The goal:

  • Get Apple TV to play on my external display.

The components:

  • Apple TV (4th gen)
  • MacBook Pro (mid 2015) w/ports 2x Thunderbolt, 2x USB, 1x HDMI, 1x audio out / mic in.
  • Apple Cinema Display. Connected to mini display port (which works via Thunderbolt port) to converter of mini display port + USB > display port for monitor.

image of Apple DVI adapter

How can I get my Apple TV to play on the display without having to disconnect my MacBook from the display? Here are some ideas I've had so far, from most to least desirable:

  • Connect Apple TV to MBP via HDMI > thunderbolt (not sure this is possible)
  • Connect Apple TV directly to display via HDMI > DVI converter
  • Connect Apple TV to MBP via HDMI > USB converter + software

You can't connect a video signal to your mbp via HDMI or thunderbolt. You may can connect the AppleTV directly to the Display. But have you thought about screen sharing using Airplay on the mbp?

  • I found this little converter which connects you AppleTV to the Cinema display kanex.com/xd – Mathias Nov 2 '15 at 17:37
  • I thought about connecting the apple TV to the display and then when I need to connect my mac I can do it via airplay instead of via cable. I'm concerned about the performance but worst case I can just reconnect the display to the computer. – Jacksonkr Nov 2 '15 at 17:57
  • 1
    Using the Airplay way seems to makes the most sense. Before buying an adapter for 139$ I'd suggest buying a new TV for ~200$ – Mathias Nov 2 '15 at 18:08

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