Hardware configuration - Help

Hi Everyone,
I have always used my work laptop (connected via HDMI to the TV) for Zwift, but now I can’t use it anymore (updated security policies…) and I need to find an alternative.
My devices are:

  • Wahoo kickr snap
  • Garmin HR monitor ANT+ (no bluetooth)
  • Garmin cadence sensor ANT+ (no bluetooth)
  • ANT+ dongle to connect the ANT+ devices to the laptop
  • LG smart TV

I am currenly using my smartphone (Samsung S21+USB adapter+ANT dongle) and I am mirroring it on the TV, but the graphics quality on the TV is very low. Plus, I don’t really like to run Zwift on the phone: the battery doesn’t last long (and I can’t charge it because the USB adapter is connected), I need a second phone to run the Zwift companion app, etc.

I thought about buying an Apple TV and BT HR and cadence sensor, but I saw that the Apple TV can detect only two BT devices, and I would have three (trainer, HR monitor, cadence).

Buying another laptop only to run Zwift doesn’t make sense. Any suggestion? Is there a way to bypass the 2-devices limit for the Apple TV?
Would the Amazon Fire stick be a viable alternative?

Thank you very much for your help,

You cannot run it on a Firestick.

Apple tv is easiest setup but you’ll not get decent graphics. Apple only gets basic profile.

You can get a pc for not a lot of money that’ll give you ultra resolution at 4k. The difference is night and day.

By the way your trainer counts as one device. Cadence isn’t extra. The Apple remote however takes up one device.

Pc is the way forward and @Dave_ZPCMR is our resident expert.

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Almost all phones, tablets, normal laptops and Apple TV (notwithstanding any future enhancements on the 2022 model) get the same Basic profile for graphics, with resolution limited to 1080p and low frame rates. If you want a better graphics experience, you need a system with dedicated graphics card. As you’ve pointed out, buying another laptop purely for this purpose would be a waste of money. A dedicated desktop PC capable of Ultra profile graphics and up to 60fps at 1440p game resolution can typically be put together with used parts for under £150 if you’re willing to put a bit of effort in. Obviously this is dependent on pricing and availability of the right parts where you are.

Thank you both,
I don’t mind the graphics on the phone, the problem is that when I try to mirror it on TV (for some reason I am not able to connect it via HDMI) it gets pretty ugly. Bigger problems are the duration of the battery and the need to have a second phone for Companion.
The Kickr Snap doesn’t measure cadence, so I need to have a separate device and it would be three in total, which is a problem for Apple TV.
I’ll have a look at desktop PCs, thank you!

You can bridge multiple Bluetooth devices to the game via the Companion app, this gets around the limitation of devices on Apple TV. But obviously still requires you to buy a new HRM and cadence sensors, on top of the ATV.

Possible solution:

USB-C hub with HDMI out, and Power-Delivery via USB-C in, as well as at least one available USB-A port to plug the ANT+ dongle into.

Plug your external USB-C power cable into the PD in port on the hub to keep your phone charged, HDMI out to the TV, ANT+ dongle into the USB-A port.

The hubs are fairly generic - not need for a fancy one as long as it follows standards. This is one I’ve tried but it’s more expensive as it has more ports than you need: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09XPTM8CM/

You mention HDMI not working - there may be a setting for that: Galaxy S22/S22+/Ultra: How to Set HDMI Mode To Samsung DeX or Screen Mirroring - YouTube

Something to do with Samsung “DeX” - but it may only work on certain S22s. (SDM vs Exynos SoC)

RE: ATV, so far a two device limit. As Dave mentioned, there’s the Companion app bridge option, or something like the 4iiii Viiiiva HRM which is both an HRM (ANT+ and BLE) as well as a bridge for multiple sensors.