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I have a dish tv connection. The receiver has a VGA out port and an AV output port.

I want to see the tv on my macbook air. My question is - Can I use a thunderbolt to VGA cable to view TV on my computer?

I assume the direct answer would be no, but may be with the help of some external software?

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The direct answer is indeed: "No."

External software is not going to help. External hardware on the other hand is possible.

You would want a capture card which can capture from the VGA out port on your receiver and connect that to your macbook. I am unaware if any such devices with a thunderbolt interface.

This might be because thunderbolt is designed for ultra high speeds, whereas the capture card does not need that speed and works fine on much slower buses (such as [mini-]PCI).

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