The realistic super-easy way is an AppleTV, no cables no fuss no mess.
also for $100 you get tons of free content, free movie previews, free podcasts, free music.......etc. on AppleTV
Also use the APP called BEAMER to wifi beam movies to the Apple TV from the computer while still using the Mac.
Just airplay, say,...YOUTUBE from the macbook AIr to the AppleTV, great fun. Best $100 of fun that can be had.
I use this setup and there is nothing that comes closer to perfection than this
True, but the black hockey puck (i.e. AppleTV) is far less a burden than a mess of cables.
However of course The AppleTV has a power cord and an HDMI cord to the TV.......so...
You didnt mention if your first post that your parents would be traveling all the time for TV hookup by Airplay with the Macbook.
In which case you can get a MD to HDMI cable.
back right of the machine
use one of these dongles
see image here
Confusing Mini DisplayPort with Thunderbolt
The new thunderbolt port is backward compatible so it can still be used to connect to DisplayPort devices
Thank you for clearing that up!!!
This raises another issue:
If my family acquires other Thunderbolt peripherals down the line (seems likely they will get at least one Thunderbolt external hard drive), is there a Thunderbolt splitter/hub that will allow them to have one of those mini-display port adaptors *and* a hard drive in at the same time? (NOTE: the hard drive I'm thinking about would be the LaCie Rugged USB 3 / Thunderbolt model, which lacks an additional Thunderbolt port for diasy-chaining.)
As indicated above in the link, you cannot attach Thunderbolt DEVICES from MD connection or adapters.
displays are one thing.........Thunderbolt devices another.
LaCIe (seagate) HD, just direct connect same, but yes you can have a RAID array, etc. However I wouldnt consider doing same.
You can save yourself a lot of money and get a nice 2TB external USB3 HD for $119.
We're using an older USB 2 / FireWire 400 / FireWire 800 La Cie Rugged portable hard drive now, and eventually looking to upgrade to the Thunderbolt/USB 3 drive linked above when we replace the old white MacBook with a new Mac laptop, probably a MacBook Air. Thunderbolt would be seen as necessary for accessing an iPhoto library (50,000+ photos) that is carried between computers.
Thunderbolt would be seen as necessary
On a conventional HD, speeds are limited by platter and spindle speeds, unless its a SSD,
On a conventional hard drive, Thunderbolt is not a bit faster than USB3,...slower even
"raw USB 3 actually beat thunderbolt in a number of places"
Thunderbolt isnt necessary at ALL, .......USB3 from USB2,....yeah.
As for newer HD on older USB2,...Doesnt matter, USB3 external HD are backwards compatible (most) with USB2
So, you're suggesting that USB 3 would be better for connecting to the external drive? If so, wouldn't you need a USB 3 cable to take advantage of the faster speeds afforded by the improved interface? If this is the case, then I have another couple of questions: what cable specifications should I be looking for that will connect a USB 3-capable late-model Mac with one of these LaCie Rugged drives? And how/where do I find a cable like this for sale? Seems whenever I look up USB 3-anything, the search engine produces USB 2 results...
You asked-- "So, you're suggesting that USB 3 would be better for connecting to the external"
I didnt so much suggest it as imply thunderbolt with conventional HD is no faster, and a hair slower than USB3.
Its "better" only in the sense that Thunderbolt drives are much more expensive.
you didnt mention which device/computer, your old one or the new one you implied on getting, i.e. the new Air.
USB3 external HD are as common as water, theres no worries of cables at all, they all come with same.
LaCie is just a Seagate drive (if a conventional LaCie), ..... there is no such entity as a "rugged hard drive" as meant a conventional HD, they all have armature bars, heads, platter, spindles and heads that hover Nm above the platters.
Theyre tougher than they used to be, but still fragile, and ANYONE that has put their faith of data in ANY single HD has always lived to regret it.
"Seems whenever I look up USB 3-anything, the search engine produces USB 2"
Thats because all the new USB3 drives are backwards capable with USB2 ports on older machines.
Given the second law of thermodynamics, any and all current mfg. HD will, under perfect storage conditions tend themselves to ferromagnetic layer depolarization and a point will be reached, even if the HD mechanism is perfect, that the ferromagnetic read/write surface of the platter inside the HD will entropy to the point of no return for data extraction.
HD life varies, but barring mechanical failure, 3-8 years typically.
best options for the price, and high quality HD:
Quality 1TB drives are $50 per TB on 3.5" or $65 per TB on 2.5"
Perfect 1TB for $68
Nice 500gig for $50. ultraslim and perfect
2TB compact Toshiba 4-platter drive, very small, high quality and very cheap (have several of them) $119
*This one is the BEST external HD available that money can buy:
HGST Touro Mobile 1TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive
Most storage experts agree on the Hitachi 2.5" as "best quality that money can buy in conventional HD"