Guide to Connecting Your MacBook Pro to a HDTV
Learn How to Connect Your Mac to an HDTV
Connecting your MacBook Pro to a TV is perfect for watching Internet shows and movies, playing games, delivering presentations, DJ'ing parties, and more. You might be thinking that this sounds difficult or is going to cost you a lot of money.
Fortunately, connecting your MacBook Pro to a TV is quite easy and cheap! Use this guide to watch an installation demonstration video, and then check out the required parts along with a step-by-step installation guide. Good luck!
Watch the Video: Connecting MacBook to TV via HDMI
Part One: Installation Equipment
Required Parts for Setup
1. You'll need an HDMI Adapter Cable for your MacBook Pro such as the Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter with Audio Support. This adapter allows your MacBook Pro to connect to a HDTV and pass video and audio data to the machine.
2. Second, you'll need a high definition cable to hook your MacBook Pro to an HDTV such as the High-Speed HDMI Cable.
3. Don't forget your MacBook Pro Charger.
4. If you have a MacBook Pro without HDMI audio, you'll also need some computer speakers.
5. An external keyboard and mouse could also come in handy.
1. Turn on your MacBook Pro and your TV or external display.
2. Connect the small end of the Mini Displayport Adapter into the mini display port located on the left side of your MacBook Pro.
3. Plug one end of the HDMI Cable into the Mini Displayport adapter, then the other end into your HDTV, monitor, or projector.
4. Switch to the proper video input using your TV's remote.
Tip: At this point, your MacBook Pro and TV should display your Mac OS desktop (or the default Apple Galaxy Wallpaper). If not, then go to System Preferences > Displays and click "Detect Displays" to activate the second screen.
5. Go to System Preferences > Displays and verify that your external display is on the correct resolution (1080p for most HDTVs). Un-check the "Mirror Displays" option if necessary.
Tip: Mac desktop not covering your entire TV screen? Make sure the "Overscan" option is checked!
6. Click on "Arrangement." Then, click on the white bar in the smaller blue display box (your Mac Book's LCD screen) and drag it to the larger blue screen (your external display). This will place the OS X menu bar on your TV screen, essentially making it the primary screen. Close the "Displays" menu.
How to Use MacBook Pro and TV in Single Display Mode (Optional)
By default, the MacBook Pro goes into sleep mode if its lid is closed, thus turning off the signal to your connected TV.
A simple solution to prevent your MacBook Pro from sleeping requires only your MacBook Pro charger, an external keyboard, and mouse. Connect these parts to your MacBook Pro, and then close the laptop's lid. Either hit the space bar on your external keyboard or move your mouse, and your MacBook Pro desktop will display only on your TV.
How to Use Your MacBook Pro on a TV
I connect my 15" Mac Book Pro to my 32" Vizio TV as part of my gaming room.
Need some ideas on what to do with your new setup? Here's six uses for your MacBook Pro while connected to a TV!
- Play games in full high definition (if your display and your game support it)
- Watch movies fullscreen (DVDs, Netflix, Amazon Instant Videos)
- Watch internet TV from Hulu, YouTube, and more
- Use media streaming applications such as Boxee
- Play iTunes and FrontRow in fullscreen visualizer mode (great for parties!)
- Get more screen space for using programs such as Photoshop
- Display Powerpoint or Keynote presentations
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I tell if my MacBook Pro supports HDMI audio?
Here's Apple's list of MacBook laptops that support HDMI audio as well as video. If your Mac doesn't have HDMI audio capabilities (mine doesn't) then you will need to attach a pair of computer speakers or a digital receiver if you have one.
What if my TV or monitor doesn't support HDMI?
No worries! There are plenty of MacBook Pro Mini Displayport Adapters for VGA or DVI for you to choose from. Be sure to also buy the proper type of display cable as well.
How do I increase MacBook Pro performance?
Under System Preferences > Energy, you have the option to change your MacBook Pro from "Battery Power Saver" to "High Performance." You are welcome to play around with this setting as you may experience some lag. It just depends on the applications you run. Any changes will require you to restart your OS X session.
What do you use your MacBook Pro for when it's connected to a TV?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.