I can't connect this iBook to the TV
April 15, 2007 12:28 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to connect my G4 iBook to my TV, but apparently I don't have the right combination of output cables. I need some advice here.

I bought this iBook in March 2005. It came with a VGA cable and I bought a red composite audio output wire that plugs into the headphones jack. The audio is working fine. I wanted to run the video out through S-Video to my TV, but this apple adapter doesn't work (it has a female end and I need a male). Is there another Apple adapter that will work with my iBook to output S-Video? Maybe through FireWire or USB? Do I need to use my VGA adapter and then get a VGA to S-Video adapter?
posted by mattbucher to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
You need that Apple adaptor. Just buy a bog standard S-video cable to plug into it. That'll convert female into male, and it'll mean that you can have your iBook more than two inches from the back of the TV.
posted by chrismear at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2007

You probably want the Apple adapter that you linked to, and then just a simple S-Video cable (which has male plugs on both ends) to go from that to the TV.

Anything else is going to be a lot more complicated and a lot more expensive.
posted by xil at 12:55 PM on April 15, 2007

you need that 2nd adaptor with the s-video.

just get the right s-video adaptor to get male/female.
posted by kamelhoecker at 12:56 PM on April 15, 2007

Best answer: I bought this for my ~2005 iBook, and have never had a single problem with it. Before I was using an ad hoc assortment of video and audio...but this is nice and neat, and rolls up behind the TV when I'm not using it.

If only it worked for my new MacBook, which has a different video output.
posted by nevercalm at 1:16 PM on April 15, 2007

Response by poster: Everyone says I need the apple adapter I linked to, but I'm telling you it won't plug into the port on my iBook. The port with the line-square-line symbol on the computer is female, the VGA adapter that came with the iBook is male, but the S-Video adapter I have has a female end on that side and I it won't fit into my iBook. Is there one that does have a male end?

I went to Radio Shack for the Audio and S-Video cables but they did not have an adapter for my iBook. The Monster cable looks perfect, but it's $40 and I've already sunk about $50 into this project. Is there any noticeable quality difference using S-Video over the yellow video composite cable?
posted by mattbucher at 2:26 PM on April 15, 2007

I've used both the composite cable (with an adapter or two) and the Monster, and I didn't notice any appreciable difference. Then again, I'd think that running anything through a few cheapie Radio Shack adapters would tend to degrade the quality, if even just slightly. I'm not doing any sort of video editing or filmmaking or whatnot, just watching some movies.

Yes, the monster cable is expensive, but since it's the only thing the wife and I use for a dvd player, I figured it was worth the cash. If I was already $50 in, I might feel a little different. Can you return everything to the Shack and just go to your local Apple Store? That's where I picked up what I'm using.
posted by nevercalm at 2:38 PM on April 15, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, nevercalm. If I can't get any of this other stuff to work I will try to return everything and get the Monster cable.
posted by mattbucher at 2:44 PM on April 15, 2007

Wait, are you saying that the S-Video adapter for the iBook won't plug into the iBook, or are you saying that the S-Video cable you have won't plug into the adapter? I only ask because the mini-DVI socket on the iBook has had a few different shapes over the years.
posted by rhizome at 2:48 PM on April 15, 2007

Best answer: Okay, it sounds like you've picked up a "Mini-DVI to Video" adaptor, when what you actually need for a 2005 iBook is a "Mini-VGA to Video" adaptor.

They look very similar, which is why we assumed from your photo that you've got the right one, and you were having a problem with the video connectors, not the computer connection.

The photo you linked to is in fact a Mini-VGA to Video adaptor. But you can see that the Mini-DVI to Video adaptor looks very similar.

I absolutely guarantee that if you bought a new iBook in 2005, then it has a Mini-VGA port. Are you sure you haven't picked up a Mini-DVI adaptor by mistake?
posted by chrismear at 3:11 PM on April 15, 2007

Best answer: I think Chrismear nailed it. Apple hasn't done a great job over the years on the Powerbooks of making it clear whether you have a Mini-DVI or Mini-VGA connector. If you have a [Something]-to-Video adapter, and it doesn't plug into the computer, then you probably have the wrong one.

Cf. Mini-VGA and Mini-DVI. Since you described it as "D-shaped" I think your computer has Mini-VGA ... I'll bet the non-fitting adapter is a newer DVI one, with a lot more connections (it's more of a C or E shape instead of a D).

I'd take it back to your local Apple Store (preferably bringing the computer) and exchange it for the right one.

Once you have the right Apple adapter, you ought to be able to plug it into the computer, and then just use a standard Composite or S-Video cable (both of which have male plugs at each end of the cable) to connect to your TV.
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:00 PM on April 15, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the help everyone. I think I have the mini-DVI rather than the mini-VGA.
posted by mattbucher at 6:07 PM on April 15, 2007

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