MacBook to TV: How to Connect and Mirror Your Screen

As more people use streaming services to watch movies and TV episodes, the distinction between computers and television is increasingly phasing out. Even if you’re watching a show on Netflix, your huge flat-screen TV will almost certainly provide a better viewing experience than your PC.

Apple MacBook Air 13” Loaded with Software
Apple MacBook Air 13”

When you connect a Mac to a TV, you can view the internet on a much larger screen. Using a TV with a Mac can also provide you with a second display, allowing you to be more productive and enjoy your job or games. You may even connect two external monitors or TVs simultaneously in many circumstances.

However, TVs don’t necessarily make good second displays since dedicated computer monitors, designed to be viewed up close, typically have far higher resolution than a TV.

How To Connect MacBook To TV With Cable

You may hardwire your Mac to most contemporary TVs if you have an old Macbook with a Thunderbolt or HDMI output – but keep in mind that if utilizing the Thunderbolt port, you may require a cable that converts to HDMI.

Attach the computer’s output to a video input on the TV, open the Apple menu, select “System Preferences,” and then “Displays” on your Mac. Ensure “Default for display” is selected in the following window, as this is almost always the best option.

Most HDTVs can play audio from a Mac via HDMI connection, so go to the Apple logo, “System Preferences,” “Sound,” and choose the connected TV. (Older computers or televisions may require a second connection to link the two devices via Mac’s headset connector to an audio input.)

Unplug the wires after you’ve finished using your TV as a Mac monitor.

What if your TV doesn’t have an HDMI port? Here’s what you can do.

How To Wirelessly Connect Macbook To Smart TV

Screen mirroring is incredibly simple on newer Macs and Apple TVs.

Switch on the TV and Apple TV, then on the Mac, pick the TV from the “AirPlay Display” task bar by clicking the Apple logo, then “System Preferences,” then “Displays.”

You’ll need a mirroring app developed for that TV brand to mirror a Mac to other Smart TVs without the Apple TV app. Get the Samsung SmartThing app for Samsung TVs from the App Store, and get the AirBeamTV app for your Sony TV. You can locate the proper app for mirroring your Mac to almost any Smart TV by doing a fast Google search.

As you can see, when connecting your MacBook to a compatible TV, AirPlay gives you more possibilities. However, because the cable option requires a video input connector, it is compatible with a broader range of TV types.

Why is my Mac not connecting to my TV?

If your Mac has a compatibility issue, it will not connect to your TV. Click the Apple logo at the top left of the screen, then “About this Mac” to see if your Mac is compatible with external video devices.

Select “Support” in the popup, then “Specifications” in the following box. A webpage with information on your Mac’s external video capabilities will open; scroll down until you reach “Video Support” and read the information beneath it.

How do I connect my Mac to my TV using HDMI?

If your Mac has an HDMI port, you can use an HDMI cable to connect directly to it. If your Mac supports USB-C ports, you can use an adapter like the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter to connect to HDMI.

If your Mac has Mini DisplayPort, you can use a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI converter or cable to connect to HDMI.

How do I turn off Apple AirPlay?

Select Mirroring > Turn Mirroring Off on a Mac. Go to the Control Center on your iOS device and select Screen Mirroring > Stop Mirroring. Go to Settings > Displays, choose the AirPlay Display drop-down, and select Off to turn off the AirPlay capability on your Mac.

Hopefully, the steps explained above will help you connect your MacBook to your television. If you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions, please comment below.