Useful Tips

How to display an image from a MacBook screen on a TV?

Connecting your MacBook to Apple’s Thunderbolt Display is very easy - just get the appropriate cable. But what if you decide to make friends between your Mac and a regular TV? You can, of course, use the special Apple TV set-top box, but other connection methods have certain advantages.

This is, as you probably already guessed, the HDMI cable. This is, indeed, the best tool for displaying images from a MacBook, iMac, or even Mac mini on a TV screen. Of course, AirPlay also allows you to carry out this operation through Apple TV, but HDMI is still the undisputed leader. It is not only cheaper, but also able to provide high quality transmitted images, while AirPlay is completely dependent on your Internet connection.

Many Apple computers are equipped with an HDMI port, so the procedure for connecting the device is no more complicated than through Thunderbolt. But the same MacBook Air or laptops of past years can not boast of its presence, so we will consider several alternative methods.

So, we need:

  • Mac with Mini-Display, Mini-DVI, or Thunderbolt
  • Mini-DisplayPort / Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter with audio support
  • HDMI cable
  • TV with HDMI port
  • A couple of thousand rubles for the purchase of this equipment (in Russia) or 500 rubles (via eBay or Amazon)

I suppose almost everyone knows what an HDMI cable looks like, but here's what an adapter from Thunderbolt to HDMI is:

Suppose we successfully completed the purchase of equipment, now we proceed directly to connecting the computer to the TV. There is a certain sequence of actions that is highly discouraged to break.

  • Connecting a Thunderbolt to HDMI Adapter to Mac
  • Then we connect the HDMI cable to it, and the other side connect to the TV
  • Turn on the computer
  • We turn on the TV and select HDMI as the image transfer interface (usually using the button on the remote control)

Your Mac immediately "makes friends" with the TV, and after all the above operations, it will look something like this:

By default, the Mac detects the TV as an external display, so the image is broadcast on both screens. But if, for example, you watch movies or play games, you simply do not need a second screen (on the computer). To do this, go to the system settings, select the "Monitors" tab and turn off video mirroring.

To configure the sound output via HDMI, you need to select the “Sound” section in the system settings and go to the “Output” tab.

OS X provides hot keys for zooming in on the screen. This list is very useful when watching movies, and you can study it in the "Universal Access" section of the system settings.

Be sure to get a good video player, especially for watching Blu-ray movies. Not every application is able to cope with a file whose size exceeds 50 gigabytes. I would recommend XBMC and Plex, although MPlayerX has not yet caused serious complaints from me.

How to display a MacBook screen image on a TV

- Good afternoon! I have an Apple MacBook Air and Apple TV 2 laptop connected to a large TV. On the iPhone and iPad, I connect to the Apple TV and can watch movies on the big screen, but I can’t do this with the MacBook. Can this be done and how to enable this feature?

- Hello! Your problem is clear. Please tell me what year of manufacture your laptop is and what operating system is installed on it. You can view this information by clicking on the apple in the upper panel on the computer screen and selecting "About This Mac".

- 2012 MacBook Air, version 10.9

- well! This means that the built-in AirPlay Video Replay function is available on your computer, allowing you to solve your problem right now. Make sure your MacBook and Apple TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

- Yes, both devices are connected.

- Then the MacBook should automatically see the Apple TV in the same Wi-Fi network with it, and the "AirPlay" icon should appear on the top panel. Check it out.

- No. I do not have such an icon on the screen.

- Good. Then go to "System Preferences" and select "Monitors". At the bottom of the window that opens, find the line "AirPlay Video Replay". Most likely, the "Off" item is active there, click on it and select "Apple TV" from the drop-down list.

- Hmm, strange. In the "Monitors" menu, the option to select Apple TV is not displayed.

- In this case, most likely, your Apple TV is now in sleep mode. Press any button on the Apple TV remote control to exit it. After 15-20 seconds, the Apple TV detection indicator should appear in the monitor settings on the MacBook. Also check that the option "Display video retry settings in the menu bar, if available" is active in the settings.

- ABOUT! Thank! Everything worked out, everything works! 🙂 Can I clarify one more question?

“My sister also has a MacBook, but it's not very new.” For New Year, I want to give her an Apple TV. Tell me, she can also transfer images from her computer to the TV screen.

- It all depends on the year of release of the computer and the version of the operating system. AirPlay Video Replay is supported by all MacBook (Pro and Air), iMac, and Mac mini models that were released in mid-2011 or later. The operating system must have at least Mountain Lion installed (OS X 10.8).

- Thank you for your help and advice.

We hope the article was useful to you. If you are interested in setting up a computer or repairing Apple equipment, you can always count on the help of specialists from our service center. Tell us about your problem and we will be happy to solve it! Need to set up your MacBook? Not a problem! Come visit and we will help you.

Output image from Safari

To transfer wirelessly any movie played in Safari (Chrome is not supported), do the following:

  • we find the video you like in the browser and start playing it,
  • click on the AirPlay icon in the lower right corner,
  • choose the prefix Apple TV.

The clip will play on the TV screen, at this time on the Mac you can do other things. The main thing is not to close the video tab in the browser.

Image output via QuickTime

The video output process through a standard OS X player is no different from streaming in Safari:

  • open a supported video file or stream in QuickTime,
  • after playback starts, click on the AirPlay icon in the lower right corner,
  • choose the prefix Apple TV.


Now the player can be minimized and work with other applications. In both cases, with a Mac, you can control video playback, rewind, pause and adjust the volume. To stop the broadcast, press the AirPlay button in the application or browser again and turn off the streaming.

Unlike the mirroring mode, when transmitting video in this way there are several undeniable advantages. Firstly, the desktop, menu bar and other applications are not displayed on the TV screen. Secondly, system sounds and sounds from other programs are not transmitted to the console. Thirdly, during the broadcast you can work with other programs on the Mac. Fourthly, Apple TV will be involved in graphics processing, which will reduce the load on a laptop or computer. [idb]

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