.
Unless things have changed recently, Zwift on an Apple TV isn't a true 4k image. The graphics are 4k, but the video is not improved over 1080p. Personally, it's not a concern for me. I would suffer the same, regardless of resolution.
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Old 01-27-22, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by force10 View Post
I have wondered about this buetooth limitation. I have a 2021 tacx neo 2t trainer. Power readings come from that. Will I have to choose between cadence and hrm?

Also, somewhat unrelatedly, is there any reason to have my garmin head unit (edge 530) looped in?
On my Saris trainer, power and cadence are combined on one BT channel, leaving another channel for HRM. I would guess your Tacx is the same.
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Old 01-27-22, 08:01 PM
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Thanks everyone. I ordered most recent ATV 4k with 32 GB.

Sounds like it will suit my needs.
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Old 01-27-22, 10:48 PM
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Cons:
The Apple TV is limited to fairly basic graphics compared to a PC, and has a limited number of bluetooth connections compared to an android phone or tablet.
Zwift updates are sometimes odd and unpredictable on Apple stuff (led to ZRL premier league riders being DQ'd)
Pros:
It's the simplest setup experience.
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Old 01-28-22, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
Cons:
The Apple TV is limited to fairly basic graphics compared to a PC, and has a limited number of bluetooth connections compared to an android phone or tablet.
Zwift updates are sometimes odd and unpredictable on Apple stuff (led to ZRL premier league riders being DQ'd)
Pros:
It's the simplest setup experience.
I would add that it's probably more reliable than a typical PC or phone setup. People seem to have a LOT more issues with BT connections when using a PC, which is one of the reasons why ANT+ is still quite popular with those users. Friends I know who connect with phones (for the main app, not companion) seem to have reliability issues too. I use an iMac myself which has always been faultless with Zwift over BT. But Apple TV is by far the cheapest solution for a dedicated Zwift setup.
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Old 01-28-22, 07:48 AM
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I've been using ATV for Zwift for3 years now, very solid way to go. Although, do agree the ATV remote sucks but if you use the Zwift companion app, you really don't need to use the ATV remote at all other than starting/ending the ride.

There were two ways around the BT limitation on ATV, I think now down to one.
  1. As other's mentioned, use the Zwift companion app and it will act as a bridge, and all works fine.
  2. I bought a North Pole Engineering CABLE BT bridge for $49 that solved a bunch of problems for me - I don't think they sell the CABLE unit anymore
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Old 01-28-22, 12:15 PM
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On the topic of dropouts, reliability and updates, running Zwift on my Macbook has worked perfectly. In 2+ years of Zwifting I've maybe had 2 times where something went wonky and I had to restart the program. Updates happen automatically and never take more than 30 seconds.
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Old 01-28-22, 12:24 PM
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I do use a Garmin head unit in parallel, certain data on the unit I don't get on Zwift UI, like average watts while riding, work done. Just sayin.
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Old 01-28-22, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
Unless things have changed recently, Zwift on an Apple TV isn't a true 4k image. The graphics are 4k, but the video is not improved over 1080p. Personally, it's not a concern for me. I would suffer the same, regardless of resolution.
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see anything in Zwift graphics that would make me care aout 4K. I am using an older (large) flat panel LCD screen that does 1080p and the cartoon graphics, though sometimes quite nice, wouldn't seem to have the detail or texture that would appear much different in 4k.

Maybe it makes more of a difference for real video images, such as Rouvy.
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Old 01-28-22, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see anything in Zwift graphics that would make me care aout 4K. I am using an older (large) flat panel LCD screen that does 1080p and the cartoon graphics, though sometimes quite nice, wouldn't seem to have the detail or texture that would appear much different in 4k.

Maybe it makes more of a difference for real video images, such as Rouvy.
I'm just going by comments that I've seen on the Zwift FB page related to running the ATV4k. I'm running an older ATV with a 1080p monitor. Works fine for me. Screen shots I've seen of Swift on 4K gaming PCs seen to have a bit more detail (shadows, being one), but it's not a significant difference.
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Old 01-28-22, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
I do use a Garmin head unit in parallel, certain data on the unit I don't get on Zwift UI, like average watts while riding, work done. Just sayin.
Hmm. I can see my average power (and average HR and some other things) just by tapping the menu button on the Zwift interface. YMMV, but that's enough for me.

What I wish is that Zwift (and Strava) would show L/R power distribution. For that, I'd have to run my head unit, I think.
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Old 01-28-22, 08:13 PM
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apple tv 4K is AWESOME, I just switched to it literally days ago. Its the best set up I have ever used. Never used a PC but used my iphone, ipad and a surface at one point and the apple tv is my favorite.

ONLY negative IMO is the remote. Its....touchy, once you get used to it its fine but it could be better. But you can you the companion app on your phone instead and that is pretty straight forward too. You will love apple tv, its simple and really easy to start up. Its just great IMO.
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Old 01-30-22, 09:36 AM
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I've been using Apple TV for two seasons, after using a PC laptop.
ATV is much better. It's easier, quicker to start & quicker to update.
The remote is not good and can be frustrating to use, supposedly the newest version is better.
The limit of two BT channels isn't too bad, the companion app can be used for 3+, or if your trainer
has cadence, you only need the two (power/controllable/cadence on one channel, HR on the other).
If you use a PM, you may be able to use "Power Match" within you trainer's app (I can with my Kickr18),
so effectively my Assioma pedals are my power source & my Kickr is my controllable.
I double record with my Garmin 530 so that I get L/R balance & respiratory rate.
Zwift goes to Strava, the Garmin to GC.
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Old 01-30-22, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Dancing Skeleton View Post
I've been using Apple TV for two seasons, after using a PC laptop.
ATV is much better. It's easier, quicker to start & quicker to update.
The remote is not good and can be frustrating to use, supposedly the newest version is better.
The limit of two BT channels isn't too bad, the companion app can be used for 3+, or if your trainer
has cadence, you only need the two (power/controllable/cadence on one channel, HR on the other).
If you use a PM, you may be able to use "Power Match" within you trainer's app (I can with my Kickr18),
so effectively my Assioma pedals are my power source & my Kickr is my controllable.
I double record with my Garmin 530 so that I get L/R balance & respiratory rate.
Zwift goes to Strava, the Garmin to GC.
Very helpful. I thought there might be a place for the head unit but couldnít figure what it was.

I donít seem to get any climbing data on the garmin 530. Is this normal or do I have a wire crossed somehow?

Do you use TrainingPeaks by any chance? If so, which feed gets sent there?
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Old 01-31-22, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by force10 View Post
Very helpful. I thought there might be a place for the head unit but couldnít figure what it was.

I donít seem to get any climbing data on the garmin 530. Is this normal or do I have a wire crossed somehow?

Do you use TrainingPeaks by any chance? If so, which feed gets sent there?

I never noticed that elevation data doesn't show up in GC or on my 530.
I could just add it in via editing.
I don't use Training Peaks.
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