General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

(I am a computer idiot.) Can you help me figure out how to see movies from my computer on my TV?

Asked by tinyfaery (41661points) June 16th, 2010

I tried to search, but couldn’t find exactly what I need.

I have an old TV. The kind with the yellow, red and white cables. I have a digital cable box (a Motorola box from Time Warner cable) that has a USB port. I have a MacBook and iTunes (obviously).

What’s the cheapest and easiest way to make this happen?

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13 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Not so easy to tell with the present information. I would need to know what the video and audio output ports are on the MacBook, to know if you could make a direct connection, or would need a converter.

janbb's avatar

Are you looking to view movies from Netflix as “watch instantly”? In that case, it is my understainding that you need to buy a Roku box for $99. that makes it work. Here’s a link from Netflix that desciribes that and other options.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@janbb I know it shouldn’t be that expensive, as I currently have my own setup from my computer to my TV and watch movies and recorded TV shows all the time (using an RGB input, even). Only cost me about $20 for all the cables and converters necessary. But as @dpworkin said, we definitely need more info. Specific model of MacBook should help.

jrpowell's avatar

It depends on the Macbook. The newer ones use a mini display port while older ones use mini-DVI. How old is the Macbook? The switch to mini display was really recent.

If it uses mini-DVI you need to get this. That will take care of the video. You will need a 1/8” miniplug to RCA for the audio. Those are cheap and most electronic stores will have one.

dpworkin's avatar

If the MacBook has RCA out, it is simple. If it has VGA out or S-Video out plus maybe line out or small-pin headphone out, I need to know that.

dpworkin's avatar

@johnpowell nailed it: miniplug to RCA and DVI mini to RCA.

janbb's avatar

what they said.

tinyfaery's avatar

My MacBook is about 3 years old.

What is RCA and DVI and VGA?

Seriously, talk to me like I’m a 5 year old. Which wires go in which holes?

mrrich724's avatar

Once you figure out what cable/adapter you need go to to buy them . . . ridiculously cheap stuff (like HDMI cables for 5 bucks!)

jrpowell's avatar

#1 Buy the part I linked to above.
#2 Plug that into your MacBook. (it will only fit in one hole on the Macbook) The adapter will have a yellow hole on it.
#3 Buy this cable. Plug it into to yellow hole on the adapter in step one. Plug the other end in the yellow hole in the TV.

That covers video. Now we hook up audio.

#4 Buy this. That plugs into where you would plug in headphones on your Macbook. Plug in the other end of that cable to the red and white holes on your TV.

Now you are are done.

tinyfaery's avatar

I love you @johnpowell. You are the #1 most helpful Jellie ever in the history of the world

tinyfaery's avatar

This is my last step to a cable free life!

jrpowell's avatar

I just thought I would add that when you plug this stuff in you will have two options. You can mirror the displays so you see the same thing on the Macbook and the TV. Or you can use spanning so it is like have two screens. For example: if you span you could play a movie on the TV and still browse on your MacBook.

If you want to span you might want to get a longer cable for the audio. That way you could sit on the couch and work while you play a movie or show on the TV.

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