How to connect a MacBook to a TV?

Discover the best way to connect your MacBook to your TV.

Make the most of your computer and watch CanalPlay, Netflix, Amazon Prime or YouTube on a big screen!

Connecting your Apple computer to your TV is easier than you think. For this, two options are available to you. You can either use an adapter and a cable or use a TV box (Apple TV or Chromecast).

If you want to connect your iPhone to your TV, it’s here!

The different ports of MacBook

Your Mac has at least one port that p had to be used to connect to your TV. The latter varies depending on the model of your computer.

You have a USB-C & Thunderbolt 3 port if you have one of the following models:

  • MacBook Pro (15 inches, late 2016)

You have an HDMI port if you have one of the following models:

  • Mac mini (mid-2010)
  • MacBook Pro Retina (from mid-2012 to mid-2014)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013)

You have a Thunderbolt 2 port if you have one of the following models:

  • MacBook Air (13 inches, early 2015)
  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27 inches, late 2014)
  • Mac mini (late 2014)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13 inches, late 2013) and following models.
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15 inches, late 2013) and following models.
  • Mac Pro (late 2013)

So you have a Thunderbolt port 2 you can use a MiniDisplay port but not the reverse!

If your Mac is older than the models mentioned above, chances are it has a Mini DisplayPort or a Micro-DVI port (first generation MacBook Air).

Choose between HDMI or DVI

If your TV is less than 10 years old, it probably has an HDMI port, but it is still better to check. The HDMI connection (which stands for High Definition Multimedia in English ) is ideal because it allows the transmission of HD video and sound simultaneously.

If your TV is older, it may have a DVI port. In this case, you will need two cables to connect to your computer. One for the picture and one for the sound.

Find the right adapter 

The rule is: Port your MacBook + port your TV = the adapter you need.

Now that you know what ports you have on your computer and TV, all you have to do is get the right adapter and an HDMI cable.

If your computer and your TV both have HDMI ports, good news, no need for an adapter but just a simple cable ( around 10 € ).

Otherwise, you will have to find:

– An adapter for Thunderbolt 2 and Mini DisplayPort to HDMI → Multiport adapter (34.95 €, Apple)  or mini Displayport to HDMI adapter  (4.95 €, Proxima direct).

– A USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 to HDMI adapter → USB-C digital multiport adapter ( 79 €, Apple ) or USB adapter C Digital Multiport AV ( 30,90 €, Choetech ).

Check the sound 

To make sure your computer can transfer sound without additional cable, click the Apple logo at the top left of your screen and choose  About This Mac → Preview → System Report → Audio. If you see HDMI Output or HDMI / DisplayPort in the list, it means that your Mac can transfer sound through its peripheral jack.

To make sure that the sound comes out of your TV and not from your computer when you have connected the two, go to System Preferences → Sound → Output.

Set up your MacBook connection 

Once you’ve connected your MacBook to your TV, on your computer go to System Preferences → Monitors → Layout.

If you want your TV to display the screen of your Mac as a mirror effect, choose Video Copy, otherwise choose the layout you want.

Apple TV & Chromecast

If you’re not a fan of cables, you can use Apple TV or Google Chromecast to display the contents of your computer on your TV screen.

The Apple TV box connects to your TV via HDMI and then uses WiFi to connect to your Mac. Thus, thanks to the AirPlay mode, your TV can display the screen of your computer without any cable being necessary. Apple TV is available from 179 €.

Google’s Chromecast works in a similar way but has an undeniable advantage over its competitor, since it is available from € 39!