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Ask Max: How do you connect a Mac to a TV?

Asked on 06/14/2010:


I have a Powerbook G4 I am trying to connect to the TV so that I can view and hear any laptop content on the screen. In case you need to know this, the TV is an older CRT TV, Toshiba model CZ36V61.

I did what the tech support person at Apple said. I got a DVI to Video adapter, then connected the yellow RCA cable from the video adapter to the TV yellow RCA port. I then used a Belkin Y adapter, with one end in the headphone jack of my laptop and the two red and white audio RCA cables into the red and white RCA ports on the TV. No picture, no sound. I tried changing through the various TV inputs.

I searched online and found many suggestions to go the the Displays part of System Preferences, and click "Detect Displays," but when I did this, nothing happened. Apparently the Powerbook is not detecting the TV at all. I also found suggestions to lower the monitor's resolution, to allow it to show on the older CRT TV. This also did not work.

Any thoughts? I appreciate any input you have. Thanks.

- Ani


Apple's advice is correct, you should have an equipment list which includes a DVI to Video Adapter , 6ft Audio Cable Mini Phone 3.5mm Male/ 2x Rca Male , and a Tripp Lite Composite Video Gold Cable.

Have you tried playing music from your laptop and then switching input sources on the TV? When you hear the music, you should then be at the proper input source on the TV. After you have the TV on the proper source, try detecting displays again. That should work, if it does not you may want to take the computer an cables over to a friends house and test on their TV to see if the issue is the TV or cable.

Hope that helps,

- Jacob

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