This is topic Connecting a laptop to these newfangled fancy-dancy TVs in forum Ask a Geek! at The Geek Culture Forums.


To visit this topic, use this URL:
http://www.geekculture.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=12;t=002748

Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on April 03, 2011, 05:04:
 
I've been googling, but I'm confused, so I am turning to the Knowledge Bank(tm) that is GeekCulture. Here's my predicament: I would like to watch videos downloaded via the Internet on my TV. It's an AOC Envision with a boatload of ports. My laptop is a MacBook. Can I connect the two machines using one cable, or will I need an adapter or converter (like my mom has to use with her (much older) TV and computer)?

Have any of you used Apple TV? Do you recommend it?
 
Posted by Sprocket (Member # 10210) on April 03, 2011, 05:08:
 
Most tvs now have VGA input, I dont know whether Apple gives you a VGA out for an external monitor, but that is the best way I have found to use a laptop with a Tv for a monitor!
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on April 03, 2011, 05:21:
 
So I could use something like this? http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat_id=3446&sku=52054

Is there any way to do it cable-less? I'm thinking about getting a wireless router. Could I plug the TV into the router and use the AirPort on the laptop to control what shows up on the TV's screen?
 
Posted by Zwilnik (Member # 615) on April 03, 2011, 12:00:
 
If you get a $99 Apple TV you can use AirPlay to wirelessly view your videos from the MacBook (and iPhone/iPad/iPod) on the TV
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on April 03, 2011, 12:42:
 
Yeah, I was looking at the Apple TV because we could stream Netflix and other programs directly. But, I kinda like the idea of a wireless router because I could plug my printer in there and wouldn't need to connect my printer directly to the computer. Except, the printer and the cable modem are on two different sides of the room. Hmm.

Can you tell I hate making decisions like this?

EDIT: Oh, and we don't have any videos downloaded to the computer, nor do we have Apple phones. I sometimes watch shows on hulu.com, but I'd like to do it on the TV so I'm not tying up the laptop. Also, it would be easier to see on the TV than on the computer, obviously. [Smile]
 
Posted by MacManKrisK (Member # 955) on April 03, 2011, 12:50:
 
Unless you have an absolutely super-colossal AMAZING TV, you're not going to be able to plug it into a network, and even if you can, your results will be less than awesome.

The most amazing/awesome/cool way to go about doing what you want to do is to get an AppleTV. This is a great solution because it's basically just plug in and go.

The most geeky/do-it-yourself/roll-your-own way to go about doing what you want to do is to build a Linux-based Media-Center PC using something like MythBuntu or another Linux with MythTV installed. This is extremely customizable, but can be kind of expensive and a little tricky to set up.

The simplest/cheapest/easiest way to do it is to buy one of the cables on this page and connect your laptop directly to the TV. (note: the cable you linked to won't work as that is a Male-Female cable and you need a Male-Male cable.)
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on April 03, 2011, 13:49:
 
Hmm. So what I could do is buy a random wireless router so the laptop is not tethered to the cable modem, and buy one of the m/m cables to which you linked, MMKK, so the TV and laptop would be tethered to each other. I could deal with that.

Any recs on wireless routers?
 
Posted by GrumpySteen (Member # 170) on April 04, 2011, 04:20:
 
For a wired connection, "a boatload of ports" isn't a very useful description. Give us a model number and we can probably find a manual and figure out if there's a simple cable connection that you can make.

For a wireless connection, take your pick. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different wireless streaming solutions available.
 
Posted by littlefish (Member # 966) on April 04, 2011, 06:14:
 
Does it have a usb connector? Modern TVs can often play stuff directly from USB sticks. Does it have ethernet? Despite what MacManKrisK says, network connected TV's are not that uncommon these days.
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on April 04, 2011, 09:07:
 
If you use a VGA cable, you will have to get an adapter. If you use a DVI cable, you will have to get an adapter. The Mac cable adapters cost $30.

If your TV takes FireWire you can use that.

If your TV takes HDMI you can get a cable that runs from your Mac display port to the TV.

If your TV takes USB that will also work.

IIRC, when kreziserb and I have hooked our computers up to our TV we used a VGA cable and an adapter. I'm not sure if we've done it that way because it was the only way available to us or because we didn't want to rip our home apart looking for a spare USB.
 
Posted by Callipygous (Member # 2071) on April 04, 2011, 14:11:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Any recs on wireless routers?

It is pricey, but the Apple Airport Extreme is a very fast solid piece of kit, with a setup that involves no technical mumbo jumbo, a USB port for an external drive for automatic Time Machine backups, and any firmware updates delivered automatically via Software Update.

There are much cheaper alternatives, but for anyone with a Mac, these really are worth the extra outlay, and so long as your Mac is new enough to do so, do use the Time Machine backup system. It's by far the best set and forget automatic backup system.
 
Posted by quantumfluff (Member # 450) on April 04, 2011, 15:12:
 
AFIAK, the MacBooks all have DVI or display port to DVI, so you'll need DVI to the back of the TV and a second cable for audio.
 
Posted by zesovietrussian (Member # 1177) on April 04, 2011, 16:33:
 
You'll need a mini-DVI to VGA adapter for video and 3.5mm to RCA cable for audio, both are dirt-cheap on monoprice.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021804&p_id=665&seq=1&format=2
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10419&cs_id=1041912&p_id=4850&seq=1&format=2
 
Posted by MacManKrisK (Member # 955) on April 05, 2011, 02:30:
 
quote:
Originally posted by GrumpySteen:
[QB] For a wired connection, "a boatload of ports" isn't a very useful description. Give us a model number and we can probably find a manual and figure out if there's a simple cable connection that you can make.

^^what he said!

Everybody that is giving you answers (including me) is guessing at what ports your TV actually has. If you could give us a model number (which would be most likely printed on the back of the set) we could look up the owners manual and find out exactly what ports you have and then give you a much more helpful, precise, exact answer.
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 05, 2011, 03:12:
 
____ I just Googled name and series:AOC Envision:

http://us.aoc.com/television/lc32h063d

____ However I am sure that if the owner would RT$M she could find out more info. Some times the Manual even lists the cables needed!!
 
Posted by MacManKrisK (Member # 955) on April 05, 2011, 04:07:
 
Assuming MoMan is linking to the page that references the TV that you have, Rhonwyyn, you need the following cables, and zesovietrussian is correct that Monoprice is the place to get them.

Mini-DVI to VGA adapter (for MacBook): http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10419&cs_id=1041912&p_id=4850&seq=1&format=2

VGA Male-Male Cable with integrated 1/8" audio cable (pick one):
- 15 foot: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10201&cs_id=1020105&p_id=3339&seq=1&format=2
- 25 foot: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10201&cs_id=1020105&p_id=559&seq=1&format=2
- 50 foot: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10201&cs_id=1020105&p_id=560&seq=1&format=2

Plug the Mini-DVI to VGA adapter (the little white thing) into the port on the side of your MacBook that has a little picture of a computer monitor on it.

Connect one of the big rectangular connectors from the long black cable to the other end of this adapter. Don't forget to screw in the little screws.

Plug the little round connector from the same end of the big black cable into the little port on the side of the MacBook that has a picture of headphones on it.

Plug the other big rectangular connector on the long black cable to the port on the back of the TV (on the back, near the bottom) that says "VGA." Don't forget to screw in the the little screws.

Plug the little round connector from the same end of the big black cable into the little port next to it that says "PC/DVI Audio In."

Locate the remote control and press the "TV" button to make sure the remote is in TV mode, then press the white and red power button on the upper-right side of the remote control to turn the TV on.

Press the "Input" button (near the lower-left) on the remote control, then press the down arrow to highlight "VGA" on the screen. Now press "OK/Enter" to select the VGA input.
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 05, 2011, 06:26:
 
____ Oh, the joy of playing Solitaire from the recliner across the room.
 
Posted by GrumpySteen (Member # 170) on April 05, 2011, 08:24:
 
TheMoMan wrote:
____ I just Googled name and series:AOC Envision:

http://us.aoc.com/television/lc32h063d


That's one of 26 different models that they sell and different ones have different ports.

All the manuals can be found here (not that it's particularly helpful without a model number to go by): http://us.aoc.com/support/downloads
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 05, 2011, 09:34:
 
____ Ahem


____ However I am sure that if the owner would RT$M she could find out more info. Some times the Manual even lists the cables needed!!
 
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on April 05, 2011, 14:05:
 
Though I may not entirely agree with the presentation of the argument above, I agree with the idea behind it. (On that note, I know someone who kinda got nailed on a review along those lines.) Though many manuals stink, they are a good starting point! I'm sure they will spell out what connectors exist, etc. -- almost every manual has a 'here are all the plugs, buttons and doodads' diagram, even if they don't explain each one. A quick check of Wikipedia or Google Image Search can reveal what each plug looks like and/or explain the purpose.

It's damn near impossible to just have the answers on every 'newfangled fancy-dancy TV,' so more information is better (as Steen said, there are 26 diff. models). Assuming you have more than one computer (these days, who doesn't?), try out some bog standard cables (i.e. with a PC/desktop) and see how that works. Building on your initial successes, get the necessary parts to make it permanent. Or just buy a Roku/Boxee/Apple TV and be done with it.

P.S. It might help to liberally consult this:
http://xkcd.com/627/
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on April 05, 2011, 14:57:
 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Assuming you have more than one computer (these days, who doesn't?)

We got some new phones recently, as I was adding them to the list of approved devices on the home firewall, I realized our network now consists of...

3 phones
3 notebook/netbook computers
2 macs
1 PC
1 blu-ray player
1 Wii
1 printer
2 NAS boxes

That's 14 devices in a household of 4.
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 05, 2011, 20:52:
 
____ Well it appears that AOC does not disclose as much info a Sony.

http://esupport.sony.com/EN/tutorials/homeav/hookup_pc.html

____ I have also found such statements as not all Models have all these options (If so equipped) seems to be the catch phrase.
 
Posted by littlefish (Member # 966) on April 06, 2011, 06:52:
 
TFD, that sounds more than reasonable. In our household of two on the network we have:
3 laptops
3 phones
2 NAS
1 PS3

The TV and printer are not networked, but could be, and the ipad is on order. The wii has never been unpacked since we moved 6 months ago.
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on April 06, 2011, 14:41:
 
Eek! I'm sorry to make y'all upset, guys (particularly Mr. MoMan). I didn't realize this was such a complicated question. When we connected Mom's PC and TV, we didn't have options: bought the right cables and a converter box and there you have it. That was several years ago, though, so I figured things would have improved by now.

I do have the manual for the TV, and I will look at it, but being as most things are geared toward PCs, I didn't know if Macs were different.

Also, we own three laptops, but only one is working at the moment. We aren't very technically progressive. I mean, I'm actually considering buying a spinning wheel or at least a drop spindle. [Wink]
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on April 06, 2011, 14:46:
 
Kris, I really appreciate your step-by-step instructions. I may have to boot up the printer and make a hard copy of those. Thanks!!! [Applause]

EDIT: I was about to purchase the SVGA cable (J already has a mini-DVI adapter) when I remembered that our TV has an HDMI port. Is there a way to convert mini-DVI to HDMI, or is the way you told me to do it the best method?
 
Posted by DoctorWho (Member # 392) on April 06, 2011, 15:49:
 
quote:
Is there a way to convert mini-DVI to HDMI
Yes
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 06, 2011, 20:55:
 
____ Ronny, I am not upset or angry with you, just certain people that cherry pick a response to try to prove me wrong. The info at AOC was not really helpful. However the Sony link is a visual and easier for people left out of the loop.(those that only replace when necessary not just to have the latest and greatest).

____It can be done, hopefully with out too many returns to the store. It may cost more but sometimes the high-end AV Home theater stores have or know just what you need. It also may help to take a photo of the posts on each device, print those out and take the photo with you.
 
Posted by GrumpySteen (Member # 170) on April 06, 2011, 23:11:
 
What I wrote:
That's one of 26 different models that they sell and different ones have different ports.

All the manuals can be found here (not that it's particularly helpful without a model number to go by): http://us.aoc.com/support/downloads


You linked to one random manual that you yourself said didn't contain any useful information.

I pointed out that the manufacturer makes 26 models and provided the link to where all the manuals can be found because the right manual is more useful than random ones for models that may have absolutely no similarity to hers.

Telling the truth and providing useful information isn't the same as cherry picking your post, nor is it an attack on you.

Get some self esteem and get over whatever the hell butthurt feelings you have about someone expanding on your answer.

 -

And now you know what an attack on your post looks like. Remember it for the future and try not to get confused again.
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on April 07, 2011, 11:47:
 
Ouch, Steen. You are grumpy today! [weep]

With a second recommendation for Monoprice.com, I'm now convinced that I will call them and ask the remainder of my questions (such as, which cable do I use for an audio connection to my TV if I go the HDMI route?). I'm afraid I get easily overwhelmed by alphabet soup, and it's their job to walk me through it. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Callipygous (Member # 2071) on April 07, 2011, 12:04:
 
Jeez Grumpster, since you’ve added that "Grumpy" on to the front of your name, you do seem feel duty bound to spread a little crabbiness wherever you go.

Hope it makes you feel better
 
Posted by Grummash (Member # 4289) on April 07, 2011, 12:30:
 
Calli -

I must admit that I understood where Grumpysteen was coming from and, therefore, I didn't feel that what he said was unwarranted.

The above notwithstanding, your response made me laugh my tits off. I can now add Binnie Hale to my own personal list of Reasons to be cheerful
 
Posted by Ugh, MightyClub (Member # 3112) on April 08, 2011, 05:25:
 
Rhonny, just one word of caution about the mini-DVI to HDMI route -- since HDMI is designed to carry both audio and video your TV might not have an option for separate audio input when you are using the HDMI source. Not a problem if you'll run the audio through your stereo or something, but I wanted to point it out...
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on April 08, 2011, 15:29:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ugh, MightyClub:
Rhonny, just one word of caution about the mini-DVI to HDMI route -- since HDMI is designed to carry both audio and video your TV might not have an option for separate audio input when you are using the HDMI source. Not a problem if you'll run the audio through your stereo or something, but I wanted to point it out...

Oh. Huh. So the mini-DVI to HDMI would actually need to be a "mini-DVI+audio" to HDMI cable. Good thing you pointed that out. Thanks! (And no stereo in this apartment, I'm afraid. Only two boom boxes. Anyone remember those?)
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on April 08, 2011, 20:24:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Oh. Huh. So the mini-DVI to HDMI would actually need to be a "mini-DVI+audio" to HDMI cable. Good thing you pointed that out. Thanks!

AFAIK there aint no such thing, you'd need 2 cables, mini-DVI -> HDMI, and a seconds audio -> audio cable, at least that's how I had my Mac Mini set up when it was connected to the TV.

The point Ugh was making is that some TVs might not be smart enough to take their audio from the 'Audio' input when there's a HDMI cable connected, as they might assume the HDMI is carrying both.
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 08, 2011, 20:50:
 
____ No quarter was asked, non was expected.

____ Anger: Interesting word, but nowhere have I found that it says running home crying.

____ Angry: Another interesting word describing an intense emotion, again nowhere describing running home crying.

____ Hatred: Intense emotion, some times caused by Anger but not always it takes quite a bit of energy to hate, you are not worth the effort.

____ Retribution: Again you are not worth the effort.

____ No, you are more like a swarm a gnats busing about making a bunch of noise. So when you stop trying to Channel "He who must not be spoken about" and stop talking out of your sitter-downer, I may reply.
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on April 09, 2011, 01:07:
 
oooohh!! Thanks for explaining that, TFD. I'm not inclined to try that method b/c i'd have to run two cables across the living room instead of just one in MMKK's method. But now i know a better reason. Thank you!
 
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on April 09, 2011, 07:20:
 
JUST TRY STUFF!
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on April 10, 2011, 05:44:
 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
JUST TRY STUFF!

That's a rather expensive proposition there. [Razz]
 
Posted by zesovietrussian (Member # 1177) on April 11, 2011, 01:28:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
oooohh!! Thanks for explaining that, TFD. I'm not inclined to try that method b/c i'd have to run two cables across the living room instead of just one in MMKK's method. But now i know a better reason. Thank you!

You'll need two cables either way, whether it's VGA + audio or HDMI + audio. The only difference is, the former is guaranteed to work while the latter might or might not work, depending on whether your TV is smart enough to get the audio signal from audio in when you're using the HDMI input.
 
Posted by MacManKrisK (Member # 955) on April 11, 2011, 04:16:
 
Yes, but Rhonwynn is referring to the cables I linked her to, which have VGA and TRS audio in one cable (with two connectors per end).

Rhonny: check your owner's manual and make sure you have a VGA port on the TV, the manual will tell you if you do or not. If you have a VGA port then just buy the stuff I linked to, it'll make it all work just fine. If you don't have a VGA port, then you'll need to look into an HDMI solution.
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on April 11, 2011, 05:13:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
JUST TRY STUFF!

That's a rather expensive proposition there. [Razz]
Can't you just return the stuff that doesn't work?

Anyway, a VGA port:

 -

And a HDMI port:
 -

Go take a look at your TV. You might even have both, in which case, go with MMKK's VGA option as it has less uncertainty.
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on April 12, 2011, 11:23:
 
Wow. That's taking it down to the really basic level, Xanthine. Thanks. I guess I needed that.

I took a look at the TV. Four HDMI ports, one VGA with its partner audio, and several component ports. Here's another stupid question: HDMI is used to connect hi-def video players (like Blu-Ray and DVD)? Does anyone actually ever use all those ports?
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 12, 2011, 11:40:
 
____ Ronny, We have a Sony HD. Connected to the panel, are DirecTV, an old VHS, A Blue Ray Player and the leads from our HD MiniCam. On occasion I connect a Laptop to play games.

____ During weather events Rain Fade will take out the DirecTV reception at that time I use the TV's internal tuner to get a local station that broadcasts 24/7 Weather Radar.

____ When the Mrs and I go SkyWarn spotting I have an Inverter to power the Laptop and BroadBand2Go MiFI The Two Meter radio gets its power right from the truck battery.
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on April 12, 2011, 14:32:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Wow. That's taking it down to the really basic level, Xanthine. Thanks. I guess I needed that.

I took a look at the TV. Four HDMI ports, one VGA with its partner audio, and several component ports. Here's another stupid question: HDMI is used to connect hi-def video players (like Blu-Ray and DVD)? Does anyone actually ever use all those ports?

Probably. Some people have some pretty crazy home theater systems and the manufacturers probably don't want customers howling that they can't hook up their whatever to their TV.
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on April 12, 2011, 15:03:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Four HDMI ports...
...Does anyone actually ever use all those ports?

If I had a PS3 instead of a Wii, I'd be using all 4.

One Port for the Blu-ray player, underneath the Wii
One Port for the Video Camera, that travels 'round with me,
One Port for the PVR, for when I'm not there,
One Port for the Dark Druid, who likes to have a spare.


One Remote to rule them all,
One Remote to find them,
One Remote to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them.

 
Posted by MacManKrisK (Member # 955) on April 12, 2011, 15:37:
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
One Port for the Blu-ray player, underneath the Wii
One Port for the Video Camera, that travels 'round with me,
One Port for the PVR, for when I'm not there,
One Port for the Dark Druid, who likes to have a spare.


One Remote to rule them all,
One Remote to find them,
One Remote to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them.

A LOTR reference, very nice poetry, and you sufficiently answered the question! Bravo!

[Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause]

...but you're not really a Dark Druid are you?
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on April 12, 2011, 16:25:
 
/me bows down to TFD

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

I will take the remote to Mordor, but I don't know the way.
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on April 12, 2011, 18:35:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
I will take the remote to Mordor, but I don't know the way.

Careful, these Tolkien references can be Hobbit-forming.
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on April 12, 2011, 23:14:
 
oh, wow. You guys are hysterical!!! I'm defnitely not sauron i asked that last question. Laughter is a great way to start the day. [Applause]
 
Posted by Ugh, MightyClub (Member # 3112) on April 14, 2011, 06:50:
 
Man, the last time I looked we were Tolkien about cables, now all of a sudden the thread is off on a tangent.

How unusual [Big Grin]
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 14, 2011, 07:07:
 
____ Gollum, Where's Bilbo?
 


© 2015 Geek Culture

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.4.0