Idiot trying to hook his TV up to his macbook....

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by AmbaGambla, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. AmbaGambla macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
    I'm trying to sort it out so that I can watch TV programmes from my macbook on my TV, but can't seem to work out what cables I need. (for video and audio)

    I'm a bit of an idiot with regards to cables/audio/video etc, so need help in idiotproof terms if possible please!

    I know that......

    I have a macbook(!)

    My TV has the following connections (according to the manual - I don't really know what they are!):
    i) a scart input
    ii) DV in (HDMI)
    iii) DVI in
    iv) pc in

    Ideally I'd like to do it cheaply (Amazon/ebay) but will go mac store if I need (but it's a long way away) -

    (I'm in the UK by the way!)

    Would appreciate any help anyone can offer!
    thank you
  2. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    You want to watch video files on your MacBook connected to your TV? Or you want to watch live TV broadcast through your MacBook on your TV?

    Probably a MiniDisplay port to DVI or HDMI, but it depends on what kind go MacBook you have.
    Also may need an audio cable too.
  3. AmbaGambla thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
    I have downloaded tv programmes to my macbook, and want to watch 'watch again' online services through my tv.......
  4. gilkisson macrumors 65816


  5. AmbaGambla thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
    I have a regular white macbook......

    (told you I was a bit of a techno-idiot!)
  6. griz macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    New London, NH
    Does th tv have an optical digital input? If so, you can get an audio toslink cable that will plug into the headphone jack of the MacBook and connect to the tv to get your audio. Otherwise, just use a standard audio headphone to right and left RCA plug cable. That will get you standard analog audio. Then a mini-dvi to hdmi cable should get you the rest of the way there. Check out They have live support chat. You should be able to explain to them what you are doing and they should be able to suggest the right cables. I think they may have a cable that has all the necessary connections in one cable. They just fuse the audio and video cables together for neatness.
    I'll see if I can find you some exact links.
  7. AmbaGambla thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
    According to the manual, it has a "digital audio out (optical)"
    Is that what you mean?
  8. AmbaGambla thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
    (left hand side)

    (right hand side)

    This is what the back of my TV looks like.....

    I've looked at the cables on monoprice, but International shipping is $26, so that bumps up the price even more. I'd ideally like to find which generic cables I need so I can buy from ebay or amazon in the UK (if possible?)

    Thanks for all your replies so far.....
  9. rmb7984 macrumors regular


    Apr 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    with your setup, by far the simplest and cheapest set up is a mini-dvi to vga connector, with a vga cable to the back of the tv. It will connect to the "pc in" connection. It may not be the best quality, but it's easy and fast. That's just video though. You can use a standard audio line out with two standard male headphone jacks on it. This will connect to the headphone out on your computer and to the audio in next to the pc in.
  10. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    +1 on this.

    Is it the TV you want the sound to come out of, or do you have some speakers, like a Home Cinema?
  11. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Oct 30, 2002
    San Diego, CA
    For the best results you need a Mini-DVI to DVI adapter and then hook that up to a DVI to HDMI adapter cable. This won't carry the audio and for that you'll either have to use the 3.5mm stereo plug to RCA stereo cable or the optical audio output (I'd go with just the standard RCA stereo route).
  12. AmbaGambla thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
    No, I just have the basic setup, so would want the sound to come from the TV.

    Is this just an audio to audio cable (ie: a headphone plug to headphone plug setup you mean?)
  13. AmbaGambla thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
  14. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
  15. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Oct 30, 2002
    San Diego, CA
    But not as good as Mini DVI (on the MacBook) with the Mini DVI to DVI adapter and then a simple DVI to HDMI cable. You also might be able to find a third-party (one piece) Mini DVI to HDMI adapter/cable.

    You'll also need the audio cable (regardless of what type of video adapter you choose). Basically, you need the following (or equivalent):

    And any third-party DVI to HDMI cable/adapter.
  16. griz macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    New London, NH
    you have it right. Staying all digital is the way to go. Anyone recommending VGA, please realize that is analog. There are plenty of ways to go from mini DVI to HDMI and stay all digital. You can then connect either the optical digital or the RCAs for audio.
  17. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    This guy has it right!

    DVI to HDMI keeps the signal digital - you can run HDMI a long distance without horrible losses - and the adapters are plenty cheap on Amazon. Not to mention its cheaper than the adapters required to go from Digital to Analogue.

    And as for audio - either go with the standard audio to RCA or TOSLINK if you've got that option on your book.

    This is the cable I've got on my PS3 - and my iMac - works fine. Don't let the Monster-Cable Fanboys / "I spent 250 dollars on the same thing and can't accept the fact I got hosed" people scare you off. Digital (in this instance) is there, or it's not. 100% or nothing.

    This should give you an idea of what you need - I'm not 100% sure if your laptop has Toslink optical output. (most of them have for the past couple years) but check to be sure. To run your laptop to the TV (25 foot cables) this is likely what you'd need to be up and running.
    7.6 Meter Dvi Male to HDMI Male: $15.00 shipped.

    Mini DVI to DVI Adapter: $10.00 shipped.
    7.6 Meter Mini Toslink to Toslink Fiber Cable: $8.00 Shipped.
  18. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I have a 8 meter VGA cable for connecting my Mac to my TV and have no problems at all with quality or signal.

    Correct me if I'm wrong as this is a grey area to me, but connecting by HDMI, you are restricted to 720p or 1080p, where as a lot of TVs with VGA (like mine) offer 1366x768 if connected by VGA and not HDMI.
  19. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Seems that HDMI can have problems doing 768p.. a quick Google search brings up threads of people having problems/not being able to get 768p at all through HDMI.
  20. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    This reply was just written to you on a 24" lcd using a DVI/HDMI cable from my Imac running @ 1024 x 768.

    This line - 1280 x 800.

    This is 1344 x 840.

    Now back to 1920 x 1200.

    Maybe I'm just lucky?

    This is what I'm using:

    Dell 2408FPW
    24" 2006 iMac (white)
    Mini DVI to DVI adapter
    DVI Male to HDMI Male cable (12 foot)
  21. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    As I said, it looks like there can be issues with some TV's.

    That was the reason I decided to buy a VGA cable a couple of years ago rather than HDMI - I couldn't get the native resolution for my TV through HDMI. It only let me use 720p, not 768p.
  22. AmbaGambla thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
    Some of the stuff I want to watch is in HD, so better quality would be good.

    So the general consensus seems to be to go for the HDMI?

    Mini DV to HDMI
    HDMI to HDMI

    Would that be better than the DVI to VGA I posted before???

    (I really appreciate everyone's help here, I don't want to spend loads on buying the wrong bloody cables! Thank you everyone for your help!)
  23. thomanjones macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2006
    Yes, That would give you the best result, imagewise. Those cables that you linked are 1.5m though; make sure they are long enough. You can coil extra cable with twist-ties.

    You're gonna love it.

    Edit: Put the HDMI cable in HDMI 2 on the back of your TV, and the Audio cables right next to it in DVI IN (HDMI 2). Also you'll need this type of audio cable to connect your headphone jack to the red & white audio inputs on the tv: (UK ebay)
  24. JML42691 macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2007
    From what I can tell from the pics you posted of the back of your system that is not the correct audio cable. It appears to me that a stero-mini to stero mini cable will only work with the VGA connection, for the audio cable if you are using HDMI I believe you will need a stero-mini to RCA cable like the one pictured below. This audio cable plugged into the RCA inputs labeled audio-in for HDMI 2 along with the HDMI cord plugged into the #2 HDMI slot should give you the system you desire.


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