fixed : how to connect an external display (or iMac) to my new USB-C only MacBook Pro ?

Question :

I have to work from home right now, so I would like to connect my MacBook Pro to an external display, but I have a new MacBook Pro that only has USB-C ports…

How do I do that ?

 

Answer :

First, you need to know if your MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro has Thunderbolt 3  (TB3) or regular USB-C.  Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) and regular USB-C (USB 3.1 gen 2) connectors look exactly the same, but Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) runs at 40Gbps instead of 10Gbps for regular USB-C. Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) can handle a 5K-display or two 4K-displays at once, but regular USB-C can only handle one 4K-display.

The 12″ MacBooks from 2015/2016/2017 have regular USB-C (just like the iPad Program 2018/2020) that is NOT Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) capable

The MacBook Air from 2018/2020 and the MacBook Pro’s from 2017 and newer have Tunderbolt 3 (TB3)

Then, you will need a display-connector-cable that converts USB-C to something that your monitor can handle :

If your external screen is a 4K- or 5K-display with USB-C/Thunderbolt 3-input, use this cable (or something similar) :

Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 3 cable  [ buy from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE ]

If your external screen has an HDMI-input (e.g. if it’s a recent display or if it’s a TV), use this cable (or something similar) :

USB-C 4K@60Hz to HDMI cable  [ buy from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE ]

If your external screen has a DVI-input (e.g. if it’s a slightly older or more expensive display), use this cable (or something similar) :

USB-C to DVI cable  [ buy from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE ]

If your external screen has a DisplayPort-input (e.g. if it’s a slightly older or more professional display), use this cable (or something similar) :

USB-C to DisplayPort cable  [ buy from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE ]

If your external screen had a MiniDisplayPort-input (e.g. if it’s an old iMac with Target Display Mode* support), use this cable (or something similar) :

  • * = only few iMacs have Target Display Mode support :
    • iMac 27″ 2009 to iMac 27″ 2014 (MiniDisplayPort/Thunderbolt 1)
    • iMac 21,5″ 2011 to iMac 21,5″ 2014 (MiniDisplayPort/Thunderbolt 1)
    • note : iMac Retina 4K and iMac Retina 5K do not have support for Target Display Mode !
    • visit the Apple website for more info on Target Display Mode
    • newer iMacs can be used as an external screen using Wireless Screen Sharing when connected to the same WiFi network, but that could be laggy (where cabled Target Disk Mode will never have lag)

USB-C to MiniDisplayPort cable  [ buy from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE ]

If your external screen has a VGA-input (e.g. if it’s a really old computer monitor or a beamer), use this converter (or something similar) to connect to a regular VGA-cable :

USB-C to VGA adapter  [ buy from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE ]

 

When you have gotten hold of the right connection cable, do this :

  • shut down both your MacBook* and external display**
    • * = MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro that only has USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports
    • ** = external display, iMac or beamer
  • connect your MacBook* to your external display** using the proper cable mentioned above
  • switch on your external display**
  • switch on your MacBook*
  • make sure your MacBook* is connected to the wall power adapter
  • connect a mouse and keyboard to your MacBook** either using USB (with a USB-to-USB-C connector) or using Bluetooth
    • any basic USB-to-USB-C connector will do, here is a suggestion
    • if your MacBook* only has 2 USB-C ports, you either need to use a Bluetooth mouse & keyboard, or your need a USB-C port hub (port multiplier) like this :
  • if your external display** has various input options, make sure it is set to receive the input from your MacBook*
  • then, close your MacBook*’s lid, so your entire desktop screen will be visible on the external screen
  • usually, the macOS Display Preferences window will now be on-screen, if it is not, open the System Preferences (in the Apple-menu top left) and click on the Displays-icon to open it
  • in the Preferences window that is named like your external display, click on the Display-tab
  • then choose ‘Default for display’ (if you click on ‘Scaled’ once, you will see that macOS has automatically chosen the optimal resolution for your this external display** with your MacBook*, if that is not the maximum screen resolution listed, you might want to change this, but usually you just choose ‘Default for display’)
  • now you are good to go…

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

 

fixed : Ethernet cable connection on USB-C only MacBook Pro

Question :

I just bought a new MacBook Pro that has USB-C only (and WiFi & Bluetooth), nothing else… I would like to hook it up to an Ethernet-cable since I’ve heard that’s better than WiFi when playing games like Fortnite…

How do I do that ?

 

Answer :

To connect your MacBook to Ethernet using a UTP-cable, you need to have an adapter. You could use an USB-to-Ethernet-connector that you might have laying around and connect it to your MacBook using a cheap USB-to-USB-C-connector that you can get at a supermarket or discount-shop… but I would advise against that : all cheap USB-to-USB-C-connectors are USB2-only (because they are mainly for connecting USB-mouses and keyboards to modern computers)… and a lot of USB-to-Ethernet-connectors are 10/100-Ethernet compatible and USB2-only… but even if you have a USB3-to-Gigabit-Ethernet, the end result will be just USB2…

To get the best out of your MacBook, you should get a USB-C-to-Ethernet-connector that is Thunderbolt 3 compatible, like this one :

Thunderbolt 3 USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet connector (buy on Amazon US) (buy on Amazon UK) (buy on Amazon DE)

 

enjoy 😉

 

fixed : AppleTV keeps getting new IP address continuously

Question :

I am using the IP Scanner (and LANscan) software to check my network performance whenever I encounter network problems. I have found that my AppleTV keeps getting multiple IP addresses from my router using DHCP…

What is going on and how can I fix this ?

 

Answer :

The most probable cause of your problem is that you are connection over WiFi and the AppleTV is positioned somewhere where WiFi-reception isn’t optimal, and where multiple base stations are giving an equally strong WiFi-signal, which is causing the AppleTV to constantly switch from a connection to the one WiFi-base station to the other and back again.

There is a slight chance that you have this problem when connecting over Ethernet LAN-cable also… in that case you might have some interference or data-loss on the cable which usually isn’t problematic, but still is sub-optimal…

The best and easiest way to fix this is to give the AppleTV a fixed IP-address.

To do so, do this (in tvOS 7.4 – for other versions of tvOS the actual screens may differ) :

  • unplug the AC-power cable from your AppleTV
  • restart your router (or unplug it from power for 30 seconds)
  • plug the AC-power cable back into your AppleTV
  • turn on your TV (the one that’s connected to your AppleTV)
  • turn on your AppleTV
  • goto Settings (the app that has a Sprocket/Gear-icon)
  • in the Settings-window, click on General
  • in the General-window, click on Network
  • in the Network-window, click on WiFi (or Ethernet if you use it)
  • in the WiFi-window (or Ethernet-window), click on Configure IP
  • in the ConfigureIP-window, make a photo of all settings or write them down (because this exact info is what you are going to enter manually), then click on Manual
  • in the IP-configuration window, roll the dials until the IP is set, then click OK
  • in the Subnetmask-configuration window, roll the dials until the Subnetmask is set, then click OK
  • in the Router-configuration window, roll the dials until the Router IP is set, then click OK
  • in the DNS-configuration window, roll the dials until the DNS is set (or use 008.008.008.008), then click OK
  • then wait for the setting so be accepted while the wheel spins
  • then exit, exit, exit until you’re back on the Home screen

That’s it !

Note : if you want to be completely sure that your AppleTV has accepted all settings, you can unplug and replug your AppleTV from power, but that is not as important as it used to be in older versions of tvOS – and you need to check afterwards in Settings to be completely sure

enjoy 😉

fixed : using a Nintendo Switch on an HD-ready TV without HDMI-input

———————————

the solution outlined below is your best option for all devices that have an HDMI port as their best or only video output, including (but not limited to) gaming consoles like Playstation PS3/PS4, Xbox 360 & Xbox One, Nintendo Switch & Wii-U and all versions of AppleTV

———————————

Question :

I just bought a Nintendo Switch gaming console and I want to connect it to my old flatscreen 26″ LCD-TV that doesn’t have HDMI.

Even tough the TV is able to display HD-video up to 1080i and computer-display resolutions up to 1280×768 pixels at 60Hz, it does not have an HDMI input, neither a digital audio input (a.k.a. “Toslink”).

The only input options are :

– DVI digital video + 3.5mm (a.k.a. “jack”) analog audio

– VGA analog video + 3.5mm (a.k.a. “jack”) analog audio

– Component YPbPr analog video + stereo analog audio (5 plugs, a.k.a. “RCA” or “tulip”)

– S-video analog video (S-video plug) + stereo analog audio (a.k.a. “RCA” or “tulip”)

– SCART analog video + audio (SCART plug)

How do I connect my Nintendo Switch to this TV-set ?

 

Answer :

Even though it might seem the most obvious to connect the Nintendo Switch’s HDMI-output to the TV’s DVI-input, since HDMI and DVI are 100% video-compatible, this comes with 2 problems :

– DVI has no audio, so you will have to connect the audio separately ; in this case that would require a DAC (digital-analog-converter) for your audio since your TV has no digital audio input

– DVI does not support HDCP-encryption as HDMI does, so any ‘copyright-protected’ HDMI content will be blocked when connected to DVI…

So… do not try to use the DVI-input, but use the Component YPbPr connection, especially since the digital-to-analog video-conversion gets rid of the HDCP-limitations for you also !

This converter cable is the most elegant option that will do the trick for you :

LogiLink HDMI to YPbPr & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.com]

LogiLink HDMI to YPbPr & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.co.uk]

LogiLink HDMI to YPbPr & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.de]

…it turns out that the HDMI-output of the Nintendo Switch is supplying enough power to  power the built-in converter, so you don’t need to connect the USB-power cable.

Donate Button (MacManusNL)

 

If you have an HD-Ready flatscreen TV and you want to connect an AppleTV or a gaming console (Nintendo Wii-U, Nintendo Switch, Playstation PS3/PS4, Xbox One or Xbox 360), your best option is to use the HDMI-to-YPbPr converter-cable mentioned above.

But… in some cases these might also be interesting :

An HDMI-to-VGA&stereo converter-cable :

LogiLink HDMI to VGA & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.com]

LogiLink HDMI to VGA & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.co.uk]

LogiLink HDMI to VGA & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.de]

An HDMI-to-HDMI&stereo converter-cable : [so this splits the audio from the HDMI-video signal and converts it into a separate analog stereo (2x RCA) signal, but beware that the output video signal is 720p, 1080p and 1080i only, which is problematic for most HD-ready flatscreen TVs, especially when combined with an HDMI-to-DVI converter] :

LogiLink HDMI to HDMI & Analog Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.co.uk]

LogiLink HDMI to HDMI & Analog Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.de]

fixed : MacBook’s external monitor screen stays black

Question :

In my office, I am using an external monitor as my main screen for my MacBook Pro. Today, the screen didn’t respond when I connected my MacBook however : the screen stays black and nothing appears on-screen. So I opened up my MacBook and used the built-in screen to figure out what’s wrong, but so far I haven’t found any indication in the Displays Preference Panel that my MacBook even detects the second screen…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

In such situations you should always do this first :

Remedy #1 :

  • if you are using a MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, make sure you have the power adapter connected
  • if your laptop is on battery power, the external screen will go black whenever you close the lid of your laptop (when on battery power, all connections are powered off when you close the lid to save energy)

if this works, you’re good, if not, try Remedy #2

Remedy #2 :

  • make sure your monitor is switched ON
  • then hit the SPACE-bar on your external keyboard several times (maybe once, usually about 5 to 10 times…)
  • the monitor should now appear and show the inlog panel to unlock your screensaver
  • then login

if this works, you’re good, if not, try Remedy #3

NOTE : if you have a Benq monitor (especially the BL2420TP), try this first :

fixed : Benq monitor stays black when MacBook is switched on

Remedy #3 :

  • unplug all cables between the monitor and your Mac ( DisplayPort / Thunderbolt / HDMI / DVI / VGA  and also USB, UTP, FireWire and PowerAdapter )
  • shut down your monitor
  • shut down your MacBook
  • reconnect all cables and double-check if they’re properly connected on both the Mac and the monitor
  • switch on your MacBook
  • switch on your monitor

if this works, you’re good, if not, try Remedy #4

Remedy #4 :

  • on your MacBook, open Apple [main menu bar top-left] –> System Preferences
  • in the System Preferences window, select “Displays”
  • in the Display Preferences window, see if there is a button marked “Gather Windows” bottom right
  • if there is no “Gather Windows” button, press the ALT-key on your keyboard and a button marked “Detect Displays” appears ; click on it when it appears

if this works, you’re good, if not, try Remedy #5

Remedy #5 :

  • on your MacBook, open Apple [main menu bar top-left] –> System Preferences
  • in the System Preferences window, select “Displays”
  • in the Display Preferences window, see if there is a button marked “Gather Windows” bottom right
  • if there is a “Gather Windows” button, click on it
  • then you will see 2 Display Preference windows on your MacBook screen
  • select the Display Preference window that has 3 tabs on it marked “Display”, “Arrangement” and “Color” (not the window that has “Display” and “Color” only)
  • first, press the ALT-key on your keyboard and a button marked “Detect Displays” appears where the “Gather Windows”-button used to be ; click on it when it appears
  • if your monitor switches on, you’re good, if not…
  • click on the “Arrangement”-tab and in the next window put a checkmark at “Mirror Display”
  • if your monitor switches on now, uncheck the “Mirror Display” option again and close your MacBook… you should be good now…

if this didn’t work, try Remedy #6

Remedy #6 :

  • unplug all cables between the monitor and your Mac ( DisplayPort / Thunderbolt / HDMI / DVI / VGA  and also USB, UTP, FireWire and PowerAdapter )
  • shut down your monitor
  • shut down your MacBook
  • reconnect your Mac to your monitor using a different type of cable then you normally would choose (e.g. if you normally use a DisplayPort/Thunderbolt-cable, use an HDMI or DVI cable now)
  • switch on your MacBook
  • switch on your monitor
  • if your monitor wakes from sleep now, open Apple –> System Preferences
  • in the System Preferences window, select “Displays”
  • in the Display Preferences window, see if there is a button marked “Gather Windows” bottom right
  • if there is a “Gather Windows” button, click on it
  • then you will see 2 Display Preference windows on your MacBook screen
  • now, remove the monitor-cable that you have just used to connect your MacBook to your monitor
  • then, reconnect your MacBook to your monitor using all cables you normally use to connect the two
  • if your monitor now wakes from sleep, you’re good
  • if it doesn’t, restart your monitor
  • it that doesn’t help, restart your Mac

normally your issue should be resolved by now…

if still the monitor stays showing a back screen, I’m sorry to inform you that your screen probably has a hardware problem… if so, get an authorized Mac-repair-centre to fix it, get the Apple Store support-crew to fix this…

that’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : using the AppleTV on an HD-ready TV without HDMI-input

———————————————–

update : this solution should also work for the new 4th generation AppleTV (2015)

———————————————–

Question :

I just bought an AppleTV 3 and I want to connect it to my flatscreen 26″ LCD-TV, a MyCom MC2600LT (it’s actually a rebranded/white-label DT-3003X which has internationally also been sold under the Daewoo and Grundig Xentia brand, and probably more).

Even tough the TV is able to display HD-video up to 1080i and computer-display resolutions up to 1280×768 pixels at 60Hz, it does not have an HDMI input, neither a digital audio input (a.k.a. “Toslink”).

The only input options are :

– DVI digital video + 3.5mm (a.k.a. “jack”) analog audio

– VGA analog video + 3.5mm (a.k.a. “jack”) analog audio

– Component YPbPr analog video + stereo analog audio (5 plugs, a.k.a. “RCA” or “tulip”)

– S-video analog video (S-video plug) + stereo analog audio (a.k.a. “RCA” or “tulip”)

– SCART analog video + audio (SCART plug)

How do I connect my AppleTV 3 to this TV-set ?

 

Answer :

Even though it might seem the most obvious to connect the AppleTV’s HDMI-output to the TV’s DVI-input, since HDMI and DVI are 100% video-compatible, this comes with 2 problems :

– DVI has no audio, so you will have to connect the audio separately ; in this case that would require a DAC (digital-analog-converter) for your audio since your TV has no digital audio input

– DVI does not support HDCP-encryption as HDMI does, so any ‘copyright-protected’ HDMI content will be blocked when connected to DVI…

So… do not try to use the DVI-input, but use the Component YPbPr connection, especially since the digital-to-analog video-conversion gets rid of the HDCP-limitations for you also !

This converter cable is the most elegant option that will do the trick for you :

LogiLink HDMI to YPbPr & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.com]

LogiLink HDMI to YPbPr & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.co.uk]

LogiLink HDMI to YPbPr & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.de]

…it turns out that the HDMI-output of the AppleTV 3 is supplying enough power to  power the built-in converter, so you don’t need to connect the USB-power cable.

Donate Button (MacManusNL)

For anyone interested, here’s a link to the Dutch manual of the 26″ MyCom LCD-TV MC2600LT (a.k.a. DT-3003X) :

manual MyCom LCD tv

——————————

If you have an HD-Ready flatscreen TV and you want to connect an AppleTV, your best option is to use the HDMI-to-YPbPr converter-cable mentioned above.

But… in some cases these might also be interesting :

An HDMI-to-VGA&stereo converter-cable :

LogiLink HDMI to VGA & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.com]

LogiLink HDMI to VGA & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.co.uk]

LogiLink HDMI to VGA & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.de]

An HDMI-to-HDMI&stereo converter-cable : [so this splits the audio from the HDMI-video signal and converts it into a separate analog stereo (2x RCA) signal, but beware that the output video signal is 720p, 1080p and 1080i only, which is problematic for most HD-ready flatscreen TVs, especially when combined with an HDMI-to-DVI converter] :

LogiLink HDMI to HDMI & Analog Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.co.uk]

LogiLink HDMI to HDMI & Analog Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.de]