Connecting Your Mac to a Projection System - dummies

Connecting Your Mac to a Projection System

By Joe Hutsko, Barbara Boyd

Connecting your Mac to a big flat screen monitor or an LCD projector is as simple as having the right cables, whether you have to give a presentation, want to show off photos from your African safari, or simply want to watch a movie on a big screen.

If you have an AirPlay-enabled monitor, you can connect your Mac wirelessly. Look Ma! No cables!

You need one of the following to connect your Mac to a television, monitor, or projector. There are different adapters for the different Mac models. We suggest you confirm the correct adapter for your Mac model and monitor or projector with your local Apple Store or Authorized Reseller:

  • AV Adapter: Use this adapter to connect your Mac to an HDMI cable (sold separately) connected to your HDTV, video projection screen, or other HDMI-compatible device.

  • VGA Adapter: This adapter, along with a VGA cable (sold separately) connects your Mac to your VGA TV, projector, or monitor.

  • Composite AV Cable: This connects to your Mac at one end and your television’s composite port on the other. Older televisions usually have composite connections.

The cables you need often come with the monitor or projector, so you may have to purchase only the adapter.

Here’s how to play your presentation, slideshow, movie, or television show:

  1. Connect the cable to both your Mac and the projector or monitor.

  2. With the monitor’s or projector’s remote control or built-in buttons, select the input device, which will be something like Computer.

    Refer to the instruction booklet for your monitor or projector if you don’t know how to do this.

  3. Open the app that you want to display from, such as iMovie, DVD Player, Keynote, or iPhoto.

  4. Use the playback controls on your Mac to start the show.

    You see the images on your monitor or projected on the screen.

You can stream video and images from your Mac, even from the Internet, onto your HDTV if you have an Apple TV device (sold separately); this is called AirPlay Mirroring. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect your Mac and Apple TV to the same local network, either with Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection.

    An AirPlay Mirroring menu icon appears on the status bar.

  2. Choose AirPlay Mirroring→Apple TV On.

    Your Mac’s screen appears on the HDTV.

  3. Open the app you want to use for playback, such as iMovie or iPhoto.

  4. Sit back and watch the show.