Picture and sound from laptop into TV?
August 2, 2010 11:20 PM   Subscribe

How can I get picture and sound to go through my laptop into my TV?

I have an LG 37LH20 TV with lots of ports on the back of it: HDMI, DVI, USB, RGB In, and more. I also have a 2.26 GHz MacBook that I bought earlier this year. It has a port that Google tells me should be a MiniDisplay port. Is that right? I'm confused by adapters and plugs. How do I do this easily, and most importantly, cheaply? I'm in Canada, but I travel to Portland every once in a while, if shipping is an issue.
posted by smorange to Technology (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
MiniDisplay Port to HDMI adapter + HDMI cable.
posted by sharkfu at 11:25 PM on August 2, 2010

Response by poster: I'm not really willing to spend $35 (plus more for the cable) to do this. Anything cheaper?
posted by smorange at 11:28 PM on August 2, 2010

Best answer: I believe Monoprice's MiniDisplay Port to HDMI cable should work too, although I've never tried them personally so maybe someone else has and can recommend. (10ft version, 15ft version)
posted by sharkfu at 11:30 PM on August 2, 2010

Best answer: To add, the page sharkfu links notes "Audio support is only available for MacBook Pro 13/15/17-in. mid-2010 release; iMac 21.5/27-in. early-2010 release." If this does not cover your machine (it's not clear from the description) you may need to run an 1/8" stereo (headphone) to RCA adapter for audio.
posted by rhymeswithaj at 11:31 PM on August 2, 2010

Looks like you're in Vancouver; London Drugs is a good source for relatively cheap electronics. They've come through for me in the past at about half the price of Best Buy. Maybe this or this -- but if you go to London Drugs and tell them what you need, the staff there are pretty good. You could even bring your laptop to the store, I bet they would let you connect it to a TV to make sure it works before you buy anything.

On preview: $35 is what the adapters cost. No other options exist that I know of, unfortunately. This is Apple being a bit of a jerk to its customers. Note that the second link I showed is $40 and includes a cable -- though it doesn't have audio, you might need a separate cable for that.
posted by PercussivePaul at 11:32 PM on August 2, 2010

(but an audio cable can be bought at a dollar store for under $5 )
posted by PercussivePaul at 11:33 PM on August 2, 2010

Good catch, rhymeswithaj. I forgot only the newest Macs have audio over displayport.
posted by sharkfu at 11:34 PM on August 2, 2010

it's not super pretty hdmi or anything - but vga and an audio cable is how we do it.
posted by nadawi at 11:37 PM on August 2, 2010

NB: If you have a receiver which takes optical S/PDIF, your headphone port also supports optical output.

Also, further to the above, I have an off-brand MiniDisplayport->HDMI cable which works fine (though muting the audio on the TV is necessary to remove an annoying buzz - I presume a result of the lack of audio info on the HDMI connection).
posted by pompomtom at 11:40 PM on August 2, 2010

Response by poster: I think I might have a headphone to RCA cable somewhere, so if I need an additional cable for audio, it isn't a big deal. I don't have a receiver.

To jrockway and others: if I can't get video to the TV for $10-$15, then I won't do it. It's not a feature that's worth very much to me. I don't watch enough TV. But if I can do it cheaply, then I will.
posted by smorange at 11:46 PM on August 2, 2010

Best answer: Then that Monoprice cable that sharkfu linked to will do the job, and quite well.
posted by zsazsa at 11:52 PM on August 2, 2010

"Nope. You bought a Mac. They are pricey to maintain."
"This is Apple being a bit of a jerk to its customers."

Not to go all BP, but it's not just Apple. Try pricing a HP miniVGA-> VGA, or HP displayport -> HDMI adaptor - they're about the same price. Dell's displayport -> HDMI adaptor is usually cheaper, but that depends on the phase of the moon and which part of the Dell shop you look at.
posted by Pinback at 11:56 PM on August 2, 2010

You can buy one for $29 at NCIX

They also carry decent HDMI cables from as little as $13 (with no Monster cable hype!)

They are the best place for electronics in the Lower Mainland with stores in Vancouver, Burnaby, Langley, and Richmond

posted by Neiltupper at 3:21 AM on August 3, 2010

Not to go all BP, but it's not just Apple. Try pricing a HP miniVGA-> VGA, or HP displayport -> HDMI adaptor - they're about the same price.

CablesToGo has the same Mini-Display to DVI adapter from Sharkfu's first Apple link for about $10 cheaper.

That's what I use plus an HDMI cable and a headphone to RCA cable. But the total price would still be over OP's budget.
posted by jeremias at 4:49 AM on August 3, 2010

Do you have a playstation 3? If so, you can download nullriver for I think $20 and stream your stuff through the ps3 to the tv.
posted by TheBones at 6:25 AM on August 3, 2010

Response by poster: Nope, no PS3. The reason I sort of want to do this is to get a DVD player hooked up to the TV. It looks like I've got an answer. Thanks.
posted by smorange at 9:04 AM on August 3, 2010

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