Ever wanted to stream movies from your laptop to your TV? Or to show friends and family your holiday snaps on the big screen? Maybe you’d like to catch up on your favourite TV shows using catch-up services like ABC’s iView or Channel 7’s 7PLUS on your home theatre setup?
Mirroring your Macbook screen on your TV is actually super easy – as long as you have the right accessories. Basically, there are two ways you can go about connecting your Macbook to your TV:
- Option one is through an adaptor and cable.
- Option two is through a set-top box, such as Apple TV.
Let’s have a look at these two methods in more detail.
How to Connect Your MacBook to Your TV with Cables
In 2015 Apple released a new 12-inch MacBook. This slim device is pretty stripped down, with just a headphone jack and one single USB-C connection port. Because of this, connecting a post-2015 MacBook to your TV will be a little different to connecting a MacBook Pro or pre-2015 MacBook. I’ll give you the instructions for both.
Connecting Your 2015 or Later MacBook to Your TV with a USB-C to HDMI Adaptor
So you have just one port – the USB-C connection. You will need to purchase an adaptor with a USB-C to HDMI connection. There are quite a few options on the market. Apple makes their own ($75 AUD – check it out here), as do other tech brands (which are usually a little cheaper). These adaptors are pretty easy to come by, and any good tech store should stock a few options at a few different price points.
You’ll also need a HDMI cable, which are even more common and a lot cheaper! In fact, you can pick one up for about $10. You might even have one lying around the house.
Once you’ve bought the adaptor and cable, there really isn’t much to it. Simply plug the adaptor into the USB-C connection port on your MacBook, and then use the HDMI cable to connect your laptop to your television. Switch your TV over to the HDMI setting and there you have it – your MacBook’s display on the big screen.
Connecting Your Pre-2015 MacBook or MacBook Pro to Your TV with a Thunderbolt/MiniDisplay to HDMI Adaptor
If your laptop doesn’t have a USB-C connection, you’ll need to buy a Thunderbolt or MiniDisplay to HDMI Adaptor.
Apple doesn’t actually make one of these, but other tech brands do (Belkin makes one for $59.95). Again, you will also need a HDMI cable.
Once you’ve purchased the adaptor and HDMI cable, the process is exactly the same. Connect the adaptor to your laptop, the HDMI cable to the adaptor, and the TV to the HDMI cable.
How to Connect Your MacBook to Your TV with a Set-top Box
Connecting your MacBook to your TV with a set-top box has a couple of advantages over using adaptors and cables:
- First, it’s wireless. Most people have a ton of wires hidden behind their TV, so wireless technology makes things a whole lot easier.
- Second, a set-top box will work with most Apple laptops and desktops, regardless of the type and number of connection ports.
- Third, set-top boxes work with your smart phone and tablet too. In other words, you can use your iPhone or iPad to watch TV shows and movies.
- Finally, set-top boxes can be used for more than just mirroring your laptop screen. Many allow you to access catch-up services and video hosting sites (such as YouTube and Vimeo) directly from the TV.
Apple TV is Apple’s own set-top box, and at about $240, it’s quite an investment. It does, however, make mirroring your laptop screen on your TV really quick and easy. Once the box is set up, an AirPlay icon will appear in the top toolbar on your laptop. When that appears, simply click that and as if by magic, your laptop’s display will appear on your TV.
The process is fairly similar using other set-top boxes, such as Google’s Chromecast (which is much cheaper at around $60).
Need Help With Your Tech Setup?
Technology is notorious for not working as it should. If you’d like to skip the headache and frustration that comes with setting up all your devices, then get in contact. Not only do we help with computer setup, but we can also help you get your TV and macbook talking as well. Is your wifi setup too slow? Have any mac repair needs? Give me a call on 1300 553 166 or fill out the form on this page. I’ll get right back to you.