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Ask Max: How can I use my 50™ HDTV as a monitor for my MacBook?

Asked on 08/10/2009:

Hello Jacob!

I have a Black MacBook and a 50” HDTV. I would like to put them together so I can watch movies and surf the web and basically use my TV as a monitor. Is that ridiculous? I would like to purchase a wireless mighty mouse and keyboard to keep by my couch, and leave the MacBook closed and hooked up to the TV. How, if at all, can I accomplish this? I realize I’m not going to get HD quality out of my Mac, I just want to be able to read webpages, and watch movies in standard definition.

On a side note, If this works well enough… I’m planning on purchasing a new Mac Mini to replace my MacBook on the entertainment center.



Your Mac computer should connect just fine to your HD TV and kick-out a full HD signal. I have an old PowerBook G4 connected to my HDTV at home. I mostly play standard definition TV from my EyeTV archive upstairs but we have played HD shows on the TV though the Mac. The PowerBook G4 has trouble keeping up with decoding the HD signal, your Intel Mac should have no problem with HD shows. You will need three cables to connect to your TV through HDMI. Your TV will need to support HDMI with an RCA audio connection for this to work.

Here is the list.

The Mini DVI to DVI cable to get DVI from your MacBook.

A DVI to HDMI cable.

Then an audio cable for the, uh, audio.


Later when you move to the Mac Mini, you can reuse these cables. Most web pages are very readable and recorded TV looks great. Consider also getting an EyeTV system to record HDTV and this Adesso Keyboard / Trackpad combo (note it is Windows keyed but works on a Mac).

- Jacob

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