Elgato Systems Turbo.264 Video Encoder Hardware | iLounge

Reviews

1

Three Questions;
Does it support 2-Pass Encoding?
Can it handle Muxed MPEG-2 Video?
Can it preserve Multi-Channel AAC?

Posted by Salvo.Dan on May 24, 2007 at 12:45 AM (PDT)

2

Neither the iPod nor the Apple TV support more than 2-channel AAC, so this only supports stereo AAC, according to their website. If you're wondering about DVD VOB files, then yes it can encode MPEG-2 VOBs.

Posted by Muero on May 24, 2007 at 8:44 AM (PDT)

3

I have used it to encode TV shows recorded on my EyeTV, and it works really well. A 30 minute show that was taking 2.5 hrs. to encode at the highest resolution now takes approximately 40 minutes.

dewarner

Posted by dewarner12 on May 24, 2007 at 9:06 AM (PDT)

4

It is even btter on a late 2005 iMac G5 I get 30FPS and eyeTV recordings that took 6 hours for 2 hours video now take about 1 hour 20, I am really pleased with it.

Posted by ColinT in UK on May 24, 2007 at 9:28 AM (PDT)

5

I was extremely excited by this because my dual 1.8GHz G5 is running pretty much 24 hours a day ripping my DVDs with Handbrake, but it doesn't look like it supports Handbrake, which is a deal-breaker for me. I need a device that doesn't work solely with QuickTime applications.

Quite disappointed. I was hoping a solution like this would allow me to put off upgrading to a Mac Pro for another year.

Posted by Japester on May 24, 2007 at 4:45 PM (PDT)

6

The turbo.264 is a basic encoding solution that offers only four standard presets. It doesn't provide the advanced encoding options that applications like VisualHub or Handbrake do. This means no two-pass encoding or multi-channel AAC, although these should not be a deal-breaker for the average user, particularly since at this none of the output devices will provide any support for more than two-channel stereo.

Unlike Handbrake, Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks will not be downconverted, but at the same time, almost every DVD I've encoded also included a Dolby Surround (Pro-Logic II) sound track, which comes through just fine since it's matrix-encoded into two channels. It's actually debatable whether the Handbrake Dolby 5.1 -> Dolby Surround downconversion is going to produce results that are any better than the original studio-provided Dolby Surround track anyway.

The device itself is not tied exclusively to Quicktime, as they provide their own application, so muxed MPEG-2 is supported without issue, as long as you use their application to perform the conversions (as opposed to Quicktime).

In my workflow, the T264 has replaced VisualHub for my DVD TV Show encodings. I use MacTheRipper (MTR) to rip, and now the turbo.264 to encode. Since I've rarely needed more advanced settings in VisualHub for DVD TV Show content, this works very well.

Due to the audio limitations of the Apple TV, I am not yet at the point where I'm ready to encode my DVD movie collection, so the lack of advanced settings that might be required for that is less of an issue for me.

Keep in mind as well that since VisualHub and Handbrake use ffmpeg, which is an open-source project, it is not outside of the realm of possibility for turbo.264 support to be added in the future, assuming that Elgato provides the specs to do so, or some enterprising programmer can figure it out.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on May 25, 2007 at 4:52 AM (PDT)

7

@ Jesse David Hollington: I agree with you on the multi-channel DVDs. I don't rip multi-channel although Handbrake supports it. I'm waiting for better support on the playback end.

I'm heavily into TV on DVD, most of which is simply stereo. I only rip for Apple TV. I've tweaked Handbrake's Apple TV preset to push the envelope, so I'm not ripping with standard Apple TV settings as in QuickTime.

In QuickTime Player, I do some conversion of videos I download from the web, but that's rare. I have EyeTV and convert 12 episodes a week, so to me this product is not really viable. It really is what I want, though, because my G5 could really use the boost. Should it support Handbrake, I would buy it so fast my credit card would melt!

Posted by Japester on May 25, 2007 at 7:54 PM (PDT)

8

It's actually debatable whether the Handbrake Dolby 5.1 -> Dolby Surround downconversion is going to produce results that are any better than the original studio-provided Dolby Surround track anyway.

[Moderator edited for attempted advertising.]

Posted by aeoeddy on May 28, 2007 at 7:45 PM (PDT)

9

I purchased the Turbo.264 and Im not too happy with the quality of the video. Videos with lots of action get pixelated, movies encoded for AppleTV. On top of that Im not to happy that its limited to just 4 presets. I have a PSP and I would like to encode to the PSPs full resolution (which is now supported by the PSPs latest firmware), and how about profiles for the PS3, or even better yet a little more flexibility so that we can encode to whatever we want.

I hope all this can and will be changed through software, if not based on the video quality alone Im going to have to ebay it and take a loss since I wont get what I paid for it.

Posted by cduran on May 30, 2007 at 10:37 AM (PDT)

10

Is anyone else having problems with the audio/video not synching when using the AppleTV preset? This thing encodes 5x faster than handbrake on my iMac G5, but the audio is out of synch. I tried it with Kill Bill volume 1 video_TS out of a mactheripper rip and it is all out of whack. Also, I ripped Dreamgirls with mactheripper and Turbo.264 would not accept the video_TS file. Anyone have any ideas?

Posted by PatrickBateman on May 31, 2007 at 8:04 AM (PDT)

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