SYSTM on a Chromecast with Google TV (Unsupported)

So SYSTM works with android, that’s great! But hang on, a Chromecast with Google TV (CwGTV) is cheap and runs android too - does SYSTM work on that?

Answer: Yes!

…and a little bit no: SYSTM isn’t officially available or supported on CwGTV but it is possible to install it by sideloading the app from another android device.

What works?

Pretty much everything! You can do all of the workouts, connect devices via Bluetooth, select plans and just about anything else as far as I’ve found. I also think it’s much better than simply casting your screen.

What doesn’t work?

The Google remote control. The app just hasn’t been built with the remote in mind so whilst it is just about possible to use the remote to control it you’ll probably end up throwing it across the room in frustration. The simplest solution I’ve found is to get a Bluetooth mouse which makes things infinitely better.

Apart from that the most notable difference is that the menu interface is fixed in portrait mode. However, the workout player is in landscape so the videos still fill a TV screen perfectly.

What you will need:

  • A Chromecast with Google TV device (i.e. the Chromecast with the remote control)
  • An android phone or tablet (or possibly a Chromebook too, since SYSTM works fine on those)
  • A Bluetooth mouse, or something similar to use instead of the remote.
  • Some extra apps to extract and transfer the installation file, plus one to launch it on the Chromecast. I’ve listed the ones I used below but there are many others available that do the same job.

Instructions:

  1. Install SYSTM on your android phone/tablet
  2. Install and open ‘APK extractor’ (or an equivalent app) on your android phone/tablet, then find and extract the SYSTM app. This should save a file called something like ‘SYSTM_base.apk’ to a default folder called ‘ExtractedApks’.
  3. On your Chromecast you need to enable developer mode to allow apps from unknown sources to be installed. To do this go to Settings > System > About > Android TV OS build and click 7 times.
  4. Install the ‘Send files to TV’ app (or an equivalent app for transferring file) on both your phone/tablet and Chromecast, and give it permission to access files
  5. Open the ‘Send files to TV’ app on both devices, select ‘Receive’ on the Chromecast and ‘Send’ on the phone/tablet. After you select ‘Send’ find the extracted APK file and select it to send to the Chromecast
  6. On the Chromecast use the ‘Send files to TV’ app to open the transferred file, it should display a message to say that you need to change the settings to allow apps from unknown sources to be installed. If you’ve enabled developer mode then you should be able to select the toggle to allow this for the ‘Send files to TV’ app. Once enabled open the file again to install SYSTM
  7. Open SYSTM - at this point you’ll see that the remote control isn’t much use, so connect a Bluetooth mouse or use a USB-C dock to connect a standard mouse and use that to bring up and control a pointer. A keyboard may also be useful for typing in your email/password as the on-screen keyboard tends to be half hidden, but it’s possible to do without.
  8. The first time you open SYSTM it generally loads just fine. However, when you come back to open it again it may not open directly from the Chromecast menu. To get around this you need to install a separate ‘launcher’ app. I installed ‘Sideload launcher - Android TV’ and then use this to open the SYSTM app.

I hope that helps some people and perhaps if there is enough demand then Wahoo may do that last bit of work to get the remote functioning and have the app officially supported.

6 Likes

Interesting, an even cheaper option than the Raspberry Pi and you have a Chromecast for when you aren’t SFFRing.

Once set-up, does the app auto-update, or do you need to go through the install procedure every time there is a new release?

1 Like

Yeah, I think it’s a really nice option - it’s essentially equivalent to an Apple TV experience in that it just works once you’ve done the initial install. It’s especially useful for strength/yoga workouts as often people will have a big screen in a room with more floor space than they might have next to their bike.

It doesn’t auto-update so you need to do a few of the steps again (extract apk from phone, transfer to Chromecast and install) but this only takes a few minutes. It seems to work fine even when it isn’t running the latest version so you may not even need to keep it completely up-to-date if you don’t want to.

1 Like

Thanks, and I assume the Chromecast does not have enough storage to download videos - not that that is an option for Android app at the moment!

As you say, it’s not an option yet so I haven’t tried it. It should have a few GB of space available though so I’d imagine you might be able to download some, although I’ve personally never needed to.

If you’re wifi isn’t great then you can get an adaptor to plug in a wired network connection. Again, I haven’t tried it but see no reason why it shouldn’t work.

1 Like

Slightly different question but can you cast from the Android app to a Chromecast attached to your TV?

Yes, you can cast/mirror your whole screen to a Chromecast attached to the TV but that means you still need to keep the phone on and it can feel a bit ‘laggy’.

Since it is related I will post in this thread and not start a new one solely for “SYSTM on a native Google TV”. But If you prefer it I can move it to a new thread. The installation is quite the same.

I installed SYSTM on my Android TV 9 with a 3840x2160 resolution and everything is displayed vertical as in the phone app. But I get only 1/3 since it is shifted off the displayed “screen”. In reality there are way bigger black spaces left and right but this is what the screenshot yields:

Could this be a resolution problem? Has somebody the same resolution or an idea how to get it working and displayed correctly? The screenshots have 830*1080 px.
I did not try a workout yet (which should be displayed horizontally) since SYSTM stopped loading today, whatever the reason may be. Now I only get a black display and it exits again after a few seconds.

Uninstalling and reinstalling did the trick.
Workouts are looking a little bit better with 1920 x 1080 px :slight_smile:


I have to look where I can make the image bigger when I have the time.
Navigation does not seem that great with the TV remote but I also see not that much. But the Esc key from my keyboard does seem to work as a back button :slight_smile:

Excellent work @Thomas , that looks good! You should be able to fix the video size easily by selecting ‘Video crop: Scale to fit’ in the settings.

It’s very difficult to see what the TV remote is selecting, which is why pairing a bluetooth mouse makes everything easier as you get a pointer on the screen. Once you have that it looks like you should be all set.

Have you tried connecting a trainer/HR monitor yet?

1 Like

I was racing Saturday and Sunday so I had no time to experiment further. But now I’m back to it.

Setting the Video size was an easy fix :+1: although not so straightforward.
As can be seen in the screenshots the screen is missing 2/3rd of the Information so I’m flying quite blind.

The connected mouse is also not helping much in the menus since I see the pointer but can not select anything…
Funny thing is it is working flawlessly once I start a workout. I can enter options, adjust the screen size and click on Add Devices. It asks for the location permission which I granted and Bluetooth is green and has a scanning animation. But it does neither detect my Kickr, Tickr or Cadence Sensor.
Once I hit Finish Workout the mouse stops working again and I’m back to the remote and keyboard. There I select delete workout and Yes.
Then I’m in a history? screen where I can do almost nothing…

So It would seem on my Android TV 9 I can do at least my Yoga and probably Strength workouts which are on “today”.
Due to the limited screen content I can’t use the library, search and select a different workout or do anything other meaningful thing.

But at least I can do Strength and Yoga without connecting the HDMI cable to my Laptop.
At the time I would suffer on Win10 anyway since ANT+ was way more reliable in the past and if I get a dropout it is very short. I don’t know If SYSTM improved the Win10 or Android BLE connection experience. With Sufferfest I got ERG Mode delays by quite a few seconds with BLE, while ANT+ was max 1-5 Seconds behind. Furthermore I can pre download the cycling movies and nothing is worse than a freezing suffering session.

Stuff that should to be improved before a Android TV release (based on my TV):

  • correct (vertical) screen display in the app (workouts are correct - horizontal).
    At least on my 4k TV pretty unusable.
  • improved usability with a TV remote without touch or mouse support
  • proper mouse support (only works in workouts)
  • Bluetooth connection not working at all
  • I had to uninstall and reinstall SYSTM three times since it stopped starting after a few seconds permanently
  • back button :slight_smile:
  • flawless streaming or save workout on android
  • select location to save workouts since my tv only has ~2 GB of free space and I would use an USB stick. Alternatively an option to pre download the workouts from today and delete those from yesterday and older
1 Like

Thanks for the update @Thomas, I wonder if the 4k resolution has anything to do with the missing 2/3s of the screen. I don’t have that problem on a standard Full HD tv or an ultra-wide monitor at 2560x1440. Are you able to change the effective resolution of the TV to see if that fixes it?

I can’t think why the mouse doesn’t work either - mine clicks just fine on the Chromecast.

Do you have a separate launcher app installed? Without it I find that SYSTM will start the first time after installing but not the times after that. The launcher app usually starts SYSTM every time.

1 Like

I actually meant 3440 x 1440, which isn’t far off the width of a 4k tv

1 Like

@Sandy_Thomson thanks for the pointers.
I can not change the resolution on the TV but SYSTM is running in way lower resolution anyway.

I’m starting from the Home screen and with the “Ai Point” App launcher from the Device itself. If I run into the problem again I will try out a 3rd party launcher too.

Since I have a spare raspberry Pi flying around I’ll give it a go in the meantime.

1 Like

Cool! Works on my anker nebula projector!

4 Likes

Very nice! And with the menu in landscape mode too! I wonder what the app is looking for to decide which orientation to use?

I had to sideload a rotation app to make that work. I tired about 8 of them :slight_smile:

Ah, I didn’t even know they existed. Which one worked for you?


This one!
Was the only one which didn’t expect to be running on a phone.

2 Likes

Thanks @Craig_Purcell that one seems to be called ‘Ultimate Rotation Control’ in the Play Store - I tried it on the Chromecast but couldn’t get it to work. It would have been nice but the portrait menus don’t bother me too much.