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MacBook on the TV

One thing I’ve been excited about doing since I realized I could was make my MacBook play movies on my regular TV at home. I had ordered a Mini-DVI to VGA adapter so I could run a second monitor on my MacBook at home, but I didn’t order a Mini-DVI to Video adapter. No worries, I’m in the Bay Area this week, I’ll see if I can find it. Went to Frys and MicroCenter yesterday–places I knew both sold Macs and Mac-related stuff. Neither place had the adapter. In fact, the guy at Micro Center told me it required some sort of “converter box” or it would look like crap. So I treked up to the Apple Store in Palo Alto, which of course had the cable.

My hotel room has a TV that takes composite input, much like my VCR does. Unfortunately, I don’t have my plethora of cables here, so a quick trip to Radio Shack later, I have everything I need to make my MacBook display stuff on my TV.

I immediately tried Front Row, which of course wanted to use my main screen to display the movie. Had to Google a bit, which suggsted that if I went into System Preferences > Displays and changed the menu bar over to the TV, Front Row would play full screen on the TV.

While that worked okay, I decided that I actually wanted the MacBook to play a movie while I was able to use the computer. I ended up tweaking the settings in System Preferences > Displays and on the TV Screen, set the screen to 640×480, then went to Options and enable both Best for Video and Overscan. After that, I went into iTunes and played some videos. I moved the display window onto the TV screen and maximized the window. It was more than acceptable video quality, took up more or less the whole TV screen, and I could still work on my computer. ;)

Now of course the videos were of higher resolution than the TV is capable of displaying, so I’m sure the videos were downscaled somewhat. However, they looked about as good as anything I might watch on cable.

I guess this means I’ll have to subscribe to a few more things on iTunes or find some stuff on Bittorrent. I’ll be watching TV, but it won’t be coming off of cable as much…

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