Macbook To My HDTV? (VGA Not Working, HDMI?)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by HappyDude20, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. HappyDude20 macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Hey everyone,

    I wanted to connect my Macbook to my new Vizio HDTV. I have the Apple's standard Mini DVI to VGA small cable which I've used to connect to computers before in the past. This cable has the female end which and as luck would have it (sarcasm) the Vizio TV has a female end in the back of the TV as well.

    I went and bought a male/male connection to hook up the "Mini DVI to VGA" cable and hook that up to the TV. Thankfully it fit perfectly.

    However, the TV would not display anything from the macbook. According to the TV, it seemed like nothing was connected. However, on the Macbook's end the Macbook recognized both screens; it's own and the Vizio TV's. Yet nothing on the Vizio TV. I decided to fiddle with it only on the Mac's end since the TV didn't show any recognition signs and turned on Mirroring, yet nothing happened.

    I find this situation very odd since I finally got the Macbook and TV to connect, even the Macbook recognized it but still nothing on the TV's end. BTW, I read the Tv's manual and it simply states to turn both the TV and computer off, connect them to each other, then turn them on...but nothing.

    If you know of anything that might help i'm all ears, especially since I still have these connections right now.

    If not, I just may go the HDMI route, but I checked Best Buy/Circuit City and the cables are too expensive. Can anyone say Recession?

    My TV does not have a DVI port so would need to buy an HDMI to DVI cable, then buy Apple's Mini DVI to DVI cable correct?

    Again, i'd rather fix the problem with the VGA stuff I have now....

    I'll respond quickly.
  2. Resevdog macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2007
    Your story is nearly identical to mine, but I have the solution for you and it worked for me.

    I have a Panasonic HDTV and a Macbook. I originally had the mini-dvi to video adapter and while it worked, it only could connect via s-video at best and that just didn't cut it on the big screen. So I went to my friendly neighborhood Mac store (5th Ave, NY, a zoo!) and found a relatively cheap solution. You'll need to spend about $40 but you'll get up to 1080p!

    You're getting two things. First, the mini-dvi to dvi dongle from apple. $19. This gets you from the Macbook to a female dvi connector.

    Next, you need the Belkin dvi to HDMI 6 foot cable. also only $19! It has a male dvi connection and the HDMI connection.

    Connect the two dvi ends together. The rest is self explanatory. It works beautifully!
  3. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    awesome, thank you. ill def have to look into it.

    so essentially just need 2 cables for video: the mini dvi to dvi cable from apple, and the hdmi to dvi cable. awesome.

    i live by a frys electronic store and if i can find it for that price ill buy them today. ill also take a look on ebay, just cause prices were ridiculously high at circuit city last night. $50-$200 for an hdmi to dvi cable!
  4. SBA macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2008
    I can confirm this works great. I have the same set up (MacBook to Vizio LCD) and I've been using the mini-DVI to DVI connected to the DVI to HDMI, connected to my TV. Plug them in, turn on mirroring and you're all set!
  5. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    i love it! im using it now and looks amazing!

    honestly, i think i only wanna use my mac now when its connected. thanks!

    10ft hdmi to dvi: $20

    mini dvi to dvi from apple: $20

    audio connection: $1
  6. okatidubi macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2008
    The smile on your face when your macbook is connected to the HDTV: Priceless.

    There's something money can't buy. For everything else, there's mastercard! ;)
  7. m1ss1ontomars macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2006
    Uh...did you know that it's supposed to be that way? The small cable is an adaptor, just like it says on Apple's website. It's not a cable and an adaptor all-in-one. I don't even want to know how you planned to set up your computer 3 inches away from the TV.
  8. DaveSchneid macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2008
    dont buy cables in stores, I got a DVI to HDMI 6 foot cable on newegg for 7$... yeah 7, okay 10 with shipping, and granted its not monster cable, but it really doesnt make a difference with digital cables
  9. Resevdog macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2007
    Yeah, I'm a big fan of Newegg. But sometimes you just want it now ;)
  10. lukepigott macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2008
    Hello everyone!

    Sorry if I'm ressurecting an old thread, but it pertains to my situation exactly. This is my first post in the forum. I'm a fairly new mac user, and I have this exact same TV and it also didn't work for me into the VGA. I'm considering going the HDMI route already discussed, but to the OP or someone familiar with this TV, I was wondering: how did you hook up the audio? I don't have a stereo or anything like that. Can you plug a 1/8 cord into the audio in by the VGA input or what?

    Thanks a lot everybody.
  11. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    i bit the bullet and bought an hdmi cable. it obviously only transfers video and not sound so you'll need an audio cable too like i did...AND I LOVE IT!

    I picture looks amazing. So much it makes you wish the Macbook was actually a part of the TV. So much, in fact that we connect it almost nightly to watch a movie from or some other site.

    When I tried it w/ the VGA it didn't work for me and i'm sure if i was more persistant and purchased w/e other connection it would have worked...but def. the quality on the screen would not have been as good.

    go for the hdmi and audio cable.

    hdmi, $10-$20
    audio cable, $2
  12. mattd5 macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2008
    will you get 5.1 audio that way? I have my vizio connected to a samsung home theater surround sound system through the optical audio connection.

    if i connect my macbook to the hdmi video input and the audio through the corresponding audio jacks, will the audio output through my surround sound and will it be 5.1? if not is there a way to do that? i don't see a reason to hook up the mac to the tv, but not got get the surround sound
  13. mattd5 macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2008
  14. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    no clue man, i only dealt with w/e i posted up there ages ago.
  15. madoxx85 macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2008
    Can´t connect my Macbook Pro to my HDT

    I have a Macbook pro and I connected to my Toshiba HDTV 1080p with the DVI to HDMI cable and when I concect it I just can see the computer background on the TV and nothing else.. the resolution is set to 1920X1080 and I tried to change but anything happened. I just see the background image without icons and without the dock.

    Can anyone help ?
  16. Bengt77 macrumors 68000


    Jun 7, 2002
    Looks like you set your computer to use the second screen (your TV) as... well... a second screen. Go into your System Preferences, click on Displays. Set the second display to be a mirror of the main screen, instead of an extension of it. Problem should be solved that way. If not, ask again.
  17. p.luik macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2008
    Faribault, MN
    You could also go to displays and drag the white bar at the top of the display representing your computer to the other display. This marks your TV as the main display.
  18. heyp macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2008
    this is a dumb question, but can you have the macbook closed and still have the tv working as a monitor?
  19. dubels macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    If you want to check out cheap dvi to hdmi cables check out monoprice. But also try changing the resolutions. Some hdtvs can only accept certain resolutions via VGA. Other wise get the mini-dvi --> dvi apple adaptor and get the right DVI --> HDMI cable.
  20. fish75 macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2008
    same shitt!!! with TV

    heyy whats up guys... ok **** its been a while since i had tried this ****!! ok i bought a dvi to dvi cable! ok wrong type of cable ... ok lets make this simple ahaha i don't wanna spend more money buying cables i think there is a way to make this work... my computer does recognize my tv .. i make it the main monitor but does not seems to work (unusable signal) .. ok i have another tv a 50 plasma lg and it seems to work ok... but not with my 42 rca tv :( i have everything set up correctly i even bought a wireless keyboard/mouse :( help help!!! let me know! if there is anny kind of thing i could do ....

    dvi to vga cable... (i bought it from mac, cuz i heard some tvs wont recognize the cables)
    male cable .. both ends... (5 feet belkin cable)
    female input on tv... (42 inch RCA)

    help help help!!:) thank you!!!
    this is my first post
  21. Lebowski77 macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2008
    If your 42" RCA has an hdmi input, you'll need to convert dvi to hdmi... just get yourself a mini dvi to dvi cable then get an hdmi adapter that converts the dvi end to hdmi... then plug into the hdmi on your tv...
  22. Philberttheduck macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2006
    HB, CA
    what female input is on your rca tv, hdmi or dvi? and do you have a macbook or macbook pro (do you need mini-dvi adapter to connect or not?)? you don't really specify the main components and to tell you the truth it sounds like you're going to need to buy another cable or an adapter.

    vga's nearly dead technology, but if you need a mini-dvi to dvi adapter, check out monoprice's.

    it's cheap (a little over $3 for the adapter, under $10 for minidvi-dvi). assuming the rca has hdmi, you connect the male to male to the hdmi adapter and plug the adapter (with the dvi male connected to it) into the tv. voila
  23. gan6660 macrumors 65816


    Aug 18, 2008
    I have a sony vaio fw and the hdmi connection is the best. it shows right up and i plugged my pc into the tv when they were both on. i have a hitachi but... also dont buy cables from ebay unless it is a small seller because i bought an hdmi from there and it broke off in my ps3. thankfully only the cable connector broke and not my ps3's.
  24. dmayo1 macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2007
    Although not with an HDTV, I run my Macbook on an external monitor at work. If you've got the MB sleeping on battery, you have to first connect the monitor, then the power, then any USB connections and it will work like a champ.

    Otherwise, just turn the computer on and close the lid quickly and it'll run off the external monitor no problem.

    Hope this helps.
  25. milk242 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2007
    Before buying any cables have you tried playing with the refresh rate for the external tv properties on your mac? I have a samsung 40" 1080 (using dvi to vga) and it will only display a picture if it's set to 59.9 hz and not 60 hz. Just saying you guys should probably play with the tv properties displayed on your mac before buying cables.

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