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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Connecting latest MacBook Pro to old TV with S-Video or A/V cable?


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SamFen

 
Member Since: Jun 17, 2010
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Hi all,

I have the latest MacBook Pro running 10.6 with a mini-DVI out. I also have a old Sony Trinitron (2003?) which only has S-Video and A/V cable (the yellow/red/white cable) hookups.

What's the best way to hook up my laptop to the TV?

So I already had a mini-DVI - DVI adapter, and I went and bought a DVI - Video adapter (I didn't notice there was a mini-DVI - Video adapter, or I would have just bought that and saved a connection). I plugged it in to my laptop (miniDVI -> DVI -> Video), and, just with the adapter connected and nothing else, my laptop detects that there is an NTSC/PAL display connected. But when I plug the yellow A/V cable to the video adapter, my TV doesn't recognize it at all.

Did I just waste my money?

After reading, some people say that the output on my mac is digital and the video in on these TVs has to be analog, and the adapter doesn't do the conversion. So why do they sell them?

I also read that you can buy a converter box. Are these any good? Does anyone have any recommendations?

Any help appreciated, thanks.
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mknabster

 
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I think you might have just wasted your money. I was going to try hooking up my Mac to a tube TV as well, but everyone I talked to highly didn't recommend it. The picture would be there, but all depending on what the ouput of the cord is (in your case, you need a conversion box), which generally would be very low, but it wouldn't even be worth it. You can get a LACD TV cheap now, but all-in-all, it's not even worth it for use with a tube TV.

-Matt
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bobtomay

 
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I agree with mknabster that it's not worth it.

However, if you're going to try it, we need to know which Mac you have in order to answer the question.

First, if you have a mini-DVI out on your MacBook Pro, you do not have the latest MBP as no Intel MBP has ever had a mini-DVI. There are only two options for ports that have been available on any MBP and they are DVI and the mini-displayport.

All older MBPs in the 15" & 17" size had DVI. By the time the 13" model was brought into the MBP line, that port had changed to the MDP.

If you indeed have the latest model with the mini displayport, then you will definitely need a converter, not an adapter, to get to either S-Video or composite.

The DVI to video adapter was made for those MBPs that have a DVI port on them.

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SamFen

 
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You're totally right, I was confused: I do have the latest 15" MacBook Pro, but it has a Mini DisplayPort, not Mini DVI.

So I have a Mini DisplayPort -> DVI adapter, and DVI -> Video adapter. But I'm guessing that won't work? Hrmph.

So if I use a converter box, will the quality be sucky?
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bobtomay

 
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You're correct in that it won't work. There is no video analog out on the new MBP at all. Even the mdp to VGA that Apple is selling and calling an adapter is really a converter.

The DVI-I ports that were on the older MBPs could carry both analog and digital. The mdp to DVI adapter, the DVI is actually a DVI-D which is digital only. So yes, you would need a converter to get it back to analog.

Personally, I have always found using composite for a computer signal to be very bad and S-Video only slightly better. It's probably been around 10 years since I last tried, but I never even got movies to look as good as a DVD player through S-Video. And text or web pages - terrible. Seems a lot of folks still use these connections. Could be that my expectations are too high.

You can check out post # 6 in the following thread to see what you'll need to accomplish it.

Connecting your Mac to your TV

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