PB G3 Firewire DVD Playback


In OS 9.1 and 9.0.4 it was possible to plug a TV into the Powerbook with an S-Video cable and watch a DVD on the big screen. The new DVD player is really sweet, but now in either OS X or 9.2.1 the DVD player refuses to play on the TV, saying "Your hardware configuration is not supported" in X and simply freezing in 9. Different combinations of resolutions and bit depths don't help, and turning video mirroring on doesn't help either. Has anyone else experienced this, or is anyone aware of a possible solution?


Unofficial Mac Genius
OS X 10.1 only supports software DVD rendering, not hardware DVD rendering. I think all PowerBook G3s only used hardware DVD rendering, so you will have to wait for another update to OS X for your computer to use the DVD player. I could be wrong, though.

About the OS 9 DVD player, that supports hardware DVD rendering as far as I know, so maybe you should try reinstalling it.


Actually, only 1999 and earlier Powerbooks used hardware decoding. The Pismo powerbook (Powerbook G3 with built in firewire) does software decoding. I've heard a lot of complaints about video mirroring with DVD though. Hopefully Apple's working on it.


I have a pb g3 firewire and am able to view dvd without an external television, but not with one. I get the same error message as above

I AM able to view external DVD in os 9


Try restarting with S-video plugged in and the screen closed. This works for VGA on the TiBook, but I haven't tried S-video.



I have had the same issue. I called apple support and they have informed me that playing DVD to a TV in OSX is not supported yet.

To make it harder, in 9.1, you would have the resolution of your LCD to 1024x768, sleep you powerbook, connect you tv which would then start up at the appropriate PAL or NTSC res for the second monitor.

In 9.2.1, it does not seem quite as stable, and you need to set you powerbook screen to 640x480 to start DVD player after the TV has been connected. Then it appears to work fine

See how you go

By the way, I should mention that Apple support didn't really seem to have any real idea how this should work and had never seen it done. So thats what I pay for support for :)


There was an update just released for the Apple DVD Player in MacOS X, version 3.0.1 available through the software update

weighs in pretty big, at 15 MB or so.

it just mentions improved performance & stability, as well as added support for Blue & White G3, as well as G4 PowerMac's with PCI video cards, no mention of powerbooks in there, or tv resolutions.

but what apple lists in their updates, is usually not everything that's changed. (sometimes there are other fixes, and sometimes it breaks things ;) )