How to Connect an Apple Laptop to a Television

To turn your Apple laptop into a media powerhouse, you can easily connect it to your TV with an inexpensive adapter (around $20) and the proper cables. Check the back of your TV to find out what kind of audio and video connections it supports. Some high-definition TVs (HDTVs) have Digital Video Interface (DVI) ports, which feature three rows of 8 pins with a blade next to them. Some HDTVs have High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) ports, which look like skinny trapezoids. Some have both. Older TVs may have S-video ports, which are circular and colored yellow. Other TVs have VGA connectors, which have three rows of five pins. Use the best cables that work with your TV: HDMI and DVI are better than S-video, and S-video is better than VGA. The basic process of connecting your Apple laptop to your TV will be the same no matter which cable you use.

LCD HDTV connected to laptop, side view right
credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Step

Turn off your Apple laptop computer and your TV. Connect the Mini-DVI adapter to the Mini-DVI port on your Apple laptop. This port looks like a rectangle with two of the corners rounded.

Step

Connect one end of the DVI-D, HDMI to DVI, VGA, or S-video cable to the Mini-DVI or Mini-VGA adapter.

Step

Connect the other end of the cable to the appropriate port on your TV. A DVI port has three rows of 8 pins with a thin blade of metal next to them, an HDMI port looks like a trapezoid, a VGA port has holes for three rows of five pins, and S-video has a large center pin with a sheath of metal around it.

Step

Connect the single end of the 1/8-inch stereo-to-dual RCA audio cable to the headphone port on your laptop. There will be a little drawing of headphones above the port.

Step

Locate the ports labeled "Audio IN" your TV. There will be two RCA ports; one is red and one is white. Insert the red and white RCA cable connectors into the corresponding color-coded ports.