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Macs/Apples/MacBook to tv connection issues

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Question
Hi
I'm having trouble connecting my mid-2010 MacBook Pro 13" on Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5(11G63) to my panasonic viera tv (TH-42PX80A). I have tried a Mini DisplayPort to hdmi+ hdmi connection as well as display port to VGA with the same result/problem. When connected, the MacBook detects the tv and connects but nothing comes up on the tv. I have connected everything right and all cables are new. But what happens is, my laptop thinks it's the tv. If that makes sense. It shows both the laptop and the tv screen on the laptop screen and even when I move the white bar from one screen to the next the current screen goes onto the laptop but nothing on the tv.
What I've also tried:
Different connections (and ports for hdmi)
Restart. Switch tv on first, laptop on first, both on at the same time.
Pram reset.
Mirroring. Moving white bar to different screen.
Different resolutions.
Googling
Called AppleCare and they wanted me to pay $60 for her to walk me through the website database which I went through with no luck. (So I figure they wouldn't know and/or would charge me heaps to replace something that's not even wrong.)
I know both of them work okay because the Tv's previous owner was able to connect their pc laptop to the tv without problems and my laptop had no problems connecting to different Tvs. One of which was also a panasonic viera but different model the other was a Sony. I have no idea of it had problems connecting for the first time with either Tvs because I wasn't there but I doubt it. I have a feeling it's something simple that I'm missing.
Please help me because I've been googling and trying different things for 3days straight with no luck and I'm almost in tears. :'(
The only reason I bought the tv was to be able to watch videos off my laptop and its not connected to anything else. Also, please don't tell me to buy Apple TV because it's expensive and I'm on a student budget.

Answer
Rosalind,
Thanks for writing!
You've gone through all the trouble-shooting steps I'd have done, including testing your MBP with other TV's, other cables.  Have you dug into Apple's forums or Panasonic's support site?  
Also, you say you tried different cables, but which ones? Apple? Other?

When the TV is connected, does it come up by name in the displays menu?

It seems you've nearly exhausted your possibilities, but it's possible there's something you've yet overlooked in your frustration.  Back off from the problem for a couple days.

AppleTV would solve your problem, you may be able to come across a second-hand unit.  If you've managed to afford a flat-screen TV on a studen budget, $100 USD is not too much more on top... $100 vs. 3 days of straight googling...

Good luck!

Macs/Apples

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Ed Dyer

Expertise

I don't answer Mac OS 9 questions anymore, thank you. Current Tech: Mac OS X 10.4 - 10.8, Some shell scripting, cron, Mac OS X Server 10.2-10.6, AD-OD Integration, Automator, Word Press Blogging, All CURRENT Mac models, iLife '09 and previous, iWork '09 and previous, Apple Remote Desktop, WiFi, iOS jailbreaking/unlocking, some MS SharePoint (design, not development) Devices: iPhone(original-4s) & iPad(through 3rd gen), AppleTV(all models), Airport Express, Time Capsule Old Skool, meaning I have this experience as a base, but don't answer questions on it anymore: Mac OS Environment 7.5.3-OS 9 (please upgrade for pete's sake!), PowerBook G3/G4(all models), Mac/Windows Networking, PowerPC 604-G4 desktop models, Outlook 2001, Photoshop 7 and previous, Flash MX, Dreamweaver MX Mac OS X Public Beta-10.4, all Windows Server operating systems and use. Dabbler: Newton 2100 w/ WiFi and NSync, Yellow Dog Linux, Suse Linux (PPC), Ubuntu Linux, Vista Business

Experience

I worked in IT for ten years with a specialty in Macintosh technologies and Project Management.
I've worked with the Macintosh Operating system and various machines since my first PowerMac 8500 running Mac OS 7.5.3 in 1996. I support my friends and family in keeping their Macs healthy and upgraded. Now I use a MacBook Pro for our home media network and we're pretty much down to iPads and iPhones for daily use.
Most important: I've also worked on PCs for a number of years with various flavors of Windows(95,98,NT4,2000,2000Server,2K3Server,SBS 2K3Server,Mil,XPHome,XPPro, Vista Business), but I've always used the Mac as my platform of preference.
Publications
http://www.macwindows.com : VPNs and Outlook(2001)


Organizations
Mac OS X Certification Alliance, Linked In

Publications
http://www.macwindows.com : VPNs and Outlook


Education/Credentials
I'm an Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) through 10.4 and have the lower certs as well (ACTC for 10.1 - 10.6), an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist for 10.3 (ACHDS) and a member of the Apple Consultants Network, as well as an Apple Product Professional for 2002-2009.
I have an MCP cert. from MS as well...

Past/Present Clients
Navy Federal Credit Union (Washington, D.C.) Whole Foods Market (Mid Atlantic Region) Army Times (Washington, D.C.) Children's National Medical Center (Washington, D.C.) Dodge Communications (ATL) ...and a plethora of All Coveredô clients throughout the United States of America (now a part of Konica Minolta)

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