Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Pro

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Sep 24, 2009, 04:52 AM   #1
ziggyonice
macrumors 68020
 
ziggyonice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Rural America
How to: Connect a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro to a TV

Looking to connect your Mac notebook to a TV, projector, or sound system? Here’s a quick guide that outlines all the things you need to make it happen -- from adapters to cables to ports. Just follow the simple instructions to verify that you're getting exactly what you need. And remember, just because you setup the video side of things correctly doesn't mean you're going to get audio. If you want both video AND audio, make sure to also follow the directions indicated in the "Audio" portion of this post.


VIDEO

Check the ports on the back of your TV or sound system to see which of the following options are available to you. Find the port that matches below, and you're set! Remember, if you also want audio, check the "Audio" section at the bottom of the post.


For standard video quality:

You can use -- or -- for a slight improvement in quality.

If you want to use composite video and you're using a...
If you want to use S-Video and you're using a...


For better video quality:

You can use -- or -- .

If you want to use VGA and you're using a...
If you want to use component video and you're using a...


For the best video quality:

You can use -- or --

If you want to use DVI and you're using a...
If you want to use HDMI* and you're using a...*The HDMI warning: If using HDMI on any Mac, keep in mind that without the proper adapter, audio from your Mac will not be transmitted though the HDMI cable. Because of this, you may need a separate audio cable (as outlined at the bottom of this post). However, some television sets will not allow audio to come from an outside source when using HDMI only for video. Therefore, you may want to check with your television's manufacturer to determine if the setup is possible.




AUDIO

Check the ports on the back of your TV or sound system to see which of the following options are available to you.

For standard audio quality:

You can use analog .

If you're using any Mac notebook, you need a 3.5mm to stereo audio (aka "headphone to RCA").



For the best audio quality:

You can use digital sound.

If you're using any model of MacBook or MacBook Pro, you need a mini Optical to Optical cable (aka "mini Toslink to Toslink").


Hope this helps!

Last edited by ziggyonice; Dec 26, 2009 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Added new MacBook. Also added links to images of computers to make it easier to identify models.
ziggyonice is offline   7 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 07:21 AM   #2
kasakka
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
You should add that with HDMI you can also use a DVI -> HDMI cable because that way you can buy the mini-DP -> DVI adapter, which is more multipurpose than the HDMI adapter.
kasakka is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 01:56 PM   #3
ShayD
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Excellent post!
ShayD is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 02:02 PM   #4
ziggyonice
Thread Starter
macrumors 68020
 
ziggyonice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Rural America
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasakka View Post
You should add that with HDMI you can also use a DVI -> HDMI cable because that way you can buy the mini-DP -> DVI adapter, which is more multipurpose than the HDMI adapter.
Done. There are probably several other alternate configurations out there. Whether or not I'd post all the possibilities I don't know, as I don't want it to be too cluttered. But in this case, your suggestion made sense so I went ahead and added it.
__________________
MacBook Pro [First Generation] | 2.16GHz | 2GB RAM | 120GB HD | Mac OS X (10.6.4)
iPhone 4 | 32GB | Black (I couldn't wait for white any longer.)
ziggyonice is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 02:07 PM   #5
rowsdower
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Nice work.
rowsdower is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 02:39 PM   #6
runebinder
macrumors 6502a
 
runebinder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Nottingham, UK
Nice guide, don't understand why you have VGA with S Video and component with DVI and HDMI though.

Component and VGA are both analogue and capable of outputing to 720p (something that standard S Video isn't capable of), so would have them 2 together. DVI and HDMI are digital and can output to 1080p so would rate them as better than Component.
__________________
15" 2012 Retina MacBook Pro i7 2.3GHz/8GB/256GB Yosemite

iPhone 5s 32GB Space Grey iOS 8
runebinder is offline   -1 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 03:15 PM   #7
ChuckXIII
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Boston
Thumbs up

Great post ziggy!
__________________
iPhone 4S White 64GB
iPad 2 Black 16GB
13" MacBook Pro
27" iMac
ChuckXIII is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 03:23 PM   #8
ziggyonice
Thread Starter
macrumors 68020
 
ziggyonice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Rural America
Quote:
Originally Posted by runebinder View Post
Nice guide, don't understand why you have VGA with S Video and component with DVI and HDMI though.

Component and VGA are both analogue and capable of outputing to 720p (something that standard S Video isn't capable of), so would have them 2 together. DVI and HDMI are digital and can output to 1080p so would rate them as better than Component.
Hmm, I was under a different impression. I did some research on the topic and it seems that there are a lot of people who go back and forth between the two. It makes sense though, so I went ahead and put VGA and Component on the same tier.

S-Video isn't as good, however, although it is slightly better than composite. Perhaps I'll just put it under "standard" quality with a note that it is slightly higher quality than standard composite.
__________________
MacBook Pro [First Generation] | 2.16GHz | 2GB RAM | 120GB HD | Mac OS X (10.6.4)
iPhone 4 | 32GB | Black (I couldn't wait for white any longer.)
ziggyonice is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 04:00 PM   #9
Richard1028
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Thank you for taking the time to compile and contribute this.

It needs to be a sticky.
Richard1028 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 04:44 PM   #10
runebinder
macrumors 6502a
 
runebinder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Nottingham, UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggyonice View Post
Hmm, I was under a different impression. I did some research on the topic and it seems that there are a lot of people who go back and forth between the two. It makes sense though, so I went ahead and put VGA and Component on the same tier.

S-Video isn't as good, however, although it is slightly better than composite. Perhaps I'll just put it under "standard" quality with a note that it is slightly higher quality than standard composite.
Fair enough, composite is definitely the lowest quality signal out of them all. I work as a trainer and deliver courses on PCs and Digital products (flat panel TVs and connections), and the most common used component is cable is YPbPr: Which is Y - Luma (brightness), Pb - difference between blue and luma and Pr difference between red and luma. So red, blue and green (the two signals combined), are transmitted and brightness.

VGA or RGBHV (Red Green Blue Horizontal sync Vertical sync), has separate cables for red, blue and green so is an un-compressed version with other wires to control a monitor. The difference between the 2 is marginal.

HDMI and DVI are certainly the top end, for example if you want to watch a Blu-Ray film (yes I know, not possible on a Mac), then you need to use either of those cables to get the best possible picture.

Hope this helps, again really good guide and hope you don't find my points to be needless criticism, it's not intended as such.
__________________
15" 2012 Retina MacBook Pro i7 2.3GHz/8GB/256GB Yosemite

iPhone 5s 32GB Space Grey iOS 8
runebinder is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 05:14 PM   #11
yaroldb
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Awesome post, thank you
yaroldb is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 08:02 PM   #12
CitiXen
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Excellent post, good information. Thanks.
CitiXen is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 09:07 PM   #13
NewMacbookPlz
macrumors 68040
 
NewMacbookPlz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
OP, this thread deserves a sticky in all three of the portable mac forums.

Nicely done!!
__________________
Collector's Edition 2.0ghz Aluminum MacBook, 8 GB iPhone EDGE, Canon 450D/50mm f1.8
NewMacbookPlz is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 09:34 PM   #14
Corrode
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Calgary, AB
As someone who knows a lot about hooking up a home theatre including my Macbook, I found this post useful as I was unaware of the DVI vs. VGA discrepancy. Thanks for this.
__________________
13" MBP, 2.26 GHz, 8GB; 80GB iPod Classic; iPhone 5S
Corrode is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 24, 2009, 10:48 PM   #15
mikes70mustang
macrumors 68000
 
mikes70mustang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: US
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMacbookPlz View Post
OP, this thread deserves a sticky in all three of the portable mac forums.

Nicely done!!
it would be a good sticky, but there would still be people posting questions answered by this
__________________
4,1,15" Penryn MBP 2.4, iPh5 32-There will NEVER be: 13" MBP, SD slot, IPT w/Camera, Hi-Rez15"MBP, Glass screen/trackpad, Tablet, CDMA iPhone...
mikes70mustang is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2009, 06:17 AM   #16
DKatri
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Birmingham, UK
Great post!
i now know how to watch HD vids from my MBP on my TV with audio!
__________________
MBP, iPhone, iPad
DKatri is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2009, 06:35 AM   #17
Bigabouli
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Thanks for the info, too bad the adapters are all so expensive...
__________________
15.4" uMBP 2.66GHz 4GB 320GB HD
13.3" Dell XPS m1330 2.2GHz 4GB 250GB HD
22" Dell 2209WA Monitor
Bigabouli is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2009, 06:37 AM   #18
Captain Planet
macrumors 6502a
 
Captain Planet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Canada
Great! This will come in handy.
__________________
Earth. Fire. Wind. Water. Heart.
Go Planet!
By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!
Captain Planet is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2009, 10:40 AM   #19
CanadianEh
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Thanks

Great post!
CanadianEh is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 27, 2009, 06:49 PM   #20
wesrk
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
excellent contribution
wesrk is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 9, 2009, 01:08 PM   #21
dillegenza
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
This info's wrong. There's no way way to connect a unibody macbook pro to a TV through composite, s-video or component through cables only - without using a conversion device. See this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...88#post8617988
dillegenza is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 9, 2009, 03:29 PM   #22
MacsOnAnabolics
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Actually now for the new MBPs with the mini displayports you do not need to go the DVI to HDMI route for video. I just purchased a mini displayport to HDMI from newegg.com here.

This device works perfectly for me. :-) Just plug in your surround sound speakers for (i.e. for me is harmon kardon sound sticks 2) to your MBP for the audio. There you go!
MacsOnAnabolics is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 9, 2009, 03:50 PM   #23
arjen92
macrumors 65816
 
arjen92's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Below sea level
I have another question (you want have to add this, you could) what is the resolution off the screen when using s-video or an RCA jack. Cause when I worked with windows you'd always get that the entire resolution doesn't fit on the screen so the screen moved when you moved your mouse higher. So you can't see the top or bottom at the same time cause the minimum resolution is 800X600. My question is, is it still like this, does this still happen with the macbook. Would you need to place your mouse in the middle, when you want to see a movie in the middle of the screen. I think I could really be annoyed if it isn't really in the middle.
__________________
i7, 16GB RAM, 4TB RAID, GTX660 | Macbook Pro 2010
arjen92 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 9, 2009, 04:24 PM   #24
TheIguana
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggyonice View Post
If you want to use component video and you're using a...

The Unibody MBP's does not output an analog DVI signal therefore a DVI to component cable will not work. To get component out of a unibody MBP, the only route you can take is to us a mini-display port to VGA adapter and then a VGA to component cable.
TheIguana is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 9, 2009, 05:00 PM   #25
DeanCorp
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Arrow

Great Thread. I am sure this will be useful to all new mac users.

Just thought I would let you know, that if you have a 'newer' machine with a mini display port, you can now purchase a third party adapter -> Mini Display Port to HDMI that carries audio too. It was released about 3 days ago.

Here is the link: Mini Displayport Male and USB Male Audio to HDMI Female Converting Adapter
DeanCorp is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Pro

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Apple Releases Battery Fix SMC Firmware Update for MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Retina MacBook Pro MacRumors Mac Blog Discussion 55 Jun 19, 2014 12:39 AM
Apple Issues SMC Firmware Update for MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air Models MacRumors Mac Blog Discussion 78 Mar 24, 2013 12:00 AM
For College: Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, or Macbook Pro Retina djohnsonbp13 MacBook Pro 8 Oct 28, 2012 02:18 PM
Benchmarks for New 13-Inch MacBook Pro Beat MacBook Air, Previous MacBook Pro by 10-15% MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 107 Jun 20, 2012 10:03 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:54 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC