Need help configuring projector with Mac
January 27, 2019 6:21 AM   Subscribe

I have a presentation to give this coming weekend and need help/advice/reassurance connecting a projector to my MacBook Pro, please.

I have this projector.
I have a MacBook Pro 2012 running Mojave 2.3Gh i7

I need to connect the two and am having a bit of anxiety with it.

The projector has 2 USB A ports, an HDMI port, and a VGA port.

The Mac has 2 USB A ports, a firewire port, and an ethernet port.

I've ordered a USB A cable with 2 male ends. Is this enough to connect them? The owner's manual for the projector just has a diagram with a vague cable that says "computer cables" in the diagram and looks like it should be a VGA to VGA connection, then has an alternate image of "the laptop" with nothing further explained. The manual goes into all kinds of detail about how to hang it, keep it clean, and adjust the image, use the remote, but not much about the actual connections to make. I can navigate the bad translation to English, but this is really getting to me.

I already own an HDMI cable with two male ends and can order a USB to HDMI (or any other available) cable if I need to. I do not mind ordering extra cables as insurance as I am always scrounging to cobble things together from decades of other machines and peripherals anyway.

This is only for images, not for sound or motion. I am just working through slides in Keynote and need them projected while I talk about them.

I'll order what I need to, but would like to do it in the next day so that it all gets here in time. I'd rather pour my anxiety into the presentation rather than the setup.

I am looking for "Buy this and maybe this to cover your bases aside from the USB A cable".

posted by Tchad to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That Mac also has a thunderbolt port, which is what you actually want to use. Thunderbolt is also an implementation of the Mini DisplayPort standard. Buy a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adaptor and use that to connect to the HDMI port on the projector.
posted by rockindata at 6:45 AM on January 27, 2019 [6 favorites]

The USB ports are not generally for connecting a computer but instead are for putting in a flash drive full of photos which the projector then turns into a slideshow.
posted by rockindata at 6:47 AM on January 27, 2019

I think you need a thunderbolt to HDMI adapter, like rockindata mentioned.
posted by nickggully at 6:47 AM on January 27, 2019

This is probably your Macbook.

The USB cable won't work- it's not a video cable. Your laptop almost certainly has a Thunderbolt 1 port as its video out port. Like the folks above say, get a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, but to make doubly sure, particularly if you won't get a chance to test it, get a Mini DP to VGA adapter and VGA cable as a backup.
posted by zamboni at 6:55 AM on January 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is only for images, not for sound or motion. I am just working through slides in Keynote and need them projected while I talk about them.

For an alternative solution, the projector you linked says it supports playing images from a USB drive. Export your Keynote slides to JPEG images, save them to a USB stick, plug them into the projector's USB port, and see if you can dispense with the computer all together.
posted by zamboni at 7:03 AM on January 27, 2019

Thanks everybody. Done.

I got the mini DP to HDMI and the mini DP to VGA with a cable, and will load the presentation to a USB drive just in case. That last one felt odd and untrustworthy to me, but not for any particular reason other than general ignorance (and maybe a slowly brewing blinding panic).

This helps me focus on the presentation. Just this massive weight lifted here. Thanks so much!
posted by Tchad at 7:12 AM on January 27, 2019

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