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Can someone tell me what I need to connect to Zwift?

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Old 02-13-18, 06:40 PM
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Can someone tell me what I need to connect to Zwift?

I am about frustrated trying to get an answer. What I have....an iMac computer downstairs with router. I am able to watch Youtube on my smart tv upstairs in the garage. I am able to see Youtube because the tv has that app loaded onto it like most tv these days. Currently have a Cyclops Fluid 2 trainer but about to get a Magnus, Snap, or Elite Direto once I do a little more research and figure out which one I want. I have an Apple iPhone. If I understand correctly, I need to download the zwift app to my phone but my question is, how do I get the signal from the phone to the tv given the zwift app is not already in the tv ??? I have not been able to find an LBS yet that can tell me what I need to do to connect with Zwift or some other app. I even called Cyclops and they told me I should call Best Buy that it's a tv question. Ugggg I did call Best Buy and they said I needed to have an Apple TV box to get the signal from the phone to the TV. Hard to believe that I would have to spend an additional $150 to get things going so I am thinking I don't have to have that but please tell me if I am wrong.

I have watched countless Youtube videos and none address the question of how to get the signal from the phone to the tv....everything but. I have looked all over the Zwift website and cannot find the answer. Hard to believe that these trainer companies and zwift have not made this crystal clear to folks like me that aren't tech savvy....seems like they'd do a much better business if they made this clearer to those considering making the jump to a smart trainer.

Please, I'm open to suggestions and thanks for reading.
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Old 02-13-18, 06:48 PM
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With the app on a computer, just wire the TV to the computer like a monitor plus speakers.n HDMI would be best, but VGA plus audio cable may also work for you depending upon what outputs and inputs you have. I don’t think you want to put the phone app on the TV, but that would be done with a USB cable. But the program on the phone is not of the same complexity as the program on the computer. Preferably you want to use the computer. You can use the phone on your handlebars not so much for viewing as for control of the "game".

Or you just use your computer monitor and speakers.
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Old 02-13-18, 07:18 PM
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You have a couple of low cost choices. Download Zwift to the IMac and run it. If it is new enough Zwift will load and run. If that works check what video out the computer has built in. If it's HDMI you're golden. Chances are it is either a DisplayPort or Thunderbolt port. Go on Amazon and order the correct cable from the iMac port to HDMI. Total cost about $25.

If you fail the first check, Zwift won't run on the iMac, you can either buy a new computer or buy an AppleTV streaming device. Zwift just recently started to support AppleTV. Total cost less than $200 if you go 4K. 1080p is less than that.

Personally I run Zwift on an Alienware gaming machine with a GT1080i graphics card going to two 32 inch TVs through HDMI. One shows Zwift and the other my Sirius XM window or the news. Total cost is probably more than you care to know, but in the $1,500 range.

If you are set on Zwift, there are other choices that are cheaper and will run on lower end machines. Rouvy is a very good program.
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Old 02-13-18, 09:11 PM
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Cable from iPHONE to TV may be easiest option. Make sure smart trainer is BlueTooth not just ANT+. I believe the cable to connect iPhone to TV is around $20 on Amazon.
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Old 02-13-18, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by exRunner View Post
You have a couple of low cost choices. Download Zwift to the IMac and run it. If it is new enough Zwift will load and run. If that works check what video out the computer has built in. If it's HDMI you're golden. Chances are it is either a DisplayPort or Thunderbolt port. Go on Amazon and order the correct cable from the iMac port to HDMI. Total cost about $25.

If you fail the first check, Zwift won't run on the iMac, you can either buy a new computer or buy an AppleTV streaming device. Zwift just recently started to support AppleTV. Total cost less than $200 if you go 4K. 1080p is less than that.

Personally I run Zwift on an Alienware gaming machine with a GT1080i graphics card going to two 32 inch TVs through HDMI. One shows Zwift and the other my Sirius XM window or the news. Total cost is probably more than you care to know, but in the $1,500 range.

If you are set on Zwift, there are other choices that are cheaper and will run on lower end machines. Rouvy is a very good program.
Why are you ignoring a PC? A decent oversized monitor and speakers work just fine for Zwift.
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Old 02-14-18, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Why are you ignoring a PC? A decent oversized monitor and speakers work just fine for Zwift.


If you have a Mac and a smart TV, you should just be able to use screen mirroring. Run it on the computer, set it to screen mirror to your TV and you are set. The TV doesn't care about apps when you are using it in mirror mode. It just shows what shows on your computer screen.
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Old 02-14-18, 05:58 AM
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Not sure... but seems most folks are missing the fact that OP's TV resides on a different floor than his computer. Actually, it appears his tv is in the garage? In theory, I guess a long HDMI and USB cable could be punched thru the basement's ceiling, up into the garage(?) to connect the mac to the PC and Trainer to the Mac. And then perhaps on the iphone you can run the Zwift Mobile Link app (not the regular app) which could control the iMac's software when it's running if it's Bluetooth compatible and within distance.

If none of this is viable and it sounds pretty iffy.. I agree that the Apple TV option makes the most sense.
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Old 02-14-18, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Not sure... but seems most folks are missing the fact that OP's TV resides on a different floor than his computer. Actually, it appears his tv is in the garage? In theory, I guess a long HDMI and USB cable could be punched thru the basement's ceiling, up into the garage(?) to connect the mac to the PC and Trainer to the Mac. And then perhaps on the iphone you can run the Zwift Mobile Link app (not the regular app) which could control the iMac's software when it's running if it's Bluetooth compatible and within distance.

If none of this is viable and it sounds pretty iffy.. I agree that the Apple TV option makes the most sense.
I disagree. The base case solution is a computer of any make in front of the trainer. Smart trainers and their software basically require a permanent setup. It is too much aggravation to try to set it up and take it down for each session.

I had an old, spare laptop I could devote to the trainer setup. I found a 24” Spectre monitor for $105 to put in front of trainer for a bigger screen experience. You can use sound from the computer or cheapie auxiliary speakers. Really the setup is so simple. The issue is it needing to be permanent.

Trying to broadcast the picture from one floor to another is simply not going to work. You really need access to both the computer AND phone apps. If you try to have the computer on a different floor, you will be running around like crazy.

As for Apple TV, that is just a big, expensive computer. Why would you go that route if you are trying to cut costs and a small, cheap one or old, spare one would work just as well? You don’t need much computing power. Any old computer will do. We are talking about $300 if one had to be bought new. (Is that what Apple TV costs?) There is no law against having two computers in a house.
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Old 02-14-18, 06:58 AM
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By the way my old computer had been acting up, prompting purchase of a new one before being faced with a catastrophic failure. Funny thing is when I stripped off all the software and junk apps leaving just Windows, Zwift and Rouvy on it, it started running perfectly. Never gives me any trouble. Jus’ sayin’.
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Old 02-14-18, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Why are you ignoring a PC? A decent oversized monitor and speakers work just fine for Zwift.
Alienware is a souped up PC.
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Old 02-14-18, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Not sure... but seems most folks are missing the fact that OP's TV resides on a different floor than his computer. Actually, it appears his tv is in the garage? In theory, I guess a long HDMI and USB cable could be punched thru the basement's ceiling, up into the garage(?) to connect the mac to the PC and Trainer to the Mac. And then perhaps on the iphone you can run the Zwift Mobile Link app (not the regular app) which could control the iMac's software when it's running if it's Bluetooth compatible and within distance.

If none of this is viable and it sounds pretty iffy.. I agree that the Apple TV option makes the most sense.

Correct, the computer is downstairs and ain't no way Im punching a hole in the ceiling and it wouldn't be possible anyway due to the way the house is set up. As stated, I have an Iphone (SE model) with 11.2.5 version with smart tv right in front of trainer. I wrote Zwift last night and got a response which stated that "they don't recommend using a streaming tv device (I presume they were talking about Apple tv that I mentioned had been recommended by Best Buy) as it tends to lose video quality and drop frames as a result". For the best experience, they recommend using appropriate video cables to connect. For iOS devices, a lightning to HDMI cable/adapter can be used. Then there was a link to a $49 Apple Lightning digital AV Adapter which got poor reviews.
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Old 02-14-18, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by whitemax View Post
Correct, the computer is downstairs and ain't no way Im punching a hole in the ceiling and it wouldn't be possible anyway due to the way the house is set up. As stated, I have an Iphone (SE model) with 11.2.5 version with smart tv right in front of trainer. I wrote Zwift last night and got a response which stated that "they don't recommend using a streaming tv device (I presume they were talking about Apple tv that I mentioned had been recommended by Best Buy) as it tends to lose video quality and drop frames as a result". For the best experience, they recommend using appropriate video cables to connect. For iOS devices, a lightning to HDMI cable/adapter can be used. Then there was a link to a $49 Apple Lightning digital AV Adapter which got poor reviews.
I really think you are going to want the computer app available during the workout. I don’t think the phone alone will cut it. Unless I am mistaken, the main graphics you want to look at are on the computer, not the phone. Like I said above, just get a junk small laptop computer and inexpensive 24” monitor. I bet you even have friends that have kept an old machine they aren't using. Or pick one up used on eBay. All it has to have is Windows and WiFi.
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Old 02-14-18, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by f4rrest View Post
Alienware is a souped up PC.
Yes indeed. But that has nothing to do with OP.
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Old 02-14-18, 11:44 AM
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It's simple. Either:
  • Run the Zwift app on your iPhone and connect the iPhone to your TV with an Apple to HDMI adapter (wired).
  • Buy an Apple TV 4K (list price $179), run the Zwift app on the Apple TV (connected to the TV with the HDMI cable), and run the Zwift Mobile Link "remote control" app on your iPhone.
The Apple TV 4K will give you a better picture and performance, plus the ability to use the iPhone as a remote, at the additional price.

Getting a PC or Mac with a graphics card suitable for the quality of picture you want is another option (see https://zwiftalizer.com/benchmarks for performance of various hardware) but at a higher price for those who don't already own it. Sending the image from a distant computer is problematic; you might use Steam Link but you have to be pretty desperate about avoiding just connecting a device to the TV with a cable.

[edit] here's the link to the Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter for the iPhone/iPad -- plug that into the iPhone and plug your HDMI cable into the adapter. List price $49. I'd go with the Apple TV if $179 is acceptable because you get a lot more with the additional $130 or so.


[edit 2] Here's a good video on using an iPhone for Zwift. In this one he just omits the TV so there's no adapter and TV in this setup. He has many other Zwift how-to videos.

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Old 02-14-18, 12:01 PM
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Before Zwift was available on Apple TV natively, I ran it on an iPhone 6S and used Airplay mirroring via an (non-4k) ATV to view it on the big screen, and it worked fine. I now run the Zwift App directly on the same ATV, and use the iphone for the Zwift Mobile app, and it's definitely better. In short, just buy a 4th gen ATV (not necessarily 4K) and forget about the phone. I also use Zwift in another location on an old, but decent laptop with ANT+ and I prefer that to the ATV/bluetooth setup.
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Old 02-14-18, 12:04 PM
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I am at a loss to understand the concern with video quality for Zwift. It is a cartoon, folks. Any normal PC that isn’t more than 5 years old will do. The one I have driving a 4K monitor is a 4 year old piece of junk. All the little figures go flashing across the screen just fine.
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Old 02-14-18, 02:37 PM
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After a successful training workout this morning I am liking Zwift. But I have to say the Zwift picture is a bunch of foolishness. Just a cartoon riding down a fake street. So today I ran the Zwift picture on the laptop screen and switched the video input on the 24” monitor to MSNBC. That worked pretty well. I had the Zwift picture for reference and the MSNBC for entertainment.
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Old 02-14-18, 03:05 PM
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Erm...I don't see why this can't be solved for under $20:

https://www.amazon.com/Lightning-iPh.../dp/B075C31DZQ
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Old 02-14-18, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I am at a loss to understand the concern with video quality for Zwift. It is a cartoon, folks. Any normal PC that isnít more than 5 years old will do. The one I have driving a 4K monitor is a 4 year old piece of junk. All the little figures go flashing across the screen just fine.
It's all about the immersion into the game and the distraction from the horrible fact that you're riding indoors.

I used to own a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. Never used it for years. Maybe a handful of rides. Then I heard about Zwift and tried it with the KK. A month later I bought a Wahoo KICKR and I've never looked back. I got my KICKR on Oct 16th 2017 and in 4 months I've put 1,500 virtual miles on it. Zwift took me from "no chance in hell I'm riding indoors" to "I can't wait to get home and ride".

I have the ability to run Zwift about every way you can run it: PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone and AppleTV 4K. Currently I choose the PC out to a 27" monitor but I'm seriously considering switching over to the AppleTV for the ease of it...and the graphics are as good or better than my PC (which runs a Nvidia GTX 1070).

To the OP. If you can swing it buy the Apple TV 4K and run the native app on the AppleTV. Then run Zwift Mobile Link (it's not the game it's a different app) on your iPhone. Running the Fluid2 you will need to have a Bluetooth speed and cadence sensor...the Wahoo Blue SC is perfect for this. Or if you already have ANT+ sensors you can get a CABLE BLE bridge or the 4iiii heart rate strap which will act as a bridge to get your ANT+ signals to your AppleTV or iPhone. In the future I would HIGHLY suggest getting a direct drive trainer if you can do it. The Elite Direto is very nice or I'd also suggest the Wahoo KICKR which I own. AVOID at all costs the Tacx Flux...so many issues (I also own one of those).

The Shane Miller videos are great for getting setup and learning about Zwift. Highly recommended and the one posted is perfect for your situation I believe.
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Old 02-14-18, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
It's all about the immersion into the game and the distraction from the horrible fact that you're riding indoors.

I used to own a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. Never used it for years. Maybe a handful of rides. Then I heard about Zwift and tried it with the KK. A month later I bought a Wahoo KICKR and I've never looked back. I got my KICKR on Oct 16th 2017 and in 4 months I've put 1,500 virtual miles on it. Zwift took me from "no chance in hell I'm riding indoors" to "I can't wait to get home and ride".

I have the ability to run Zwift about every way you can run it: PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone and AppleTV 4K. Currently I choose the PC out to a 27" monitor but I'm seriously considering switching over to the AppleTV for the ease of it...and the graphics are as good or better than my PC (which runs a Nvidia GTX 1070).

To the OP. If you can swing it buy the Apple TV 4K and run the native app on the AppleTV. Then run Zwift Mobile Link (it's not the game it's a different app) on your iPhone. Running the Fluid2 you will need to have a Bluetooth speed and cadence sensor...the Wahoo Blue SC is perfect for this. Or if you already have ANT+ sensors you can get a CABLE BLE bridge or the 4iiii heart rate strap which will act as a bridge to get your ANT+ signals to your AppleTV or iPhone. In the future I would HIGHLY suggest getting a direct drive trainer if you can do it. The Elite Direto is very nice or I'd also suggest the Wahoo KICKR which I own. AVOID at all costs the Tacx Flux...so many issues (I also own one of those).

The Shane Miller videos are great for getting setup and learning about Zwift. Highly recommended and the one posted is perfect for your situation I believe.
Giving you credit for the truth in everything you said, you still didnít explain why the most basic PC graphics isnít plenty good enough even for output to an excellent monitor.
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Old 02-14-18, 03:33 PM
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It's not practical for the trainer mfgrs & Zwift to write up & document every single option to use Zwift given the number of different devices constantly being introduced to market. Besides, it's already on Youtube.

Since you have an Iphone, download Zwift and start riding. No need for the TV or PC. If you want a bigger screen then tether the Iphone to TV with Lightning Adapter as others have already said.
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Old 02-14-18, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I am at a loss to understand the concern with video quality for Zwift. It is a cartoon, folks. Any normal PC that isn’t more than 5 years old will do. The one I have driving a 4K monitor is a 4 year old piece of junk. All the little figures go flashing across the screen just fine.
I have a HP i5 laptop that won't run zwift due to crappy graphics specs (probably <1 gb video ram)

But I bought a very basic laptop at micro center for under $300 that works fine... and can also be used for other things if I want.

that said, why not run it on the iphone w/ an hdmi cable to get started?
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Old 02-14-18, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
Erm...I don't see why this can't be solved for under $20:

https://www.amazon.com/Lightning-iPh.../dp/B075C31DZQ
Because the phone app is not the fundamental game app. The graphics generating program is on the computer. If you show the phone picture on your monitor, you donít the product that people value Zwift for.
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Old 02-14-18, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Because the phone app is not the fundamental game app. The graphics generating program is on the computer. If you show the phone picture on your monitor, you donít the product that people value Zwift for.
I'm not sure I'm following. Are you saying zwift on the phone is a different program than zwift on a PC?
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Old 02-14-18, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
I have a HP i5 laptop that won't run zwift due to crappy graphics specs (probably <1 gb video ram)

But I bought a very basic laptop at micro center for under $300 that works fine... and can also be used for other things if I want.

that said, why not run it on the iphone w/ an hdmi cable to get started?
Thatís crazy, but I will stand corrected. In any case you make my point. It isnít necessary to have a great computer to display Zwift.

Is the iPhone display what you want on your monitor? Just the map or the dashboard? Donít you want the full Zwift experience.
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