Zwift is an online virtual cycling game that has taken the world by storm. As an excellent way to race, Zwift allows users to cycle through different worlds and workout plans. You can even join group rides and workout with family and friends.
Training indoors has lots of benefits. First off, you get to control your surroundings and effort. Second, training indoors allows you to focus, unlike cycling outside, where you can get distracted easily. Third, you minimize the time spent pedalling or coasting as you cycle up or down a hill.
Lastly, it’s very easy to track your workouts and see if you are getting better. Outdoors, it isn’t easy to do structured workouts due to the changing terrain. With Zwift, you can experience the benefits above and more, but you need the right set up to do so.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to connect Zwift to your smart TV.
As a turbo trainer game, Zwift is compatible with your PC (Windows), iPad, iPhone, Google Play, and Apple TV. To get started, you need a smart turbo trainer. As a beginner, you don’t have to buy top of the line models. You can start with cost-friendly models such as Tacx New Smart or Wahoo Kickr.
The turbo trainer has a direct drive design and a built-in power meter. It measures your power output and relays the data to Zwift in real-time. This is how you get to power your online avatar. The turbo drive has variable resistance, which allows you to feel as if you are cycling in the virtual world.
So, as you go uphill, the online screen resistance will increase, and as you go downhill, it’ll decrease.
The current minimum requirements to run Zwift are:
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
- OS: Windows 7 x64bit or OSX 10.8
- Graphics: Dedicated 1GB GPU or embedded AMD R5 or Intel HD4000
- RAM: 4GB
- Hard drive: 5Gb of free space
Learn more about Supported Devices to Run Zwift.
Zwift on Smartphone
Zwift is compatible with your iPhone and Android smartphone.
To run Zwift on your iPhone, your device should be running iOS 9 or higher, and on your Android smartphone, it should be running Android 7 and higher. For Android users, 1 GB RAM, and ARM64 architecture is a must.
You can carry out a simple check on Google Play to know if your Android smartphone is compatible with the app.
To do so, open Google Play Store from your smartphone and search for “Zwift.” If you can find the app on Google Play Store, it’s compatible with your smartphone, and if not, you need to upgrade to a compatible model.
To use your smartphone with Zwift, you need a compatible mount. One of the best models we have come across so far is from Quadlock.
It allows you to mount your smartphone on the handlebars. In this position, a smartphone with a 5 inch to 6.8-inch display will appear relatively large.
The downside of using a smartphone is battery life. To ensure that you can complete your workouts, find a way to charge the device while on the back.
You can use a power bank or a power extension.
Zwift on Computer
Zwift is compatible with laptops running Windows 7 64bit and higher. Unlike smartphones, laptops have bigger displays. Some have a 13-inch display, 15.6 inch or 17 inch. As such, the experience should be much better.
Like your smartphone, you can prop your laptop on a stand or table. Alternatively, you can hook up your laptop to your smart TV, but we shall discuss that much later in this article. We recommend buying a laptop with long battery life.
There are a couple of models that come to mind:
- HP Envy 13
- Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
- Dell XPS 15
- HP Spectre x360
- LG Gram 14
- Samsung Galaxy Book Flex
A laptop with a long battery life allows you to explore more locations and workout plans. Also, it eliminates the need to rely on power sockets.
While Zwift requires a powerful laptop to run on Windows, the minimum system requirements listed above should do.
We recommend buying gaming laptops as they have dedicated GPUs, more RAM, and hard drive space. They also have bigger screens, 15.6 inches and higher.
Zwift on Apple TV
Zwift on Apple TV is one of the best ways to explore the online virtual world on your big screen Smart TV.
We recommend going for a newer 4K model, but if you have the 4th Gen model, you can still broadcast your workout sessions on your smart TV.
Besides streaming fast on Apple TV, the top quality graphics ensure a smooth experience. To get started, connect Apple TV to your smart TV. Navigate to the Zwift app on the screen and go.
Alternatively, you can swipe on your iPhone or iPad screen, select AirPLay then select Apple TV.
It’s essential to make sure that your Apple TV is connected to the same wireless network as your iPhone, iPad, or smart TV. Otherwise, you’ll not be able to find the app.
With Apple TV, you have three connection options.
One is via the remote, while the others are via a cadence sensor, a heart rate monitor, or a smart trainer/power meter.
To alleviate this issue, we recommend using the Zwift companion app and pair via Bluetooth.
Connecting Standard Smart TV From Smartphone via mirroring (Screen Sharing)
You can stream your Zwift home training from your smartphone to your Smart TV via mirroring or screen sharing.
Screen mirroring is a technique you can use to cast or mirror your smartphone on your smart TV screen. Mirroring your smartphone to your TV screen allows you to take advantage of the large display. To get started, connect your smart TV and Android smartphone to the same wireless network.
On your Android smartphone, swipe down on the home screen and select “Cast” or “Wireless Projection.” Allow your smartphone to find your TV, then select it. Give the device a few more seconds to establish a connection with your TV. If the connection is successful, you should see your Android smartphone screen on your TV.
There are apps on Google Play Store that can help you display your mobile screen on your TV. A good example is Cast To TV. However, Android phones running Android 7 or higher have the screen mirroring feature built-in.
Connecting Standard Smart TV From Smartphone via HDMI
Besides screen mirroring, you can connect your smartphone to your TV via HDMI or Lightning cable.
Before making the connection, make sure your smartphone is fully charged. Using this method drains your smartphone battery. In fact, it can last less than 2 hours.
Connect the HDMI to your TV and smartphone. When connecting to your smart TV, take note of the HDMI input number. Navigate to HDMI on your TV and select HDMI 1, 2, or 3.
Most smart TVs have two HDMI ports, but you may come across models with three ports. If the connection is successful, you should see your mobile screen on your smart TV.
Connecting Standard Smart TV From Computer/Laptop via HDMI
Modern laptops have an HDMI port. Most have full-sized HDMI ports, and if you are one of the few lucky ones, you can use a standard HDMI cable to connect to your smart TV.
You also have a micro or mini HDMI port. This is a smaller version, and you can use an adapter or a cable with a regular HDMI on one end to connect to your TV. Modern laptops also have a USB-C port. If your laptop has this port, you’ll need a USB-C to HDMI adapter.
- Now that you have determined the correct connection type connect one end of the HDMI cable to your TV and the other to your laptop. When connecting to your TV, take note of the HDMI input number. Make sure your smart TV and laptop are powered on.
- Navigate to HDMI on your TV and select the HDMI Input port connected to your laptop. Some models detect the computer display automatically while others do not. If your TV does not detect the computer display automatically, you need to detect it manually.
- Right-click on your computer screen, select “Display Setting.” The Display Setting window will appear. If the screen does not show two displays, click the “Detect” button. Your laptop will attempt to detect the presence of your TV screen.
- Once detected, click the “Identify” button. This will help you identify which screen is which. Next, you need to set the display preference. From the display menu, select the display that represents your TV. Scroll down to Multiple Displays and select “Duplicate Desktop.”
- You must select your primary display and the orientation for each display. We recommend landscape orientation at maximum screen resolution. Under Scale and Layout, choose a zoom level. This will make your items to appear a bit larger making it easy for you to read text on your screen without straining your eyes.
Now that you are set to begin your workout, launch Zwift, and select one of the eight maps. You have the huge Watopia plus smaller maps like New York and London. There are a large number of workout plans to choose from.
You have the choice of group workouts and Zwift’s workout mode. So, instead of riding around, select a full training plan to achieve your goals.
Have a great ride!