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Elgato Turbo.264 - Video H.264 (MP4) Encoder Hardware 10020500
List Price: $99.95

Our Price: $69.99

You Save: $29.96 (30%)


Product Description

Are you frustrated by the amount of time it takes to export video to the H.264 format? Are you unable to use your Mac for other purposes while you are converting videos to the H.264 format? Introduce yourself to El Gato Turbo 264 Video Encoder that converts videos for play on iPod, iPhone, AppleTV, and Sony PSP.
Videos can take a surprisingly long time to encode to the H.264 format - sometimes longer than the actual playing time. What's more, H.264 video encoding can demand a sizeable chunk of system resources. How long and how much depends on: the processor speed of your Mac, the length and complexity of the source video, the size of the video file, and the amount of video compression required for the desired end result. Turbo.264 accelerates video encoding up to four times faster on Macs with Intel Core processors. On an older Mac like a PowerPC G4 or PowerPC G5, the acceleration is exponentially faster - some users report up to 10 and 15 times faster.
Turbo.264 comes with an easy "drag and drop" application. The application converts unencrypted videos one at a time or in a batch, and drops the converted file(s) into iTunes, where they automatically synch with a connected iPod, Apple TV or iPhone. Turbo.264 also supports the H.264 (MPEG-4) export command of popular Macintosh video applications, including EyeTV's Wi-Fi Access feature. Not only does Turbo.264 get the job done faster, it frees up your Mac for other tasks while video encoding is in progress. Think of it as a ?co-processor? for your Mac. The software application that comes with Elgato Turbo.264 offers an easy-to-use choice of presets for the iPod, Sony PSP, Apple TV, and iPhone. For Apple TV content, the quality of videos encoded with Turbo.264 software is unrivaled: Turbo.264 converts standard definition television recordings without scaling so that recordings appear on Apple TV in the same resolution they were recorded.

  • Convert widescreen DVD (VIDEO_TS) video files without black bars.
  • Tweak video resolution and frame rate;
  • Adjust the video settings so it plays on your smartphone;
  • Pick the audio track you wish to go with the main feature when converting VIDEO TS folders.
  • Turbo264 supports 4 - 3 and 16 - 9 aspect ratios as well as widescreen

Customer Reviews:

  • Known bugs in firmware
    I recently bought the Turbo.264 and was VERY disappointed in the results. I was initially impressed with the speed until I saw the output of the movie. Big blocky picture output which made it unviewable. I tried a few times after that, with different sources (all unencrypted DVD's, still getting the same result).

    Technical Support at Elgato was not much help as they told me it probably had to do with a bug in the firmware. They sent me a link to a new beta firmware update, but it was the same result.

    I am very disappointed in this. As of right now, it is useless to me and it's not even heavy enough for me to use as a paperweight. I'm back to using Handbrake for now....more info
  • Works as advertised!
    Easy to install and works as it was billed. My only problem with it is doesn't work with some AVI files that I wish it did....more info
  • Works as advertised
    I use this device primarily to convert the AVI files from my Canon Powershot S3 to H.264 (using a MacBook 1.83GHz Core Duo). I only timed 3 tests but was convinced after seeing conversions with the Turbo.264 that were 5 times faster when compared with QuickTime Pro (using equivalent export settings). In addition to the much quicker conversions, the CPU usage was relatively low (50%) such that the fan didn't kick into high gear like it normally does (and allowed me to continue using the computer without it feeling sluggish).

    It also converted a Video_TS folder (only the main 2.5 hr VOB/feature) in about 90 minutes. Although I didn't time it without the Turbo.264, this type of conversion would normally take all night (~8 hrs).

    Be sure to check out Elgato's website/FAQ/forums to better understand what you're getting with this device. It doesn't really let you fine tune the export settings but the built-in defaults cover a decent range which worked perfectly for me (edit: the newer software allows more customization).

    UPDATE Feb 2008: There are some complaints floating around regarding the conversion speed for certain file formats such as over-the-air HDTV. I rarely use the Turbo.264 to transcode OTA HDTV to H.264 but my own testing shows a 2.1X speed improvement over standard Quicktime or 1.9X faster than Handbrake (using identical output settings). Also, the Turbo.264 will not work with Handbrake (since that program uses something other than the Quicktime components for encoding). Lastly, the Turbo.264 does not currently support multiple-pass encoding, and it cannot output to higher than 800x600 (due to hardware limitations). So you may want to take this into consideration if these things are important to you....more info
  • Faster but needs better control over output
    I bought this to use with my dual G4 Server which runs EyeTV 24x7. It was certainly faster than the G4 processors for encoding, but I have had a little trouble with thte driver on MacOSX Server knocking my plextor dvr device off of usb. So my EyeTV SW woul loose it's connection and stop recording. I have since moved the device to my Intel imac for encoding purposes. I've got over 600 hours of video on my 2.5TB RAID array and was looking to reencode from MPEG2/4 to H.264. While it's only a little faster than using the Intel 2.0Ghz CPUs themselves, say 50%, it requires only 10% CPU utilization and is much more efficient allowing me to use my computer while encoding. If only I could get the output to work with my PS3 I'd give it 5 stars. Basically if you have an Apple TV, or iPod I recommend this device, especially if you have an older G4 or G5 computer. If you are looking to output for another device, say a PS3 I'd hold off until it's confirmed working for your device....more info
  • Its okay BUT has PROBLEMS
    It really works great. I took a 900mb .mov file and timed it on my dual G5 mac and viddyup!
    Viddyup took 37 minutes to compress it to the Apple TV setting.
    Elgato Turbo took 11 minutes at the Apple tv setting.
    Both files compressed down do roughly 167mb which was great... I was expecting the turbo file to be bigger but it was roughly the same size. So it was about 3x faster with the encoder. Nice. The latest updates for turbo let you customize settings too. For the price its a definite buy.

    ** Amending review : ***

    This device will not export properly to the PS3 and will not use the PSP higher settings.
    because of this serious drawback I am giving it 2 stars. Tech support blames Sony and will not fix it.

    But VisualHub instead of this unless your just using an ipod because the output just is not right. The headers they are using cause problems with other devices. you can fix the header by re saving the file in quicktime as a flat file and let quicktime write the proper headers and the ps3 will then work since El Gato refuses to fix it.

    ViddyUp or VisualHub are way better tools if you have a modern mac. If you have an older mac then this dongle will help your speed but you will have problems if using a psp or PS3.

    Its a shame they dont properly make software for this dongle... I wish they would just let VisualHub do the software since El Gato is brain dead about the problems.......more info
  • Excelent
    Con mi Mac G4 1.25 Mhz y 1.75 GBs en RAM comprime para el iPod a 648x480 a una velocidad de 0.75X (1 hora de video en 1:20) o sea un poco no mas del tiempo real, excelente comparado al Mac sin el Turbo.264 que lo hace a una velocidad de .125X (1 hora de video en 8 horas).
    Solo agrego que seria aun mejor si le incorporara un chip para acelerar la compresion del formato que usan la peliculas de DVD o sea el MPEG-2...more info
  • Works Great for Me - 75% Increase in performance.
    I have a Mac 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo. It has been taking me forever to convert TV shows using VisualHub. Even worse then the amount of time taken, is that it makes my computer pretty much unusable during the conversions. I am using the Apple TV setting (higher quality than I was using with VisualHub) and seeing times reduced 75%. I was getting average fps rates of 5-7 without the device and now am running at 20 fps. I also see no noticeable performance difference while the process is running.
    I couldn't be happier. Great product....more info
  • You can expect excellence with the Turbo.264
    When I originally ordered my Turbo.264, I had my doubts about how much it would help me encoder all my video files to H.264 format. I do not have the latest and greatest Macintoshes on the market and was looking for something that would help speed the process up.

    When I got it, I opened it up to discover the USB Turbo.264 is no bigger than an old USB thumb drive. Now I went straight to Elgato's website and downloaded the latest version of the software they had for the Turbo.264. Once installed, I followed the setup assistant which took all of 3 minutes and I was ready to go, no difficult advance settings or configurations to deal with.

    Here's the thing about the Turbo.264 encoder, it will encode files into H.264 format very quickly, however, you have to use one of the 4 presets, I believe its four, and I only use one of them, the one for AppleTV. I do not have an AppleTV, but that preset retains the best quality and sound out of all the others. However if you are encoding videos for a PSP or a Video iPod, those preset will work.

    Now a few things I have noticed, the size of your video file is going to be big. A 43 minute TV show, once the commercials are deleted, is going to be about 800 megabytes after you encode the video and if you record a movie and then convert it, the movie is going to be around 2 gigs. Now that being said, the quality is great, even on a LCD monitor and on a TV its just as good as broadcast quality most of the time. The other nice thing is if you are using Elgato's EyeTV 2 software, it is automatically integrated with it, so I have just use the EyeTV 2 software to do all my encodings.

    Now the big question, did it speed the process up? Before I got the Turbo.264, it took my Mac literally all night to encode one TV show I had record through my EyeTV 200 and depending on how late I started the encoding, the process still might not have been done by the next morning. With the Turbo.264, granted I have not timed it exactly, but I can now encode a TV show that is about 43 minutes, remember the commercials are removed, and it takes roughly 40 minutes to 45 minutes depending on what else my computer is doing at the time.

    The first time I did this, I started the process and walked away, I can back from going to the store and saw that my Mac was sitting idle; I was almost convinced that it had staled, crashed, or quit the encoding process. However, when I went to iTunes, there was my TV show. I clicked on it and it played perfectly.

    It's been about one week since I got the Turbo.264 and I can tell you, if this thing ever dies, I am going to buy a new one the same day. This along with the EyeTV 200 and the EyeTV 2 software has made video capturing and encoding fun, simple and more importantly fast.

    My final verdict is if you just want to record and encode video into a really nice format without setting up your on custom video settings, and you want to do it quickly the Elgato Turbo.264 is the way to go. This is a great product for anyone with a Mac that wants to start getting into video editing and encoding. This product with well worth the 89.99....more info
  • It crashes my mac every time I try to use it.
    I bought the Elgato encoder hardware because I was dissatisfied with how incredibly slow Elgato EyeTV is at exporting files, and the quality of the exported videos it makes, and the strain it places on my computer while exporting (which results in the computer behaving poorly when it is exporting). I hoped that the Elgato encoder hardware device would result in faster exports, lower processor load, and better quality exported videos.

    The device arrives attractively packaged in a slim black box, sort of the black alternative to an ipod box. It's easy to install - it's just a USB stick, you just plug it in. Installing the software is as simple as dragging it to your applications folder.

    Unfortunately I can't comment on the quality of the resulting videos, because it crashes my mac partway through encoding anything I give it to work on. Any time from almost immediately after I get it started to halfway through encoding a 90 minute video, it crashes my mac. And when I say crashes, I don't mean I get a friendly error box or anything like that, I mean the Mac freezes entirely (the mouse pointer even stops working, which is the kiss of death on a mac) and I'm forced to shut down the whole computer and start it up again. Normally my mac would crash like this about once every year or two, but it has done so about a dozen times in the four hours since I installed the Elgato Turbo.264 . Removing the Turbo.264 seems to restore it to stability.

    I also notice that while it's going it's still taking up 25% of the processor time on my mac, even though the hardware is supposed to be doing the work.

    My mac is an iMac G5, and the problems were experienced while running only EyeTV (using the hardware encoder) and Quicktime, no other applications, no weird system extensions. So, I have a pretty zippy computer and a quite reasonably common configuration, and I'm not running anything weird that should cause problems.

    I therefore consider this product to be unsatisfactory in every way, and plan to return it....more info
  • Where does Amazon get its list prices?
    This product may be great but I think it is ridiculous how Amazon pulls "retail" prices out of who knows where. The price for this product on Elgato's site is $99.99...more info
  • Works Great
    Ever since getting an Apple TV, I have been converting lots of iMovie movies to Apple TV encoding. The Elgato Turbo.264 works great - it appears as another selection from the Export options within iMovie. On my iMac G5 (2.0 GHz), a 90min iMovie took just under 2hrs to encode using Elgato compared to 10hrs otherwise. The picture quality is equivalent to encodings I did previously without it. ...more info
  • If you're encoding video on a PPC machine, you need this...
    I bought this with one thing in mind, to encode video files created by Elgato's EyeTV software on a 1.5ghz PPC Mac Mini and for that it works seamlessly.

    The device itself looks cheaply made, the case covering the electronics is very flimsy and, on my particular unit, the cap covering the usb connector would not sit flush, mainly due to the fact the circuit board that the usb connector was attached to was not sitting correctly inside the case..

    All of the above is quickly forgotten when the device is attached to the back of the computer, but first impressions count, hence only 4 stars.

    The software that comes with it is simple to use. Feed it a file, choose what device you want to encode the file for, and go. Couldn't be simpler and the quality of the files is very good. There appears to be some trade off between file size and speed, but overall the files you encode will typically be around half the size of the original.

    As stated above, i use it in conjunction with Elgato's EyeTV software and the two are made for each other. Using an old 1.5Ghz PPC Mac Mini modified to run at 1.75Ghz, recordings that used to take upwards of 3 hours to export from EyeTV and encode into Apple TV H264 compatible files now take an hour or so. I haven't timed it with a stopwatch, but pretty much everything i throw at it gets done twice as fast, if not faster, than before.

    If you have an old PPC machine that you are using to encode video into QuickTime compatible H264 files, you need this device. It's that simple. ...more info