Being able to watch Hulu in Canada, access the American Netflix library from the Great White North (it’s snowing here in Calgary today) is a great way to dramatically increase your content option here in Canada.
Many How to Get it in Canada readers have asked me over the years about being able to watch the content offered on these great sites on their big screen HDTVs.
Although there are lots of different ways to access this content through your HDTV I wanted to share with you the method that I personally use and that I believe is the easiest to set up.
Depending on your computer, you might already have everything you need already to set this up.
How To Connect Your MacBookTo Your HDTV
If the number of MacBooks at your local Starbucks and or this picture from a college class is any indication, MacBooks are very popular laptops.
There are many reasons why these are considered to be great machines, but one feature that is often overlooked is the fact that the latest version (and some past versions, I do believe) have a built in HDMI output port as shows in the image below:
The great news too is that this feature is not limited to the MacBook Pro.
In fact, most computers these days, including laptops, have built in HDMI outputs including Dell, HP, Lenovo and many more.
If you are lucky enough to have a computer that has a built in HDMI port all you need to do is connect your HDTV to your computer via an HDMI cable and then make sure the settings on your laptop or computer are set up correctly so that what you are seeing on your computer can also be seen on your big scree TV.
I recommend getting a nice long HDMI cable so you can have your computer close to you on the couch so you can control what you’re watching.
How To Connect Your MacBook Air To Your TV
The MacBook Air is also a very popular laptop because it is so small and light weight. The 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs do no have a built in HDMI port but they do come with the Thunderbolt port which can also be used to connect your MacBook Air to your TV.
In order to connect your MacBook Air to your TV you will need a Thunderbolt to HDMI cable which can easily be plugging into the Thunderbolt port on your MacBook Air and then connected directly to your HDTV.
How To Connect Your Old School MacBook To Your TV
If you’re like me and you’re still using your MacBook from 2007 (I have the black one) you will need to use the Mini DVI port and a Mini DVI to HDMI cable that will then connect to your long HDMI cable.
If you’re using a a MacBook with a Mini DVI you’re going to have to connect the audio from your computer to your TV using a separate cable. Just make sure that you audio cable is at least as long as your HDMI cable!
How To Setup Your Computer To Work With Your TV
Most of the time you should be able to just plug in the appropriate cable from above and, like magic, what you see and hear on your MacBook, computer or other laptop will display correctly on your big screen TV.
If for some reason it does not then you will need to dig into the settings on your computer and get things set up to acheive your desired results. Do not worry, this shouldn’t be hard so don’t get overwhelmed.
For the newer MacBook Pro and MacBook Air users you will want to set your machines up so that the audio and video is duplicated on both screens (that’s the way I like it anyway). In order to achieve this you will want your settings to look like this:
System Preferences –> Displays –> Duplicate. Using duplicate will show exactly the video on both your MacBook as well as your TV. If you prefer to only have the video displayed on your TV then just leave this option unchecked.
In order for the audio to be directed through the speakers on your TV rather then your MacBook you will click on –>System Preferences –> Sound –> Output –> Your TV.
These two options should direct the audio and video from your MacBook to your television.
The settings will very from machine to machine and brand to brand but it shouldn’t be too hard to configure.
Are There Other Ways?
Yes, there are lots of ways to connect your computer, set top box (Apple, TV, Roku, etc.) to your HDTV and many of these options are outlined in this guide.
That being said, sometimes the best way is the easiest way. Although this isn’t the most elegant since you will have a cable running from your TV to your computer it is very quick, very easy and very inexpensive to set up. Plus, you can assemble and disassemble this setup in a matter of minutes which means you can hide the cables whenever you want to.
With the inexpensive hardware outlined above you’ll be able to use really leverage your the power of the internet and your computer by being able to display your movies and TV shows on your big screen HDTV!
With over 2,100 shows on Hulu, an ever growing library of streaming movies and shows in the American Netflix library you might even consider canceling your expensive cable package after you get an HMA account.
This is the exact method I use to connect my computer to my HDTV and I recommend you give it a try.