Mini DisplayPort to TV's VGA or DVI FEMALE - cannot find a cable!
July 14, 2013 9:37 AM   Subscribe

I have a 2009 MacBook Pro with a Mini DisplayPort, and a flatscreen tv that has DVI and VGA input ports. I cannot find a cable for sale that will let me hook the computer up to display the desktop on the TV. (pics of ports inside)

I'm tutoring some high-school students at my home in geometry, and I don't have a blackboard or whiteboard in my home (nor do I have the space to display it). I do have a 2009 MacBook Pro with a Mini DisplayPort and a flat-screen tv, though, and I have a Wacom Bamboo tablet, which would allow me to draw problems on the tv screen for them to see, copy and paste, delete, etc. -- which would be extremely useful.

The TV is old, and so I have no option for HDMI or anything like that. Every cable I find that's "mini displayport --> DVI" or "mini displayport --> VGA" has a female DVI/VGA end, which does me no good, since the ports on my TV are female.

Picture of my laptop's Mini DisplayPort (for what that's worth).

Picture of my TV's input options. (I don't know why it's displaying upside-down; the photo is rightside-up when I look at it on my computer.)

I've looked at the Apple Store, and Best Buy, and searched online, but everything is turning up Mini-DisplayPort adapters with female plugs.

I don't need audio output -- just the picture.

Any ideas?
posted by tzikeh to Technology (7 answers total)
Best answer: OK, so why not just grab a Male-to-male cable to go between your TV and the Apple adapter? Most DVI connections I've seen on devices are female on both ends, with the expectation being that the cable is double-headed male.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:42 AM on July 14, 2013

Minidisplayport->DVI or VGA adaptor plus plain old DVI or VGA cable?

Either that or hit up Monoprice.
posted by egypturnash at 9:43 AM on July 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

Every cable I find that's "mini displayport --> DVI" or "mini displayport --> VGA" has a female DVI/VGA end, which does me no good, since the ports on my TV are female.

Yes, this is how it's supposed to be: it's actually not a cable, it's a port converter. If your Mac had a DVI port on it, it would be female too. You need to buy the port converter and a standard DVI cable (which is male-male).
posted by bonaldi at 9:45 AM on July 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also if you think you will ever travel with this computer and want to plug it into external screens, I'd recommend a MDP->VGA or DVI adapter anyway, maybe even both, as its a lot less to pack into your bag if you're gonna hook up to a projector or big screen at the other end of an airplane flight. I just let the AV crew at my destination know what I need.
posted by egypturnash at 9:47 AM on July 14, 2013

Response by poster: Okay so perhaps drinking coffee first would have helped me remember that "DVI cable" and "DVI adapter" are obviously two different things, and I need both for this to work.

Thank you all!
posted by tzikeh at 9:49 AM on July 14, 2013

Don't feel bad. I also assumed that I could get a combination male mini-Displayport to male DVI cable.
posted by wnissen at 11:12 AM on July 14, 2013

Single-solution "male Mini DisplayPort to male DVI" cables exist, see for example, the $10.15 combined adapter and cable at

However, I endorse the comments made earlier that recommend combining a "male Mini DisplayPort to female DVI" adapter with a standard "male DVI to male DVI" cable. You'll find such a setup more flexible if you need to take your setup on the road, not to mention that you can use the Apple adapter, which will have the greatest compatibility with your MacBook Pro.
posted by RichardP at 11:44 AM on July 14, 2013

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