With record numbers of people canceling their cable television subscriptions, it's increasingly making sense to simply connect your laptop to your TV and watch movies and TV programs this way. Read on for all you need to know about connecting your MacBook to your TV.
First, you will need to determine if your TV has an HDMI input. Most TVs that were made since the mid-2000s have at least one port, so have a look at the back and see if you can find out.
This here shows a TV with two HDMI ports on the back. If your TV has one HDMI, don't be confused, one port is all we need.
You will now have to find out which video port you have on your Mac so that you can get the right cable/dongle. Unless the computer is ancient, it will have either an HDMI port, a USB-type C port, a Thunderbolt port, or a MiniDisplay port. Check out the illustrations below to see which one your Mac has and to find out what cable you'll need.
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Retina MacBook Pro (2016 onwards)
The latest Macbook Pros do not have an HDMI cable at all. You just have 4 x USB-C ports. We recommend that you get a dongle that doubles as a hub for USD, ethernet, HDMI, and other functions too. This is one that we can personally recommend.
Retina MacBook Pro (before 2016)
The Retina MacBook Pros have an HDMI port, which is located on the right-hand side of the computer, as per the picture above. If your Mac has an HDMI port, you will need an HDMI cable, which is common and can be purchased at any electronics store or here via Amazon.
The Retina MacBook only has one port, the USB-type C port, on the left-hand side of the computer. This port functions as video-out, so you will need an HDMI to USB-C adapter as well as a USB cable to connect a Retina MacBook to your TV. The correct adapter can be purchased here via Amazon.
MacBook Air or non-retina MacBook Pro
If you have a MacBook Air or a non-retina MacBook Pro made after 2008, then the computer will have either a Thunderbolt port or a Mini DisplayPort, as seen in the picture above. For both of these ports, the adapter from Amazon here.
Once you have obtained an HDMI cable and adapter, all you need to do is plug it into your TV and select the correct input on the TV for the port that it is plugged into. By default, your display should show up on the TV screen, and you can go into the display part of the system preferences to toggle mirroring and change the arrangement of the TV screen and your MacBook screen (see below).