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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Connect thunderbolt MacBook Pro to old TV via composite or via DVD recorder HDMI

Connect thunderbolt MacBook Pro to old TV via composite or via DVD recorder HDMI
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: australia
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Jan 27, 2014, 06:33 PM
Hi folks
I have a MacBook Pro (thunderbolt version) I have bought some content from iTunes and want to watch it on my TV just so I can watch it on a bigger screen.

So how do I get it so I can watch it on my TV?

The movie is protected so I can't record it to DVD to play in my DVD recorder.

It seems to me 3 options:

1. Find some software that converts protected movies so I can then record to DVD so I can play on my TV.

2. Connect MacBook Pro via a cable to my TV and mirror content. Problem is my TV is an old CRT TV so only has composite (red, yellow, white cables I think are called composite? Or RCA as I always call them).
I actually did something similar in the past, I used to have a MacBook and I have a cable - I think called Mini DV to composite - anyway I plugged that up via either my TV or DVD recorder and voila it mirrored my computer content. However this cable no longer fits into my new MacBook Pro which has thunderbolt.
So maybe I can get a cable that goes from thunderbolt to composite? Any suggestions?

3. Last option I get a thunderbolt to HDMI cable and hook that up to DVD recorder (which is then hooked up to TV via my existing composite cables). However the DVD recorder's has a HDMI Out port so I'm a bit confused as to whether this method would work?

I suppose there is kind of a last option, I get Apple TV, but I don't understand what that's all about and whether that would work with my ancient TV, also I don't have Internet in my house except for 1 gig on my iphone which is what I'm using now to use this site, so no wireless here (the film I downloaded was when I was at a cafe with wireless)

And no I don't plan to buy a new TV, can't afford it right now.

So any suggestions please about what would be the easiest or cheapest way to do this?

By the way the fact I am still watching SD on CRT will give you and indication that I'm not too fussy about quality of footage as long as it's watchable.
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
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Jan 28, 2014, 03:20 AM
1 I'm sure is a solution, but I'm not aware of any software to strip the DRM. 3 won't work with a DVD-player, because there is no way that it will accept HDMI in on an out port. There are receivers that have HDMI in and might be able to do that, but that's a whole different level of investment.

2 is your best bet. Some googling shows this cable:

Amazon.com: ViewHD Mini DisplayPort / Thunderbolt to NTSC | PAL TV Universal Video Converter (AV / RCA Composite Video / S-Video Outputs) (New 2013 Model: VHD-MDP2AVs): Electronics

Which seems to be able to do what you want.

(You're absolutely correct about the terminology, btw: The type of connector is called RCA, and the type of video signal in the single yellow plug is called composite - the red and white are stereo audio. Many things go over RCA plugs, including digital audio [orange plug] and component video [three plugs, red-green-blue]. The plugs on older Macbooks were indeed mini-DVI, and they signalled to the GPU to convert to composite or component or whatever when the right adapter was plugged in.).
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
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Location: australia
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Jan 28, 2014, 06:06 AM
Hi P, thanks very much for your help. I suspected that the HDMI option wouldn't work due to it being an out so that's good to have that confirmed so I don't waste money on that cable.

I'll get one of those cables that you have suggested. I've seen those before but wasn't sure if it was the right thing but the link you have supplied clearly explains it so that's great.
Thanks again.
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