In this Instructable, I will explain in detail how to connect your MacBook, or iMac to an HDTV. There are many applications for such a setup, and the list is practically endless. Here are a few:
- Stream video from the Internet. Many sites allow you to legally watch full length episodes of TV shows. For instance, In the US you can use Hulu, in the UK you can use the iPlayer (BBC) or in Canada, watch shows on CBC. There are many other sites (although many are illegal).
- No need for a DVD player. As long as your Macintosh computer isn't the MacBook Air, it has a CD/DVD drive. This way you can watch all you're DVDs (No Bluray on Macs yet) without a DVD player.
- No need for an Apple TV. Seriously please don't dish-out a minimum $229 for an Apple TV. With Front Row (Use your apple remote or Command-Escape to access it) or Boxee you can virtually have a machine that looks and works as well as the $229 Apple TV. Also, using a Macintosh you can use services such as streaming from Netflix, Or iTunes.
-Monitor the size of your TV. Compare the size of your Laptop Screen to your TV screen. No more need to explain.
Disclaimer: I'm am not responsible. Whatsoever. Even if you spontaneously combust.
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Step 1: Cost & Where to Buy
Although it is cheaper than an Apple TV, there are still some pretty large start-up costs (Although you'd already have made up for it, by giving up two months of Cable or Satellite service. If you buy directly from Apple, plus the audio cable from a well-known electronics dealer, like I did it will cost you about $45-50 (US).
To attach your MacBook to your TV and Maintain High Definition, you will need:
- A Macintosh Computer with a Mini Display Port (Assumed that you already own this)
- AMini DVI - DVI Adapter Bought from Apple Here (19.95)
- A DVI - HDMI Cable Bought from Apple Here (19.95 for 6ft or 29.95 for 12ft)
- AnAuxilary Cable* Bought from most electronics stores (Aim for 6ft or longer, depending on how far you audio input jack is)
- A Mouse, Keyboard (preferably wireless) or the $1.99 iPod Touch/ iPhone App "Air Mouse" or Apple Remote (used to control the computer)
UPDATE: There is a new [free] mouse/keyboard application, in the app store, for more, visit: logitech.com/touchmouse [for what you download on your Mac/PC, and search "Touch Mouse" in the app store for the app.
*The Auxilary Cable is optional if you are happy with the sound coming from your Macintosh's internal speakers, you can leave it out of the set up, and save about $5.00
I'm sure there are cheaper options out there (eBay etc..), If you find one, use it, and it isn't junk, or a scam, let me know in The Comments, but I was looking for a good quality cable, from a store where I knew I'd be able to return it, and have it last for several years.
**Please make sure your TV has an HDMI input before you buy anything!** You can use other cables, but this instructable will focus on DVI/HDMI.
Step 2: Set-Up
Connect the DVI to HDMI Cable into your Mini DVI to DVI cable. Connect the Mini DVI end of the adaptor into your Mac. Connect the HDMI end of your DVI to HDMI cable into your HDTV.
Follow the annotations in the photographs below for clearer instructions.
Continue to the next step for the set-up on the Computer.
Step 3: Computer Set-Up
Once everything is plugged in, and both you Mac and HDTV are on, you may get your default desktop background picture on Your TV, or nothing at all. On your MacBook, the next step is to navigate to system Preferences, found by looking for the Apple logo on the upermost right of your Mac's screen, clicking, and selecting System Preferences in the Drop Down Menu. Now click "Displays", you will now be greeted with many more options. I advise you put your resolution at the maximum. Now in the window, click "Detect Displays". Lastly, check the Box "Show Displays in Menu Bar".
Now there will be a little display icon in your Menu Bar. Click it and from the drop-down menu, select Mirror Displays. Your TV should now show and mimic whatever is on your laptop screen.
Now switch down the brightness on your Mac until it is off. (Short-cut on keyboard.)
For less confusing instructions, again follow the Annotations on the Photographs below.
Step 4: Audio (Optional)
Now connect whatever audio cable you decided to use, connect to speakers, or the audio input next to your HDMI in, if you have that option. This is optional, and I personally do not usually use it.
See annotations, and Photographs Below.
Step 5: Finished!
Now enjoy your home-theatre Mac, and cancel your Cable and Satellite*. You can now use your apple remote, air-mouse application (iPhone/iPod Touch), Keyboard or Mouse (Wireless or very long USB extention cable) to navigate all your favourite media.
If I've missed something, or have a suggestion, just let me know in the comments,