We've an old 2007 MacBook that I'd like to connect to a recent TV. If I'm not mistaking, the laptop has a FireWire 400 port, a VGA port, and USB ports. The TV has HDMI ports and USB ports insofar as I can tell.

The laptop can't run AirPlay insofar as I can tell - it's running OS X Lion and is too old to upgrade.

Is a USB/USB cable the recommended way of connecting the two devices in this case, or are there reasonably priced adapters to convert FireWire 400 to HDMI or something to that effect?

  • It might be technically possible - e.g. force video compression over FireWire - but practically... forget it. – Tetsujin Dec 13 '17 at 18:19

Is a USB/USB cable the recommended way of connecting the two devices

No, not if you're trying to get the display of the laptop onto the TV. A USB port doesn't carry monitor signals.

are there reasonably priced adapters to convert FireWire 400 to HDMI

Firewire is also not a monitor signal. It can be used to transfer video information but afaik it's a completely different format to HDMI. I've not seen a device that converts firewire video to HDMI.

From your given ports the only way I'm aware of connecting your laptop to your tv would be with a VGA to HDMI adapter. VGA to HDMI adapters do exist at a reasonable price point, eg. https://www.jaycar.com.au/vga-to-hdmi-with-audio-adapter-usb-powered/p/AC1719?utm_campaign=redirect&utm_source=AC1639r&utm_medium=web

Maybe if you post the model of your laptop someone could confirm if it has a displayport capable of being adapted to HDMI. Not all displayport sockets can be converted to HDMI, even if the socket is electrically compatible with the adapter they still need to output the correct signal.

  • The exact model is a 2007 MacBook (black in case it matters, but I'm guessing it does not). – Denis de Bernardy Dec 13 '17 at 19:42
  • I've had trouble with this particular style of HDMI adapter non handling copy protection properly. This would be an issue if you're trying to display a DVD or purchased video. This won't happen for regular usage as a computer monitor though. – SpaceTrucker Dec 13 '17 at 19:53
  • Click the Apple icon in the top left of the status bar, select "About this mac", click "System Report". Click "Hardware", the whole menu item unexpanded. On the right hand panel there should be an item listing "Model Identifier:". Can you post the Model Identifier? – Scottmeup Dec 14 '17 at 3:09

Your Macbook should have a Mini-DVI port on it. What you need is a Mini-DVI to HDMI adapter like this one and then you connect with a normal HDMI cable.

Edit: Note that this will not give you audio over HDMI. You will need to source the audio from your headphone jack and route it in some other way.

  • +1 for the suggestion but FYI the reviews on that cable seem terrible. :-| Also, there's at least 1-star comment that seems to suggest Mini-DVI to HDMI won't transmit sound. – Denis de Bernardy Dec 13 '17 at 21:53
  • @DenisdeBernardy Oh, yes I forgot to mention that. To get sound, you're going to need to pipe in the audio some other way. In the past I've used the headphone jack to RCA cables. This works best if you have a receiver that normally handles your TV audio, as I'm not familiar with many TVs that allow a separate audio in for an HDMI input. This is because DVI doesn't support audio. – moneyt Dec 13 '17 at 21:58

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