Languages

OS X Mountain Lion: Use a television as a display

Use a television as a display

Many televisions can also be used as computer displays. You need a video cable that connects your computer’s display port to your TV. If you can’t find a cable that connects the ports on your computer and TV, you may also need an adapter for the cable.

If you have an HDTV and a computer with a Thunderbolt, Mini DisplayPort, or HDMI port, the cable could also let you play your computer’s audio on your TV.

Check whether the display port on your Mac sends audio

Check the icon next to the video port on your Mac. If you don’t know what the icon represents, see this help topic:

Video ports

If your Mac has a Thunderbolt or HDMI port, it can send audio to your HDTV.

If your Mac has a Mini DisplayPort, it may be able to send audio to your HDTV. To see if it can, open System Information, and then select Audio (Built In) below Hardware in the Contents list.

A list of your computer’s audio devices appears. If HDMI Output or HDMI/DisplayPort output is listed, your computer’s Mini DisplayPort can send audio.

Connect your Mac to your TV

  1. Connect the video cable (and adapter, if necessary) from the computer’s video output port on your computer to the video input port on the TV.
  2. If you want your HDTV to play audio as well as video from your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sound, and then click Output. Select your HDTV or AV receiver from the list of devices.
    Note: If your Mac has a Mini DisplayPort, make sure you use a cable (and adapter, if necessary) that supports both audio and video.

Change the sample rate of the audio

  1. Open Audio MIDI Setup.
  2. Click your TV’s speakers in the list at the left.
  3. Choose a new sample rate from the Format pop-up menu.

If the TV is black or displays rolling lines

Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Displays, and then choose a new resolution.

If the picture doesn’t fill the TV screen

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Displays, and then click Options.
  2. Select Overscan.
Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
Helpful?
Yes
No

Additional Product Support Information