How to Connect a Mac to a TV

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How to Connect a Mac to a TV

Connecting a Mac to a television can open up a range of new media possibilities. The television can be used as a monitor or can stream content from Hulu or Netflix, for example. It could also be used to display photo slide shows or presentations using this process, which can be handy for work functions or parties. Generally, there are two ways to hook up a Mac to a television.


How to Use a Mini Display Port Adaptor and HDMI Cable

One common, inexpensive way to connect an Apple computer to a television is to use cables. The specific cables needed are a mini display port adapter and a HDMI cable. Both of these cables can be found online.

Simply plug the mini display port into the Thunderbolt slot. This slot can be found on the side of your laptop. Then, plug the HDMI cable into the adapter. Next, find the HDMI slot on the back of the television and plug the HDMI cable into the slot. Finally, turn the television to the proper setting by pressing the input button on the remote until the images from the computer come up on the television screen.

Screen Mirroring

If it is not working, then the screen mirroring on the laptop may be turned off. Turning it on is a simple process:

  1. On the Mac, open the System Preferences option and click on the Displays option.
  2. What looks like two screens should appear on the laptop screen. The built-in display screen is the laptop and the other represents the television screen.
  3. Click on the Arrangement tab for the second screen and tick the box beside the Mirror Display option.
  4. Close out the screen and everything should be working properly.

Cord Length

An HDMI cord that is long enough is very important to have. If the laptop will be set up right next to the television, then the cable may not need to be more than a meter long. On the other hand, if the Apple will be on the other side of the room, the cord may need to be three or more meters.


How to Use a STB or STU Device

A more expensive option, but much simpler solution is to go with a set-top box device (STB) or a set-top unit (STU). These devices simply plug into a television or into a cable or satellite box and connects to a laptop through a WiFi network connection. There are no cables stretching across the room to worry about and you the device can even be left plugged into the television.

Some devices that can be used for this purpose are Apple TV, Vizio Co-Star Streaming and Google Chromecast.

To connect a STB or STU to a television and WiFi network, first follow the directions that come with the device, since they will vary depending on the manufacturer. Typically, though, they will connect using an HDMI connection or coax cable.



There's no need to stare at a laptop screen. It is easy to connect a Mac to any size television for better viewing using a couple basic cables or a set-top device.

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