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Zwift on New Apple TV 4K (2021 Edition): What’s different?

Many regular readers know that I’m a big user of Apple TV for Zwift. For the most part, unless I’m actively testing something that requires a PC or Mac specifically, I’m using Apple TV as my Zwift machine. I have multiple units at both the DCR Cave and at home, for both Zwift cycling and Zwift running. It’s easy to use, and in my experience generally far more stable than Zwift’s PC or Mac versions.

Back a few weeks ago Apple announced the new Apple TV 4K 2021 edition. The name didn’t change, it was called Apple TV 4K before. Instead, two key things did change: A new remote that theoretically doesn’t suck, and a new processor. Beyond that, there are a bunch of other ancillary things that don’t tend to impact Zwift too much, like newer HDMI & WiFi specs (HDMI 2.1 & WiFi 6), as well as higher HDR frame rates such as 60FPS.

But the question is, for Zwift users, is it worth the upgrade?

The short answer? Nope. At least, not yet.

So, after my newer unit that I bought arrived today, I gave things a quirk whirl to see how they handled.

The Hardware:


First up we’ve got the new hardware. Above, the box. And below, the unit itself. As you can see, the box itself doesn’t look much different than the old one. Pretty much identical there externally.


Internally, it’s different – the new Apple TV 4K 2021 edition has a new processor in it, one that Apple boasts is far more powerful. And yes, sure. Kinda. But there’s a super important detail here. On paper the new Apple TV 4K 2021 edition (as opposed to the previous Apple TV 4K (from 2017) has a faster processor, using the newer A12 Bionic processor as opposed to the older A10X processor.

However, this ‘newer’ processor is still…three years old. Yes, for real, it’s the iPad and iPhone processor from 2018. This is not unfortunately one of the newer M1 series processors found in many of their newer product launches over the past 6-8 months. But even if it were, Zwift doesn’t natively support that processor series yet anyway (still).


(Above: Screenshot from Apple TV 4K 2021, connected at 4K/30 SDR)

Instead, the real change is the remote itself. The Apple TV remote has long been derided as the worst product Apple ever made. I’d say that’s close, but debatable. The main (valid) complaint is the touchpad area is finicky, and that’s magnified in Zwift because you’re (hopefully) sweaty. Touch-sensitive things and sweat rarely work well in the electronics realm. It’s also a slippery AF little unit, that can easily slip out of your fingers. I somewhat solved this for all my Apple TV’s by picking up this $9 Apple TV remote case, which works great:

The new 2021 Apple TV remote aims to solve some of that by adding four small directional buttons to it, and the touch-portion is shifted to the interior of those four buttons (the little round part):


These little four directional dots allow quick navigation within the Apple menus, it’s great. Internal to those four dots is the little circle, which still allows the familiar swiping action. That works well enough too (with the same limitations as before of course). Except one problem: The four dots don’t, as of today, work in Zwift. My guess is that’s just a minor developer API thing that they’ll easily be able to solve in a future update.

So, speaking of Zwift, let’s dive over to that.

Running Zwift:


Now, when it comes to Zwift and Apple TV, there are a few things to note – none of which change in relation to this new version:

– Zwift doesn’t render in more than 1080p on Apple TV (despite the Apple TV 4K output support)
– Zwift has historically been limited by 2 concurrent Bluetooth sensors on Apple TV (an Apple limitation
– Apple TV supports Bluetooth connections, but not ANT+ connections
– Apple TV users can use the Zwift companion app to pair more than 2 sensors using their phone instead

The main reason people want more than two sensors, is that it allows them to connect something like the Sterzo Smart for steering, or, depending on their trainer, allows them to connect a heart rate sensor alongside a trainer that doesn’t broadcast cadence. Also, it allows people to use a heart rate sensor + trainer+ separate power meter.

The biggest question people have had is whether or not the two concurrent connection limitation is still there, and at present, yes, that limitation remains:


However, I wouldn’t necessarily call this particular item final yet. We don’t know from Apple if they support more than two sensors (technically Apple TV has always supported three Bluetooth devices, but one of those is the Apple TV remote itself, thus leaving you two sensors). See, undoubtedly Zwift would have coded their game to max out at 2 sensors on Apple TV, knowing that historically Apple TV maxed out there. And since Zwift wouldn’t likely have had access to this new version yet, they wouldn’t have been able to test and determine if it perhaps supports more than two sensors.

In many ways, it’s always been a quirky Apple TV limitation – especially since countless devices support more than two concurrent sensors. And virtually all chipsets do as well. But of course when the original Apple TV (with app support) came out, there wasn’t much of a need for more than that. These days, things have changed. Point being, I expect it’ll take a few days till 3rd party developers can confirm whether there’s expanded Bluetooth connectivity or not. It wouldn’t surprise me to see that kind of confirmation come from folks like FulGaz or Rouvy faster than Zwift, since those apps tend to dig into new hardware (of all types) far faster than Zwift does.


The next piece to know then is whether or not Zwift supports the new remote. Yes, apparently, you have to actually support that remote differently. How do I know this? Because, the new remote joystick doesn’t work in Zwift. It works great outside of Zwift. Super fast and responsive. But in Zwift? Nothing-burger. Literally, it doesn’t respond as noted above, and as shown in the video.


However, the usual/previous/older bottom touchpad on the new Apple TV remote works as before (in all its semi-sucky glory) – so you can still navigate the Zwift menus and such that way, it’s just not the new more better remote navigation.

So, with those fundamentals out of the way – the final big question is are the graphics any different?

To understand that, you need to look at how Zwift ‘does’ graphics. And essentially, they bucketize devices into graphic “profiles” – these include things like Basic, Medium, High, and Ultra. That’s technically in addition to the actual output resolution (or frame rate) – which is fixed on Apple TV (whereas on a desktop computer you can specify it). These settings control how much eye candy you get on the screen. For example, will you see the shadows? And if so – which exact shadows will you get? Bikes/riders, or trees too? And there are endless little tweaks between each level.

In the case of the original Apple TV 4K (from 2017), it automatically gets the Basic profile with 1080p. Which means it’ll have less detail than a fancy computer with an expensive (and near impossible to find these days) graphics card. So has that changed?

Yes. But not for the better.

In fact, it’s worse at present. You’ll notice there’s no building shadows or tree shadows, or object shadows. There does appear to be minor rider shadows directly below the bike however (that slightly darkened spot).

Here’s captures side by side from an Apple TV 4K 2017 vs 2021 model, recorded from the same exact split-second on two Apple TV’s from the same exact everything (and you can watch this within the video above). Notice here the lack of building shadows in the roadway. Also, there appears to be slightly less texture in the 2021 edition here and there.


And here’s another, notice the lack of railing shadow on the 2021 edition, as well as the lack of board textures on the bridge, specifically below the riders.


And another, you’ll see the lack of shadow from the rock ledge on the 2021 edition:


And finally, one more for good measure, where you really notice the lack of shadows from the bamboo trees, and also what appears to be a bit less random grass chunks on the left edge of the trail.


Right now, Zwift undoubtedly hasn’t had the opportunity yet to decide if they’ll recategorize the newer Apple TV to a higher graphics profile (or not). Though, there’s some speculation that technically speaking from a GPU standpoint the A12 is actually a little bit less capable than the original A10X. But that’s a bit of an internet rabbit hole on different capabilities of the chipsets in the box. Ultimately, we’ll have to see once Zwift can assign a proper profile to it.

Now for some people here, they’ll groan that it’s missing the textures and such of higher-end computers. And yup, that’s true. Though, I’d argue (and the Zwift forums more than easily prove), that what it lacks in graphical prowess it makes up in stability. One need only look at the bugs list fixed in each release to see this: Zwift on Apple TV simply has far fewer bugs. That’s of course partially due to the fact that there’s just fewer variables on Apple TV for app developers like Zwift to deal with. And generally, fewer OS versions too. Whereas on PC & Mac it’s the wild west of trying to solve for every possible variant.

In any case – the long and the short of it is that if you’ve already got Zwift on an existing Apple TV box, there’s zero reason today to upgrade to the newer Apple TV 2021 edition. That could change. It might change next week or next month. Undoubtedly Zwift will move quickly to tweak the joystick so it works in-game. I don’t expect that to take long. Whether or not they can get better graphical performance out of it? We’ll have to see.

But for now, I’m not rushing out to replace the rest of my Apple TV installations with this newer version. However, give me an M1 based Apple TV with lots of graphical goodness atop it? Then we’re talking!

With that – thanks for reading!

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Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Apple TV 4K (2021 Edition) or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you shop with TPC (The Pro's Closet), you'll save $40 on purchases over $200 with coupon code DCRAIN40! The Pro's Closet has been a long-time partner of the site here - including sponsoring videos like my cargo bike race, as well as just being an awesome Colorado-based company full of good humans. Check them out with the links below and the DCRAIN40 coupon!

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Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

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  1. Volker

    I read in a couple of tests that the graphics performance dropped by 22-29 percent. Not a positive bummer for the new one, if it’s true.

    • For other platforms I presume?

      (I don’t know of any way a normal user can gather Zwift performance logs on an Apple TV, I think it requires Zwift support.)

    • Jan

      If you look for the metal benchmarks, the „old“ a10x scores ~6900 the a12 ~5300.

      The current a14 clocks in at 12400.

      So for 3d graphics it should be a step backwards.

  2. Lisa

    This was so helpful! Lanyard case ordered and waiting on extra Bluetooth connections to swing my decision (and hopefully updated graphics)

    Tragically the latest Zwift update on my older ATV 4K doesn’t allow Zwift to launch. Pretty peeved after trying everything.

    • Indeed – that’s still the best accessory you can buy.

      If things can get sorted for the Zwift profiles (and especially BT) on the new one, then I’ll invest in finding new lanyard remotes for the new version. 🙂

  3. Jon

    Thanks for the good information, but, well that’s disappointing. I ordered this the day it went on sale planning on enjoying the better remote and making an assumption of better graphics.

  4. Michael

    As a relative newcomer to Zwift (about 5 months now), is there any particular advantage/benefit to using the ATv or laptop other than fancier graphics? I ask because I’m using an old iPad as well as the companion app on my iPhone 11 Pro and have been quite happy. I don’t really race much so not too concerned with placings. Thx.

    • Generally speaking Apple TV is a good option if you have an older (or less reliable) computer, or, if you just don’t want to futz with something.

      For example, I like the fact that pretty much every time my Zwift is up to date on Apple TV, as it quietly happens behind the scenes each night.

    • Sure, but so is it with the iPad. As Michael asked, do you know if there is any difference between iPad and Apple TV? I’m using for now an old iPad too, and no futzing around needed 🙂

    • Oops, missed that part. My iPad is old too, so I totally get that camp. And it works fine-ish on Zwift most of the time when I use it in a pinch.

      The thing I like about using the Apple TV over the iPad is that I never have to worry about it being charged (because somehow, my iPad always has like 18% battery), and it’s already attached to a big screen. I know, there are solutions for all these things, none of them super hard. But I’m a huge fan of ‘just works, always available and ready to go’.

    • Michael

      Got it. Thankfully the old iPad I mentioned is dedicated to trainer use only and remains plugged in to power 100% of the time. Zwift is the only app installed other than Apple apps that can’t be deleted. I’m also past the stage in life where I have to worry about little ones running off with it and not plugging it back in. Thus, at least for me, it just works, is always available and ready to go. Woohoo!

    • Ah, I don’t have a big screen anyway, so th iPad is just good enough for me. It’s less about the screen and more about the “pain” 🙂

      Once I did, just for fun, connect the iPad via HDMI to a wall projector. It worked, resolution quite low, but the colors were totally off – the “Zwift orange” shade was more like a pale red 🙂

  5. David

    If Zwift runs native to the A-series processors in the HD, 4K and “new” 4K Apple TV boxes… then a theoretical future M1 Apple TV box should also run it native because the A-series and M-series processors are all ARM based and very similar? Are you perhaps referring to Zwift on a laptop not running natively on the new M1 Macs?


  6. David Gooch

    I have been using Apple TV for Zwift for about 6 months. Fortunately I solved the remote issue last year. Best remote I have ever owned: link to function101.com

  7. “ This is not unfortunately one of the newer M1 series processors found in many of their newer product launches over the past 6-8 months. But even if it were, Zwift doesn’t natively support that processor series yet anyway (still).”

    Well M1 is a Mac processor, whilst Apple’s A-series chips are used in the other products. They put M1 in the new iPad Pro but it’s not gonna make an appearance on other A-series products, especially Apple TV which is just a content consumption device which doesn’t need that much performance (it just needs to render content properly at 4K, which is why an iPhone/iPad chip, even from 2018, is enough, and keeps the price low).

    The Zwift app does support the M1 natively, because their iOS app runs on that same architecture already. Install Zwift on a new iPad Pro with M1 and it will just work. If the new Apple TV had a M1 chip, Zwift would run natively on if. If they were to allow their iOS app to be installed on M1 Macs, it would run natively there too.
    Only their Mac app doesn’t run natively, which is what you’re referring to I guess.

    It’s weird to me that the graphical performance would decline, given that the new Apple TV is more capable graphics-wise (supporting 60fps HDR 4K content) than the previous model. So I guess it’s just a case of Zwift not updating their app yet.

    The main problem I have with Zwift on ATV is that they didn’t adapt their UI to be remote based, instead of touch (or cursor) based. It’s really hard to navigate and whilst the awful remote really wasn’t helping, the new one is not gonna make much difference if Zwift don’t make their UI remote friendly

    • “They put M1 in the new iPad Pro but it’s not gonna make an appearance on other A-series products, especially Apple TV which is just a content consumption device which doesn’t need that much performance (it just needs to render content properly at 4K, which is why an iPhone/iPad chip, even from 2018, is enough, and keeps the price low).”

      There’s really nothing to support this though. In fact, I can just about guarantee you they’ll come out with a higher end Apple TV variant with M1 (or variant) at some point, as it’ll drive more Apple gaming revenue.

      “The Zwift app does support the M1 natively, because their iOS app runs on that same architecture already. Install Zwift on a new iPad Pro with M1 and it will just work.”

      Except, it doesn’t. Like seriously, it doesn’t work on any of the new iPad Pro’s that just came out with the M1. It won’t launch.

      Why? Well, it’s too soon to tell.

      But ultimately, Zwift has yet to update their Mac app to be M1 native code, which was the entire point of the quoted sentence.

    • Charlie Bird

      They might at some point release an Apple TV with M1 but that’s probably years away, when M1 would be an “old” chip, cheaper to make. I’m not sure because their “M-series” chips are clearly for Macs (hence the M), and they’re probably gonna continue A-series chips for non Mac products. The iPad Pro got the M1 because they’re obviously slowly merging those 2 products.

      I didn’t know that Zwift wouldn’t run on an M1 iPad, that’s just silly and probably something that they can fix quickly, M1 or A12, it’s just marketing names, the underlying architecture is the same so there’s no reason for it not to run

      Totally agree with your point of them needing to have a native M1 app on Mac. I wonder if it would be easier for them to allow the iOS app to run on Mac. There are quite a few apps, including games, that run like that already

    • Arya Padma

      Thank you for this reply!

      After all this time, I just want to buy iPad Pro M1 for zwifting, but I still not buy it and i read this reply, thank God, you saved me!

      But, I’m planning to buy Apple TV 4K 2021 soon, because my Macbook Pro is late 2009 model, since it’s very hard to render the game even on the low resolution. Image is not smooth and choppy.

      I hope Zwift developer makes a best version of Zwift on Apple TV 2021.

  8. Jason

    Hi Ray, has Zwift ever showed any interest in versions for consoles? Surely they’d be a fairly natural platform as they’re between the Apple TV and a gamng PC in terms of bang for buck. I suppose it won’t be a priority for them until the current shortages are solved, but even the last gen would probably have showed the Apple TV wanting…

    • Kevin

      Yeah I thought this too, especially with lower cost console variants like the Xbox Series S coming in at a lower price point than the Apple TV.

    • I haven’t heard or seen much interest there.

      I suppose the thinking is that most people owning a console probably already own one of the other platforms anyway, and thus spending those resources developing for a console platform would be kinda duplicate waste basically.

    • Tom

      This is dumb logic on their part. Look at the number of people who own Xbox’s vs Apple TVs and tell me there is not a budge untapped market there. Sure cycling enthusiasts will buy an apple product specifically for Zwift, but there are tons of people out there that exercise casually for fun and have an Xbox as their main “gym” subscription. Zwift has been taking in dollars for years now and seems to have reinvested very little of that money into widening their market. It’s basically the only game in town when it comes to cycling apps but it’s just a matter of time before Microsoft realizes they could make a better app in about 3 months of development and get 10x the sales.

    • Tom

      I for one would give away my Apple TV and swift to a Microsoft app/game the day it came out if it allowed me to ride in 4K with my Xbox. Currently Zwift on Apple TV looks like trash compared to any game I hate come out for Xbox in the past 10 years.

    • Tom

      Let me guess. Most people who disagree are over 45 and don’t play actual video games.

  9. Lone Hansen

    I do not get, why you have no shadows in your Apple TV 4K example. I have shadows, in Zwift, on my Apple TV 4K (the previous version). It simply makes no sense. Are you running it through a computer for comparison, like Shane Miller?

    Here you have a couple of videos, recorded with a camera, of Zwift on my Apple TV 4K:
    Night time shadows (sorry the YouTube resolution is only 420): link to youtu.be
    And daytime shadows: link to youtu.be

    • You can see the rider shadows on both in my images. I never said they didn’t have rider shadows. I noted it wasn’t showing other object shadows, not riders shadows. The road surfaces of what I showed are different than yours, as is the lighting, but you can easily see the slight darkening of the riders shadows in all of mine.

      And no, I wasn’t running things through a computer, as noted, they were dual Apple TV’s recorded to standalone stream recorders.

  10. Jonathan

    It’s always nice when my different areas of interest overlap. I’ve read several reviews of the new AppleTV already, but it’s good to hear about it from the perspective of Zwift.

    Given your review, I may upgrade the living room Apple TV to the newest model and move the current (older) 4K model to the garage for Zwift. Also, I don’t believe you mentioned it, but if you have an older Apple TV (either of the models that came with the black remote) you can purchase just the new remote by itself.

  11. Max

    Hi Ray,

    Is the remote from the new 2021 4k edition same size as the previous one?

    I already bought the 2021 4k Apple TV and am looking for such a lanyard thingy…


  12. Equality for All

    One thing that hasn’t changed is that Zwift allows for Palestine to be selected as home country, but greys out the flag in-game. Not trying to introduce politics to the wonderful game, just want my flag!

  13. David

    The article says its more stable than your computer but I don’t like that there is no way to manually upload a fit file from Apple TV if you lose internet or there is a problem saving your activity.

  14. Alex

    Thanks for the detailed review! I was about to buy the new AppleTV specifically for Zwift, might have to reconsider that now.

    What would be the recommendation right now for someone who wants to stop using their MacBook Pro because of the annoying Bluetooth connectivity issues? Usually takes 5 minutes to get setup right now and I don’t want to do that anymore.

    • Stuart H.

      I’m kinda contemplating that right now. Have an old PC that is great when it starts but can sometimes take 10 mins for Zwift to load. I’ve got a 2015 Apple TV that the family uses that I’m trying out before buying a dedicated one for Zwift in my basement. It’s really good but the biggest issue I’ve faced is the lack of bluetooth connections. I usually connect power meter, Wahoo Kickr, and HRM. I tried using companion but it keeps dropping out (at crucial stages!). Trialling Cable device now, but it is a bit dodgy (won’t start up now and then). Considering buying a 4iiii to act as a bridge, as on the whole I reckon the Apple TV is great for Zwift.

      If you don’t have to connect more than two BT devices I reckon it’s definitely a winner; more than two devices it’s a bit of a pain that’s rectified by a ANT/BT bridge (Cable or 4iiii)

    • kp

      with wahoo you can set up power match then you would be good to go with only the two connections.

  15. Mitch

    Terrific as usual – thanks!

    I just bought a Wahoo bike and Apple TV 4K (2017 version) – and I just signed up for Zwift. Is there an article of yours (or another source) that can help me with the step-by-step of getting everything connected and ready to ride? I feel like a total noob. 🙂

    • David

      I have the Wahoo KIKR bike and use the apple 107 4k. One thing to keep in mind is that the apple TV only has 2 Bluetooth connections. The kikr bike has power, cadence, etc all integrated on one Bluetooth connection. To get heart rate make sure you connection has Bluetooth, not just ant+. My Garmin hr monitor was just the ant+ one and I had to upgrade to the one with Bluetooth.

    • Andy Linquist

      Mitch – Kickr Bike and Apple TV is the easiest way to connect to Zwift. Just download the zwift app in the Apple TV from the App Store, sign in, and pair up at the pairing menu, pick a route and start riding. It’s great. Get the Zwift Companion app for your iPhone or iPad and you’ll get some additional smoother controls while you ride.

      The most confusing thing is actually setting up your Wahoo profile on on the Wahoo App on your iPhone and setting that up. You need to make sure you have the right weight entered there so your bike resistance feels right. You’ll also set up your shifting and gearing options there. It’s a bit more of a hassle if you’re sharing your Wahoo bike with a family member because then each of you needs to open the app on your phone and connect to the bike before you ride so the right profile is connected to the bike. But if it’s just you, that’s not something to worry about.

  16. Mitch

    Thanks, Andy. There will be three of us using the bike – so is the key just for each of us to load Zwift onto our iPhones and use that to log in? I guess I’m not entirely clear about the interaction between the AppleTV and our phones. Thanks again very much!

    • Andy Linquist

      There are 3 apps you’ll be working with, 2 of which are necessary and one that makes the Zwift experience a little better.

      1. You’ll run the app Zwift on Apple TV. Each user has a Zwift account and all of you will log into Zwift each time you ride on Apple TV.

      2. Wahoo App on your phones. This is separate from Zwift but you it’s how you set up the Kickr Bike itself – the gearing and the how it will feel based on your weight. You each need a Wahoo account (they’re free) and you’ll connect your phone to the wahoo app before you ride. It will send then send the information to the bike about the rider’s weight so the bike resistance feels right. You can also have different gearing preferences for each rider. When you get done riding close the Wahoo app and turn off the bike (the easiest way is to just keep it on a power strip with surge protection).

      3. The Zwift Companion app – on your phone and not strictly necessary but it improves the Zwift experience a bit by making turns and other menu selections as you ride easier. It’s also the best way to do group chat.

      It can sound a little complicated but it’s really not too bad. Just jump in and give it a go. Zwift is great and the Kickr bike is the best way to ride right now. Dealing with the Wahoo app is probably the most annoying aspect of it all but once you’ve done it a few times it will be easy enough.

      Good luck!

  17. Chris

    Hi great review,

    got the new atv today and the thing is not only the four
    remote buttons dont work , the touchpad neither in zwift.

    Any hints ? it works in atv in general yes.

    Fulgaz doesn’t find ny kickr at all (only tickr), but that’s another story



  18. Christian

    Hello from Germany, Solves the update from May 25th. with the number 1.13.1? Is it better with that? Greetings Christian

  19. Indy Jonze

    so here we are a week later and i haven’t seen anything from anywhere regarding the new atv’s ability to pair more than 2 bt devices. i’m assuming it’s the same dumb limitation then? if that’s the case, that’s probably the most disappointing aspect of this new box

    • Stuart Harsley

      Yes, that’s correct. It will not connect more than two Bluetooth devices. It’s still really good though – you just need a Cable or 4iiii bridge.

  20. Steve Short

    Apple TV 1.13.2 (1.0.71228) (June 2 2021) is now out and the release notes mention high res graphics for ATV 4K. Does anyone know if that means the new ATV 4K now has better graphics than the old 4K or just that they’ve enabled the same res as the old ATV 4K?

  21. Would the 2021 Apple TV be much better than the 2015 Apple TV? Thinking of upgrading. The graphics aren’t that great on my new TV.

    • So I just went ahead and upgraded as no one answered my question. Yes, Zwift on the new Apple TV is much better than the 2015 version. I’m using it with the ‘Cable’ device as a bridge to connect more than 2 Bluetooth devices and I’m very happy with the setup.

    • Oops, sorry Stuart – totally missed this one.

      Indeed, it’s far better! For background, the reason is that even if you connect the same non-4K TV, the Apple TV 4K (either this edition or the previous edition) has a much higher processor than the non-4K Apple TV edition. And as such, renders the game internally at a higher graphics level, setting outside the output resolution.

      Glad to hear it’s all working out, and thanks for being a DCR Supporter!

    • Yeah, I’m really enjoying the upgraded graphics! Thanks DC!

  22. Christian

    Hello from Germany, Solves the update from June 16th. with the number 1.14.0? Is it better with that? Greetings Christian 😉

  23. John W Zuiss

    Does the memory size 32 or 64gb change the performance of zwift on Apple TV? Thanks

  24. fl33tStA

    the case also fits the new Apple TV remote control?
    actually I’m not drunk, I ordered the case from your link:

    link to amazon.de

  25. Johan Verweij

    Heb een apple tv 4k 2021 gekocht maar de randen van het zwiftbeeld vallen buiten mijn scherm.
    Waardoor ik bvb de percentages van een klim niet zie. alles geprobeerd.ook bij de beeldscherm instellingen van mn tv.
    Wat te doen?????

  26. Alessandro

    I have just installed Zwift on a new 2021 Apple TV and I find it really impossible to navigate with the remote. Am I missing something, or the dots on the remote are still not working even with the latest updates? I am on Zwift 1.51.1

    Have you had any experience with external gamepad?

    • Stuart H.

      It’s still not working with the dots on the remote Alessandro. A very annoying delay!! I’ll test it out with a game controller and get back to you.

    • Stuart H.

      My nimbus controller does not work with Zwift

    • Alessandro

      Thanks, Stuart! The delay is so annoying indeed, it makes it unusable. I haven’t purchased a Zwift subscription yet fortunately, so I am going to try Fulgaz first. Hopefully the issue isn’t there too.

    • Stuart H.

      Hi Alessandro,

      I just tested it on Fulgaz and can confirm the remote does works in that app.



    • Alessandro

      Thanks! I tried it myself, it works really smooth on Fulgaz. I am really curious to know why Zwift has issues with the remote, it’s the only app where I see that happening.
      It’s a pity because I prefer much more Zwift when it comes to the gamification aspects.

  27. David Mulligan

    Ugh. I was hoping that the new Apple TV remote control would work properly in Zwift. The current implementation was bad enough before, but whatever Zwift did recently has made it worse, which I didn’t think was possible. I now have to use a combination of the iPhone control center remote and the crappy Apple TV remote to get around in Zwift. The touchpad freezes up in Zwift, so I can’t end a ride. I can’t believe it’s still in such a state after years of development.

  28. Rick H

    This seems as good a place as any to ask… I’m helping spec a new TV for a friend (who is also interested in Zwift but hasn’t tried it apart from a brief bike shop demo) & the Samsung TVs we’ve been looking at say they include Apple TV.

    Do you, or anyone else reading, know how well (or if) Zwift without additional hardware? Bike hardware is currently a Kickr Core & Tickr paired to the Wahoo app on an android phone.

    • Stuart Harsley

      Hi Rick, the Apple TV on Samsung TVs is just an app, not an Apple TV device. The app can be used to watch and purchase Apple-sourced content like movies and TV shows but it will not run Zwift. To run Zwift you need the Apple TV hardware and download the Zwift app. It’s a bit confusing.

    • Rick H

      Thanks. Definitely confusing! We’ll probably look to adding an Apple TV box into the mix as well then.

  29. why do you need a photo?

  30. david

    does anyone know if 2021 apple TV 4k graphics ever got a face lift as alluded to above? Or still significantly worse than the 2017 model?

  31. Brian

    I can’t find any mention here or elsewhere on the internet regarding whether the graphics on the newest AppleTV have caught up with its predecessor. Does anyone know?

  32. Miky

    Hey is there a update regarding the Bluetooth connections and the graphics?
    Im looking into getting a new device to run zwift on and a plle TV would be cheaper than a computer with GPU Prices these days.

    But I would like to have 4 Bluetooth connections since as far as I have understood it a Ant+ Dnongle is not a thing on apple TV.

    • Dp

      3 btooth connections max unless paired with companion app, then more, read above

      Ant+ not compatible with ATV

    • D

      Also, the 2021 ATV 4K graphics now more closely match (are identical to) the 2017 images above in my opinion. I got the 2021 model because it will likely be more future proof as updates come

  33. Alex

    Apparently, the Apple TV “app” comes built into some TVs and other streaming devices: link to apple.com. I’m currently using a Macbook for Zwift but am considering upgrading to a larger display. If I were to buy a TV with built-in Apple TV, would I eliminate the need for the additional Apple TV box? I can’t find any articles on just using the built-in AppleTV for Zwift.

    • Stuart Harsley

      No, you can’t run Zwift within the Apple TV app inbuilt into a TV. There is a difference between the Apple TV app built into TVs and the actual Apple TV. One is just an app used to stream media from Apple whereas the Apple TV is really a mini-computer on which you can download and run apps such as Zwift. Does that make sense?

  34. Cedric MARTIN

    would be great to have an update on all this. It’s been a long time now. Is everything still true? or is the 4K 2021 no rendering Zwift better?

  35. Chris

    Any updates since this video was released? Does the remote have full Zwift functionality yet? I’ve got the old black remote and friggin’ hate it. It’s a battle anytime I need to navigate Zwift.

  36. Johan Van Lent

    Hi , since several moths now i use the previous ApplTV together with the Wahoo kickr on zwift. I use HR, PWR and cadans as 3 seperate BT connection with the applTV without any problem. Even if i do not use companion it works perfect without any disconnects, so this proves that you can connect 3 BT connections directly with AppleTV on zwift. I do not know exactly why the message of max 2 is disapeared suddenly , i assume that there is something changed in the zwift app or on the Wahoo side.

    • Stuart Harsley

      It’s absolutely never worked for me. Are cadence and power coming from the Wahoo? In that case they are using the same Bluetooth channel and you are only using 2 channels including the HRM

    • Johan Van Lent

      Hi Stuart, Wahoo Kickr has improved this in sep 2019 with a firmware v3.4.69 update by calculating the cadans by the downstrook of the pedal circle (like Wattbikes visualize and calculate the pedal rotation, the 8 figure).
      So you need no extra cadans sensoranymore. The signal of the PWR and RPM goes in one BT connection to the AppleTV , the other signal comes from the HR sensor. Wahoo has specially developed this to meet the limited number of connections from Apple TV (which is still 2). The lates firmware version now on the Wahoo Kickr is now 3.5.2 with a lot more improvements. There is no need to go via the companion for the BT connection, it goes also more faster and accurate in this way. Hope this helps your problem.

    • Indeed, that scenario should definitely work (for over 2.5 years).

      Note, that the firmware was added to the KICKR 2018/CORE models, and came automatically on the 2020 models. That basically bakes the cadence channel into the stream, so you get cadence/power/control all in one channel. Leaving you one extra channel for HR.

      Here’s the old post on it: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Now, if you’re talking a KICKR 2017 or older, then yes, it’s without cadence and would put you over the limit.


    • Stuart Harsley

      Hi John, sorry you mistook what I was saying. I was saying that you are only using 2 channels, that’s why it’s working for you, not that Apple has fixed that issue – it’s still restricted to no more than 2 connections. I thought you were saying that it was no longer limited to 2. It remains an issue for me as I run power pedals (for power and cadence), HRM, and Kickr Snap (for resistance) simultaneously – so 3 connections. I bridge using the CABLE device which is far from perfect.

    • Johan Van Lent

      Hi Stuart, I think you should invest in the Wahoo Kickr (core). In this case you don’t need those pedals anymore. It is much less complex and tracking is much more accurate. Transferring your power via a normal wheel also gives some loss, while with the kickr your chain directly drives the kickr. The reason I thought it would work with more than 2 connections is because I used to drive a separate Waahoo RPM on the crank and it still worked. However, the battery had failed and the kickr had automatically taken over via its built-in RPM. So I was a bit misguided. When I discovered that the battery stopped working even though I had all connections via ApplTV, it became clear to me. In any case, I think it’s very clever of Wahoo that they have approached this in this way. They probably looked closely at the Wattbike (not ATOM) that I still have. Very solid device but no control over the slope which brought me to the Wahoo Kickr where I have been running for more than 2 years now. If you are a bit handy you can do the maintenance 1x a year yourself, for me a very solid device.

  37. Paul

    Being a year on now, have the issues with the current Apple TV been sorted out or would you still recommend using the previous gen Apple TV with swift ?

  38. John

    For anyone on the fence about picking up a 2021 Apple TV on Prime Day for $109…

    As of around last September, the Zwift app graphics on the 2021 Apple TV (A12 processor) are now similar to the 2017 Apple TV (A10X processor).

    The buttons on the newer remotes (silver body with black buttons) were also finally addressed. Note: the new remote would use a different case than the one linked above (if a case is even needed at all).

  39. Peter Z.

    So, Apple just announced new Apple TV devices. This while the 2021 Apple TV 4K 32GB I bought from Amazon sale last week ($105) just arrived and is still in the box.

    Do you think it’s worth returning and upgrading to the new, faster WiFi model for $129 or even the $149 model with Ethernet now?

    The one I have does have network connection I might use. How crucial is that?

    • almograve

      considering the price, I would return. the A15 is significantly more powerfull, you might not see any difference now and if you don’t have a very high end TV even less but in 2 or 3 years from now it will make a big difference. Zwift also usually needs a few days/weeks to start building the right optimized profile for the new processor even though they know it from being in iPad/iPhone ealier.

  40. Martin

    Hi, I hope you will review the new 2022 Apple TV 4K with Zwift soon. A 50% faster CPU might get us better graphics.

  41. David Jones

    Does anyone know if the Apple TV 4k 2022 will improve the Graphics for Zwift?

    • Peter Z.

      Ray responded to my question in different post that likely it will. It was same question posted above and he said something similar to Almograve

    • Indy Jonze

      Meanwhile, those of us with M1 devices have been waiting for over 2 years for zwift to update the graphics profile to take advantage of the processing power beyond basic + shadows. It hasn’t happened (go to the zwift forums for some fun reading on the subject) so forgive me if I don’t hold my breath. And M1 is far beyond atv in terms of capabilities

      Love Ray, but I don’t think he knows what he’s talking about here beyond some wishful thinking

    • David Jones

      Thanks Peter

    • There’s a (substantially massive) difference between Zwift simply toggling a different graphics level on the same processor type, compared to recompiling code for a new processor type.

      Which, is exactly what we saw ~17 months ago, when the 2021 Apple TV came out, it took Zwift about a month to simply update the graphic options enabled for that version of Apple TV. Whereas, them still not meaningfully supporting Apple Silicon devices (M1/M2) is more a case of Zwift…well…just being Zwift.

      Finally, my aforementioned guess matches what Zwift confirmed to me last night. Zwift says they expect it’ll be about 30 days, give or take to get Zwift Apple TV updated to support the latest editions. They’re already aware of it, and planning for it, and assuming no unexpected issues upon release, they’d expect it’ll align to an update about 30 days out. It could be slightly earlier or slightly later to align to existing release plans.

    • Indy Jonze

      So if I understand correctly,vwhen you say updating graphics support for 2022 ATV, you’re referring to them bringing the new versions up to par with existing ATV hardware and making zwift look visually the same as existing ATV, NOT enabling new improved graphics profiles to make the game look better than it does now on legacy ATV, correct?

      Maybe I misunderstood the original question. I was answering from the perspective of ppl with advanced hardware who think the game looks like crap compared to PCs with similar firepower which have advanced graphics profiles enabled and which zwift seems to refuse to want to enable for M1/M2. I thought op was asking when improved graphics profiles were coming to ATV as a whole

    • With the 2022 ATV, the chipset itself is changing, but not the coding base. So making it look better is relatively trivial and simply unlocking a different profile to enable/disable certain features (like shadows/etc…).

      Whereas for the M1/M2 Macs, that’s changing the silicon type. So that’s changing the base code from being native Intel, to Apple Silicon native apps. For basic apps that don’t demand much, that’s relatively trivial. For games or apps that have deeper hardware needs, that’s more substantial. Certainly, not two-years substantial like Zwift, but not as relatively trivial as a profile update for Apple TV.

  42. Andreas

    Will the graphic be better with the announced Apple TV 4k (7th gen)? Do we get shadows of cyclists?

  43. Evan Arik Feldman

    Apple just released Gen 3 A15 Bionic Apple TV – Any idea on the blue tooth sensor limitation issue?

  44. Christian

    Hello everyone, are there any first experiences with the new ATV 2022? Has the graphics gotten better? Are there more Bluetooth channels? Have you already used them in DC? Greetings from Germany

    • At present, the Zwift loaded graphics profile is the same as ATV2021. However, Zwift believes that in the nearish future, they’ll be able to improve upon it. But they said back in December their first priority was simply getting baseline compatibility.

      As for BT connections, no. However, that too is kinda funky as some people have reported recently that due to what appears to be a Zwift software bug, it actually allows you to try and pair more than 2 BT sensor channels, and even works. But, also people are seeing lots of dropouts there. :-/ Thus, I’d stick with the 2 sensor channels (and remember, a single channel can have multiple datasets, like power/cadence/control, even HR).

    • Christian

      hello DC, thank you for your quick feedback! Sporty greetings, Christian

    • Morten

      One year has passed – has Apple upgraded the graphics profile? Or will that happen when they, supposedly, launch a new Apple TV in 2024?