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Zwift Apple TV 4k Review

Welcome to our Zwift Apple TV 4K Review.

To get things started, YES Zwift DOES work on Apple TV 4k, but you probably already knew that. What you may not know is there are limitations.

Zwift Apple TV 4k Review
Zwift Apple TV 4K
REVIEW

Zwift Apple TV 4k Limitations

Only Supports 2 Concurrent Bluetooth Smart Sensors

Apple TV only supports 2 concurrent bluetooth smart sensors. That’s right, you can only use 2 bluetooth smart devices to communicate with Apple TV.

Apple TV actually has a 3rd slot, but that is reserved for their Apple TV remote.

For example if you have a Heart Rate monitor, a Cadence Sensor and a Smart Trainer, only 2 of those devices will be able to connect via the Apple TV interface.

The good news is there is a work around.

Apple TV 4K only communicates via Bluetooth

Another limitation is Apple TV 4k only communicates via Bluetooth, so if you have an ANT+ device you will need something like a (NPE Cable) to convert ANT+ to a Bluetooth signal.

NPE Cable Converts ANT+ to bluetooth
(NPE Cable) used to convert ANT+ to Bluetooth

Apple TV 4K Graphics

Apple TV 4K graphics just aren’t as stellar compared to computer with a high speed graphics card. Apple TV will render Zwift at 1080p. What you will notice the most is things like lower resolution textures, special effects, and lack of shadows (shadows falling on the rider/road as you climb a hill).

As an avid Zwifter, the lack of high resolution graphics while cool, doesn’t really make a huge difference in the overall experience.

Apple tends to include new driver versions in OS updates, so if a new update to the tvOS comes out, it may contain an improved version of the tvOS driver.

That’s about it, though. Zwift is cranked to take as much advantage of the AppleTV’s hardware as commonly possible.

So if you’re expecting the Zwift Apple TV 4k graphics to be the same on a Macbook vs the Apple TV, you may be a bit disappointed.

Zwift Apple TV 4k Setup

To setup your Apple TV 4K on Zwift you will need 3 items

  • Paid Zwift Account
  • 4K or equivalent TV
  • Apple TV 4K

Zwift Monthly Membership

Zwift Monthly Membership

Zwift is a monthly membership service and currently runs at $14.99 month. Once signed up for Zwift, just remember your Zwift account user name and password.

4K Or Equivalent TV

If the goal is to have a kick butt training environment you will want to buy a good flatscreen TV. I ended up purchasing a 50″ Samsung UHD TV. It works great and is plenty big for my training sessions. The other benefit is the TV only set me back $350. Much less than I was expecting.

I did purchase a standard flat screen TV wall mount. Some people prefer to purchase a tripod stand so they can move the TV around.

For space savings I opted for the wall mount.

Apple TV 4K Setup

Setting up the Apple TV 4K is pretty straight forward. Just follow the Apple instructions that comes with the Apple TV and the TV instructions that come with your flatscreen.

Once both the Apple TV and your Flatscreen are setup, the next step is to download the Zwift App for Apple TV.

HOW TO LOAD THE ZWIFT APP ON APPLE TV

Zwift Apple TV Setup

  1. Launch the Apple TV App Store app from your Home screen.
  2. Perform a Search using Apple TV’s Search Feature
  3. Type in the “Zwift”
  4. Navigate to the Zwift app to download it.
  5. Click on the app icon.
  6. Click on Get since the Zwift app is free and doesn’t require a purchase.
  7. Once the application is downloaded, click on the app on your Apple TV and enter your Zwift Account Information (Should only have to do this once).

Zwift Companion Application

As mentioned earlier the Apple TV only supports 2 concurrent bluetooth smart sensors. To get around this limitation for Zwift you can use Zwift’s mobile companion app.

Zwift_Companion_3.0_Blog_Images_Enriched_Activity_Feed_v2.1

The Zwift app allows you to connect additional Bluetooth devices and get around the Apple TV bluetooth limitation of just 2.

About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about photography, cycling, running and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of GearMashers.com, 10KstepsDaily.com, EndTheTrendNow.com, AntiqueOutings.com, MiniatureReview.blogspot.com and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the photography and cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

4 Comments

  1. Johan

    Hi Tom

    Thank you for solving my smart trainer bluetooth connection issues using Apple TV 4K once and for all. No more missing training sessions because I can’t get something to connect or when it does connect it only stays connected for a few seconds until the dreaded ‘no signal’.

    Well done!!

    Keep up the good work.

    Much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Tom Crandall

      No Problem. The Bluetooth/Wahoo set up absolutely drove me crazy until I figured it out. Just FYI you might not have the same issues with the Tacx Neo or Elite trainers. Both those trainers calculate cadence and send the info with the power information into one slot.

      Reply
  2. Garry

    Tom,
    Your solution to pairing Apple TV with Zwift with three devices was right on. I had been using trial and error to make the connections and did not know how I was achieving the results. Now, everything works and quickly which provides more time for Zwifting. Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Tom Crandall

      Hi Gary,

      Glad I could be of help. Believe me it drove me crazy trying to figure this all out.

      Hopefully the next version of Apple TV has more connections.

      Reply

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