View Full Version : Turbo 264 and Aspect Ratio Problems

spice weasel
Nov 19, 2007, 09:08 AM
This post has more to do with Elgato's Turbo 264 than Apple TV directly, but I figure someone here might know the answer to my question.

In preparation for getting an AppleTV, I've been ripping/encoding my DVD collection. [As an aside, I went to Costco yesterday to take advantage of their $200 40 gig model, only to fnd that none of the Costco warehouses anywhere near me have them in stock. After looking it up on the computer, the guy told me that they are "being deleted," whatever that means. Not sure if it means Costco was losing too much money on them to continue selling them, or if it is a bit of added evidence that an update might be on its way soon...]

I've been using Handbrake's AppleTV preset to transcode, but it takes forever on my 2.1 GHz iMac G5 - usually 8 hours or so per movie. So last week I bought the Elgato Turbo 264. The thing drastically speeds up transcode times, and now I can get h.264 movies in less than real-time, including the few minutes it takes to rip the DVD to the hard drive.

The problem is, the resulting files have aspect ratios that are all slightly off. It is barely noticeable, but when I compare the original ripped VOB movie to the Turbo 264 one, it is clear that everything on the Turbo 264 file is slightly stretched. Humans appear fatter. I compared the Turbo 264 files to Handbrake produced ones, and it is the same - Turbo 264 produces movies that are slightly stretched horizontally.

Can anyone here who uses the Turbo 264 give me a clue as to what I am doing wrong? I am using the latest software from Elgato, and have tried all of the aspect ratio options (namely, Automatic, Wide, and 16:9) with no luck. I'm thinking that it is something having to do with the Elgato software not reading the anamorphic encoding and pixel aspect ratio information correctly, but I am not an expert in this stuff and the whole anamorphic thing boggles my mind a bit.

Thanks for any help you guys can provide.

Nov 19, 2007, 12:41 PM
In the options for the encoding format, set "overscan" to: off or disabled. That drove me up the wall until I figured out it was causing the problem.

spice weasel
Nov 19, 2007, 12:45 PM
Thanks! I'll try it tonight. It was driving me crazy too.

Nov 19, 2007, 02:03 PM
I was thinking to buy the el gato until I heard that the Turbo 264 only accelerate quicktime api and since Handbrake doesn't use quicktime, it does not work with Handbrake.

Could you please confirm that it does work with Handbrake? If it does, I am really interested in getting one.

Thank you

spice weasel
Nov 20, 2007, 03:13 PM
Sorry, but the Turbo 264 does not work with Handbrake/x.264. And, from everything I've read, Handbrake's developers have no plans to add this functionality to the software. So it's up to Elgato to implement x.264 support on their end.

That said, I really like the Turbo 264 for my needs. It drastically speeds up my encoding times, and the quality, while not quite as good as Handbrake, is very good. It does have some issues though. It screws up the aspect ratio sometimes, and I had one encode result in out of sync audio. Also, it lacks subtitle support, so I'll have to use Handbrake for my foreign films.

Despite all of this, I'm very happy with it. If you have a newer machine, then stick with Handbrake. If you are obsessive about the quality of your video, then use Handbrake. If you have an older machine and don't mind trading off a bit of quality (and really, the difference is quite small) of quality for a huge boost in speed, then give the Turbo 264 a try. For me it means the difference between being able to rip/encode all my DVDs in a timely manner versus only picking a few titles and leaving the rest on disc.