How to Hook My Mac Laptop up to My TV

By Jedadiah Casey

Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro line of laptop computers all feature an external video connection. Depending on the laptop model, the external connector is either a mini-DVI or mini-DisplayPort. Neither connector is capable of connecting directly to a TV screen without using an adapter. You can connect the Mac laptop up to a TV screen by using the proper set of adapters and configuring the display options in the Mac OS X operating system.

Things You'll Need

  • Mini-DVI to DVI, mini-DVI to HDMI, mini-DisplayPort to DVI or mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adapter
  • HDMI or VGA cable

Step 1

Determine the TV's input capabilities. The TV must feature either a VGA or HDMI input. HDMI is the preferred input type.

Step 2

Acquire the appropriate adapter for your Mac laptop. Options include mini-DVI to DVI, mini-DVI to HDMI, mini-DisplayPort to DVI and mini-DisplayPort to HDMI. If the TV accepts an HDMI input, choose an adapter that converts to HDMI.

Step 3

Connect the TV to the adapter. The best option is to use an HDMI cable. If you are using a VGA input on the TV, you need a second adapter that converts from DVI to VGA. With a DVI to VGA adapter, one end of the VGA cable connects to the TV, while the other end connects to the DVI to VGA adapter. The DVI to VGA adapter then connects to the DVI adapter which connects to the laptop.

Step 4

Turn on the TV and select the appropriate input.

Step 5

Click the "System Preferences" icon on the Dock.

Step 6

Click the "Displays" icon.

Step 7

Click the "Detect Displays" button.

Step 8

Click the "Arrangement" tab.

Step 9

Drag the screens to represent the physical layout, or click "Mirror Displays" to feature the same image on both the laptop display and the TV. Close System Preferences when finished.