trying to connect tv, laptop
March 8, 2014 7:35 PM   Subscribe

I have a 2008 macbook pro and a sony flatscreen tv. the screen goes up to my tv, no problem. the sound, however, doesn't.

I have a 2008 macbook pro and a sony flatscreen tv. i have this cable, which connects from the laptop monitor port to an hdmi splitter to the tv. (the splitter is a trio - cable, roku, laptop; roku works fine.)

the screen goes up to my tv, no problem. the sound, however, doesn't. sound still plays from my laptop.

because my laptop is older, it doesn't have anything to really go directly to the tv. i thought the cable was all i needed, but the tinny sound from my laptop is sort of miserable.
posted by crankyrogalsky to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Your best bet might be to just get some speakers that you can plug into the laptop's headphone jack. Otherwise you can get this cable which should work just fine. I've got a similar set up with a MacMini and I feel you, it's annoying.
posted by jessamyn at 7:39 PM on March 8, 2014

Best answer: DVI does not carry audio.
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 7:40 PM on March 8, 2014

Response by poster: speakers were my backup; they've moved up in priority. and now i know i can send the cable back.

that was fast, thanks!
posted by crankyrogalsky at 7:42 PM on March 8, 2014

I used to have a similar set-up. I'm not sure what OS you are running but I ended up getting an AppleTV pretty much only for this and use AirPlay now. If you end up going this route, a little tip: under Display System Preferences, unclick "Mirror Displays." That way you can drag a movie onto the TV monitor and continue to use your laptop.
posted by phaedon at 7:43 PM on March 8, 2014

Response by poster: oh - then there might be a wrinkle!

i have apple tv. not the newest one - probably a year or two old. i have yet to understand what i should use it for (hand-me down), so i didn't even think to mention it. maybe turned it on once.

i'm on 0S 10.9; how would that configuration work?
posted by crankyrogalsky at 7:52 PM on March 8, 2014

I believe your 2008 MacBook is too old to support AirPlay for video, but since you're running Mavericks you should be able to see it as an AirPlay audio target. You can test this by putting Apple TV up on the television, then Option-clicking the little speaker icon in your menu bar and selecting your Apple TV under "Output Device." At this point all audio from your computer should start coming out of the TV speakers.

If that works, you'll need to figure out how to get audio out of the Apple TV and into the TV on the same input you're using for the computer's DVI cable. If this is onerous (for example if your cabling from the cabinet to the TV is limited to that one HDMI) you could also buy an AirPort Express and connect that behind the TV, setting it up to connect to your wifi in "bridge mode" and connecting its audio out to the same input on the TV as your computer's DVI connection.
posted by contraption at 8:14 PM on March 8, 2014

A 2008 Macbook Pro can't do Airplay display mirroring but you might be able to send Airplay video via iTunes or another video player. I have a 2009 Macbook Air and do this all the time. Look for the Airplay icon in iTunes:
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 8:23 PM on March 8, 2014

Does your TV have an optical audio in port, sometimes called TOSLINK? If so, the headphone jack on your MBP also doubles as an optical audio out. You can run a $10 fiber optic TOSLINK cable and mini-TOSLINK adapter from your MBP to your TV and get much higher quality audio.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:48 PM on March 8, 2014

This is cable I use, which connects the headphone jack on the MBP to the audio jack on the tv.

I keep that cable, and also the hdmi cable, plugged into the back of the tv and wrapped around these doodads and it takes two seconds to connect the laptop. Not as easy as wireless, of course, but no harder than needing one cable.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:45 PM on March 8, 2014

According to this Apple support document, your Mac is too old for display mirroring through your Apple TV.

You might still be able to stream video, though. Here's how to test:

Turn on your Apple TV.
On your Mac, start a YouTube video.
If your Mac and at least one other device are configured with the same Apple ID and they are on the same wifi router, you will see an AirPlay icon in the lower right corner of the video, next to the timeline bar.
Click that icon to see a menu of devices you can display the video on: you should see your Mac (selected) and your Apple TV at a minimum.
posted by ardgedee at 6:39 AM on March 9, 2014

According to this Apple support document, your Mac is too old for display mirroring through your Apple TV.

Sorry to chime in late, I'm surprised nobody mentioned AirParrot. I got my parents' 2008 laptop to work with an AppleTV this way (if AirPlay is unsupported). Check it out! Basically the same thing!

Also, if you have an AppleTV 2, don't just give that thing away. It's really valuable!

What you can use it for - find the remote for the damn thing, make sure your laptop and your AppleTV are on the same Wi-Fi network and you'll be able to push video/audio to your television wirelessly!
posted by phaedon at 1:40 AM on March 10, 2014

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