Using the hdmi cable I can plug the laptop directly to the tv which worked fine. For audio I used some old cables from the MacBook headphone jack to the receiver.
Glad that worked out for you…for 4-5 years I used relatively inexpensive Core 2 Duo MacBooks as HTPCs in the living room with the lid-closed, leaving them permanently in place connecting directly to the HDTV with optical going to the AVR. Resale value for Macs remained so high that it was always easy to upgrade to something more powerful for a pittance. Eventually I just put i5 Minis at every display because the step up in performance was so great, plus I grew to like having Thunderbolt, HDMI, firewire 800 and space for 2 SSD/drives in such a quiet small form factor.
Not sure what more information you need...the adapter from the MacBook to the HDMI cable is a Belkin mini-display port to HDMI adapter
my point originally was only that you weren't just
using an HDMI cable since your Mac didn't have a built-in HDMI out like on a Mac Mini, you had to be using some sort of adaptor in addition to that HDMI cable…and any adaptor potentially introduces another variable into the equation. There were lots of threads here years ago about various mini-DP compatibility issues and bugs with third party adaptors and trying to go through AVRs. Some folks found it was easier just sending audio over optical to their AVRs even if those AVRs had HDMI inputs.
I think the real issue you'll have to confront is how often you plan to do this, to play actual dvds with your computer hooked up to your TV. If you're like most of us you'll quickly tire of 1) playing physical media and 2) connecting and disconnecting that Mac every time you want to watch something and look instead for a streaming solution and/or something more permanently in place, whether that be with another Mac or an Apple TV.
I haven't "watched" a physical disc in ages…anytime we get something on disc, it gets ripped and stored on a network hard drive somewhere. Then anyone in the house can watch it anytime they want, streamed over the network, to a Mac, Apple TV or iPad.