Mac Hardware forum

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Connecting Macbook to Projector

by cassiepaige / September 15, 2007 4:13 AM PDT

I need to hook my macbook up to a projector at school so I can do a presentation. I took my macbook in yesterday to hook it up, just to be sure it would work okay, but the cord on the projector was not right.

Is there anyway I can buy an adapter to make them connect? The projector's cord is the same kind a PC monitor has.

Would I be able to find one at an office supply store (like Staples)?

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There are a few ways to do what you want - but
by boya84 / September 15, 2007 6:21 AM PDT

no, Staples will most likely not have the adapter you need.

The types of stores which *might* have the adapters you need will be "Authorized Apple Resellers"... Fry's Electronics, CompUSA, AppleStore among others - call them befor you go to see if they have what you need...

Typically, the projectors can connect a bunch of different ways. The most common method is using a VGA cable. However, most projectors also have S-Video and RCA-composite video in, too. The specs at under "Graphics and video support" indicate:

VGA output using mini-DVI to VGA adapter (sold separately)
Composite and S-video output using mini-DVI to video adapter (sold separately)

That means the adapter you get needs to connect to your MacBook mini-DVI port and one of those... Of course, which connection method you choose will depend on the way the projector is "installed".

If projector is just brought in and placed on a table-top and pointed at a wall or screen, then it is not installed and any of the three connectons methods are possible if you get the right adapter for your MacBook. There is likely already a VGA cable with the projector, so yu would not need to worry about that if you use that adapter. If you decide to use the other adapters, you will also need to bring a cable - either the S-Video (which is the same as the old Apple Desktop Bus cables that used to connect the mouse and keyboard in the old days before USB) or an RCA (male on both sides) cable - again, depending on which adapter you get.

Whichever adapter you get, it should be around $20.

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by cassiepaige / September 15, 2007 12:37 PM PDT

Thanks boya84!

I ran in Staples today for some pens and decided to look. Couldn't find anything so I asked am employee who said I'd be spending between 50-70 dollars for what I needed. $20 sounds a lot better.

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This is the thing
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 15, 2007 11:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

This is the adapter that you are looking for.

The Macbook to DVI is shown here and the Macbook to DVI is here.

You might want to consider purchasing both, to cover all eventualities but the VGA one will get you over this current problem.


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by cassiepaige / September 16, 2007 12:03 AM PDT
In reply to: This is the thing

Thank for the help, both of you. I think I may go ahead and order both.

But, I think I also might make an impulse purchase...a mac mini. Would these adapters hook a mac mini up to a non-apple display?

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uh... the MacMini uses a different adapter.
by boya84 / September 16, 2007 1:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

The wide port in the middle - to the right of the FireWire 400 port and to the left of the USB ports - is a DVI port. The MacMini comes with an adapter that will connect to VGA. Note the description under "Graphics and Video Support":

"VGA video output (using included adapter) to support analog resolutions up to 1920 by 1080 pixels"

The miniDVI port on your MacBook and the DVI port on the MacMini use different connectors and do not use the same adapter.
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Ahh, the sweet sound of moving goal posts!
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 16, 2007 1:37 AM PDT
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yeah... I hate that too...
by boya84 / September 16, 2007 6:51 AM PDT

up there with FireWire 400... is that 4 pin or 6 pin?

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IF that is a question,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 16, 2007 10:20 AM PDT

it could be both.
Do we care?

Hope your weekend went well.


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USB projector
by m2father / January 13, 2010 1:09 AM PST

Don't worry. APIN RB330 picoprojector can support Macbook via USB instead. A minidisplay cable is not required. It may help you much.

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Could work, but,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 13, 2010 8:52 AM PST
In reply to: USB projector

after 2 years, I think the original poster has moved on.


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