How to Connect Your Mac to a HD TV

September 2016

How to watch your videos stored on your Mac on a larger screen, play your games or browse the internet on your TV? Well, anything is possible with the right equipment. This tutorial explains how to connect Mac to your TV in a couple of easy steps.

Identify the ports available on your Mac

Your simply need to identify the type of ports available on your Mac and TV, and from there purchase the right cables/adapters. For Mac models released in 2008 or earlier, you will most likely require a special adapter as they are equipped with DVI, Micro DVI or Mini-DVI ports. As for recent models, most of them are equipped with HDMI, Thunderbolt or Mini-Display.

Identify the ports available on your TV

The next step is to check the type of ports available on your TV (Video port, HDMI or both) and then get the right cables/adapter. You should also make sure the cables have a sufficient length, before making the purchase. HDMI connection offers the best results (HD) and unlike the other connection methods it doesn't require a separate audio cable.

Connecting your Mac to your TV

If you want the image to fit on your TV screen (no black vertical/horizontal strips around the image), then you need to change the screen resolution of your Mac. Click on the Apple menu > System Preferences > Display > click on Resolutions and select 1920 x 1080, which is the default resolution used by most HD TVs. You also need to set the Aspect Ratio of your TV to 16:9 (the instructions are available in the manual provided with the device or on the manufacturer's website). These modifications must be performed before connecting your Mac to your TV set.

You can now connect your devices together and select your preferred display arrangement. This setting can be configured by going to System Preferences > Display > Arrangements. It should be noted that when you connect a secondary display to your Mac, it will automatically enable extended screen mode, which also means that both screens are being considered as a single desktop. Tick the Mirror Displays checkbox to disable the extended mode and display the same image on your Mac and TV screen.

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