How Do I Switch My MacBook Computer Screen to the TV?

By Maxwell Payne

Both Macbooks and Macbook Pros, which are Apple's laptop computers, come with a built in Mini DisplayPort. This allows you to connect the computer to a larger external monitor. The monitor can be a separate computer monitor or a television. Once the connection is made, you will be able to see your Mac’s desktop and all of the display on the larger external television.

Locate Mini DisplayPort

Look at the left hand side of the Macbook. You will see a series of connections and ports. On the basic Macbook models, the Mini DisplayPort is located between the Ethernet port and the USB ports. On the Macbook Pro models, it is located between the Firewire port and the USB ports. The Mini DisplayPort is one of the smallest ports, about half the length of the USB ports.

Determine the connection

Locate the video in connection on your television. For most TVs, a 3 port RCA video out connection is available. This is the one that has yellow, red, and white connections with the yellow being the video. For this you will need an Apple Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter and a VGA to RCA adapter. You will also need an extra RCA cable that has male (goes into a connection) jacks on each end. You can purchase these at electronics stores.Some TVs will have VGA ports built in. If this is the case, you will only need a VGA cable to connect to the Mini DisplayPort adapter.

Set up the connection

Connect the Small end of the adapter to the Mini DisplayPort on the laptop. Connect the VGA cable end to the adapter. The cable's connection will have small pins that fit into place on the port of the Mini Display adapter. You may need to tighten the holding screws on this connection.For VGA to RCA connections, also connect the RCA end (with yellow, red, and white connections) to the matching connections on the male to male extra RCA cable. Connect the other end of this cable to the RCA in video connection on the TV itself.Turn on the TV and tune it to the video input that matches the RCA input you used. For example if your TV has 3 RCA video inputs total and you used the first one, tune to Video 1. Turn on the computer and you will see the display of the computer on the TV. Macs will make the display a second display, meaning you can use both screens independently to display different things. However if you want to switch to just the TV, connect an external keyboard and mouse to the Macbook if needed and close the laptop's top.