Anyone used the new elgato turbo.264 ?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mark-itguy, May 22, 2007.

  1. mark-itguy macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #1
    Just wondering. I read up on it, and if it really delivers, it could be a really awesome product! On the other hand, it could turn out that with todays processors the performance boost is not worth the price, which I think retail is $130.00.

    Feedback?

    http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_eyetvturbo
     
  2. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    #2
    I'll let you know...

    I just checked out Elgato's web site, and they have it in their on-line store for $99.99. I'm going to order one right now. I'll post back once I've tried it, if no one else chimes in in the meantime.
     
  3. joshysquashy macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I can't believe it! it's $99.99 or €99.95 in Europe! How can charge $34 more!

    Once you receive it, can you tell me your experiences with converting protected dvd's... I plan to use MacTheRipper and Turbo.264.

    From what I can tell, DVD's with more than one main feature (eg a TV series) will have problems, can anyone think of a workaround?
     
  4. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    #4
    What makes you think that? Is this a limitation in the Turbo.264? I plan on using it mostly to convert video I've recorded with EyeTV, but I'll be disappointed if it has problems ripping DVDs. Hopefully we'll know soon.
     
  5. joshysquashy macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    If you drop an unprotected (mtr) dvd over the Turbo.264 app it automatically selects the largest feature as the main feature. There is no option to choose other features to convert, so for something that is part of a series there is no way to do it.

    other programs like roxio crunch/popcorn or handbrake don't work with the device, and quicktime doesn't open dvd's. so what solution is there?
     
  6. Axegrinder macrumors regular

    Axegrinder

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    #6
    check out this thread at the VisualHub support forums. It contains a few tests and their results compared to VH. Should give you a good idea.
     
  7. Passante macrumors 6502a

    Passante

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    #7
    Ordered mine on Monday. Hasn't arrived yet. When I left for work this morning my MDD G4 1.25 Gh DP tower had finished encoding the Daily Show but was only half way finished encoding the last two hours of 24.

    Edit

    Arrived today (friday)! Just in time to encode SG1 & Atlantis and Law & Order!
     
  8. crashandburn45 macrumors newbie

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    May 23, 2007
    #8
    I've been using the Turbo.264 for several days now. I really like the ease of use but comes with a price. The software has alot of limitations, the ability to crop the black lines in 16:9 DVD's with a widescreen display, a 4:3 DVD gives you black lines on the sides using my AppleTV. I have got a consistant 27fps with Turbo.264 and only using 35% of my processor. Encoding for an iPod gives me a consistant 87fps. Also the lack of HD support is a minus for me. I hope elgato expands thier software to allow more flexibility or atleast Handbrake capability.
     
  9. eg2007 macrumors 6502

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    May 23, 2007
    #9
    Error Message and out of sync

    Anyone know how to rectify this error message? I keep getting "The encoding failed: error code: 0xE0004051" every time I use the Turbo.264. The only time it worked, the entire video was out of sync. Thanks for any insight...
     
  10. crashandburn45 macrumors newbie

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    May 23, 2007
    #10
    I dont know about the encoding error but the sync problem was fixed with the 1.0.1 update from elgato.
     
  11. Gerg macrumors regular

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    Feb 3, 2003
    #11
    Well, on my Mac Mini (1.42 GHz G4, 1GB RAM) it encoded a 2-hour long EyeTV recording in less than 2 hours. Last week, a 2-hour recording took 2 days to export.

    I record in High Quality (DVD 90 minute) and export to iPod as best-640X480 H.264.

    Amazing! What a difference!
     
  12. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #12
    You have to remember that prices advertised in the US do not include sales tax, which can vary between 0% to ~9%. Also, if I remember correctly, prices in Europe must include the VAT in advertisements. And most EU countries have VATs around 17%, right?

    So the difference isn't quite $34. There's still a gap, but not as large as it may seem.

    ft
     
  13. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

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    #13
    I've ordered one arrive today, from what I understand it works best on PPC macs where the performance boost is the greatest. I get about 4fps on my mini, so if it gets me 20-25fps I'll be happy.
     
  14. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

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    #14
    use a program that will rip tv episodes dvd's to their individual vob files, then you can just drop the episode vob onto it.
     
  15. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

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    #15

    They've already issued one Update, I think they'll add other features, if not I'm sure some enterpriing Programmer will figure something out. I doubt HB will ever support it due to it's lack of a QT Export routine. They also could update the PSP profile to support native res of 480x272 that the PSP supports now, it only does 368x208 currently. I'll be using it mainly on my G4 mini, to do 640x480 4:3 TV Shows I think it's perfect for that.
     
  16. joshysquashy macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    can you name some, also i would like this to be as simple as possible, not too many steps.

    I may use 0SEx, just seeing if that could work. would be nice if they could add an interface like popcorn has. even with 0SEx it is difficult to tell which features you want, and it doesn't always work well.
     
  17. joshysquashy macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I think I have a solution:

    Using MTR, select "Main Feature Extraction" and choose one of the features that seems like the right length. Repeat this for each feature (episode), and then drag each episode from the desktop (or wherever you put it) into Turbo.264 and convert them!
     
  18. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

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    #18
    Initial Impressions on my G4 PPC Mini. It definately juices it up and the mini can do other things while encoding now. I get 23FPS a huge jump I was getting between 3-5fps without it. The Software is it's archillles heel, I thin it needs at least a bitrate option. The encodes have varied I did a Bugs bunny Cartoon that was littered with Artifact (Motion related?) A Voyager episode that looked pretty Decent , but Voyager is such a dark show anyhow, and a Perry Mason Episode to test B&W. I'm not sure how it determines bitrate but those PM eps came out about a gig. I know encoding in HB at 2000kbps I get then around 700-850mb, B&W is harder to encode and takes more space than color shows. Still I give to HB , it just looks better. But the Speed is hard to beat. If someone could come out with an app that supports this with optomized Codecs and some Choices.. Still not sure if it's a Keeper, guess I'll try a PSP Encode

    OK... PSP Encode, despite saying that it supports 368x208 encodes, which right now are old hat for the PSP (It can Do Native Res Now) the software chose to make an Encode of the Movie Young Guns 320x180. So that is even hampered by the software. The Encode of Voyager I made stutters in spots on the Apple TV, maybe a deinterlacing issue ? The is now way to De-Interlace. Right Now I'm definately leaning toward "It's Going Back" a shame becase it is speedy, but better results can be had from free products, you just have to wait longer.
     
  19. mark-itguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #19
    Thanks!

    Scarpad, Sorry to hear these results. Not completely surprised, as commercial apps seem to be so much more limited than freeware apps. Still, being a hardware solution I had hoped for better results. Pls, post any final conclusion if it differs, as you may save me the hassle of trying one.

    Guess I may take a look at Roxio Crunch. It's software only, but I read all settings can be manually keyed in over their preset values. Yes, HandBrake rulz, but I also need a way to convert numerous other file formats to my AppleTV and iPod 5.xG.

    Thanks again for the analysis!!
     
  20. Passante macrumors 6502a

    Passante

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    #20
    I noticed a significant speed boost with turbo.264 on my G4 MDD 1.25 DP tower. Encoding a half hour analog broadcast eyetv recorded program took just over an hour at 800 x 600. It takes over 2 hours to record 30 minutes at 640 x 480 without the turbo. Have not watched the ecoded program yet so I can't comment on encoding quality.

    Update

    Picture quality is fine. Mind you I still have analog cable TV so YMMV when it comes to ripping DVDs.
     
  21. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    #21
    So all of you are using the ElGato app, right? Why can't you use another app with this hardware encoder... like Quicktime H.264 encoder.

    From their site:
    So why can't you use Crunch or something?

    And one more question for you guys. Can you encode at a higher resolution, like full DVD res if you use an app other than ElGatos?
     
  22. macenforcer macrumors 65816

    macenforcer

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    Colorado
    #22
    What I want to know is if this turbo .264 will provide any benefit to me with a quad xeon mac pro 2.66ghz?
     
  23. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    #23
    I ordered mine on Tuesday, and sprung for '3-day select' shipping, cuz it was only about $2 more than standard ground. It was on my doorstep the next day!

    I think, but I'm definitely not sure, that it helps slower computers the most. I've been using it with my 1.42GHz G4 Mini, and I get up to 20 frames/sec now, or about 2/3 real time. Used to take hours and hours to encode a 1 hour show. Looks like it will encode a 24fps '1 hour' DVD TV show (which is really only about 43 mins) in less than an hour.

    I haven't tried it yet with my 2GHz C2D Macbook, which already makes speeds comparable to this.

    I tried it with Handbrake and MPEG Streamclip, and neither one seemed to recognize that it was there -- I didn't notice any speed improvement. Incidentally, neither did EyeTV at first, but once I restarted EyeTV I got much faster export speeds (and the revised 'turbo' progress bar), but only when I specifically selected the exports that list the encoder (see below).

    If you use the app that's bundled with the encoder, it does not seem that you can set any of the parameters (res, bitrate, etc). Same thing goes for the 'Apple TV' export pre-set in EyeTV -- you can't change any settings.

    It seems that the encoder is 'hard-wired' to encode at a certain quality. EyeTV does have a generic H.264 export that allows you to set all the parameters, but when you use it you get the normal blue progress bar (not the red 'turbo' one) and it doesn't seem to be any faster.

    Same thing goes for Quicktime. With the encoder (and its software) installed, QT has new export options, like 'Movie to AppleTV (Elgato Turbo.264)', in addition to the regular 'Movie to AppleTV' option, but with the encoder export selected you can't change any settings -- you have to use the default settings. There is a generic 'Movie to MP4' export option -- you can select H.264 and set the resolution and bitrate, but it doesn't seem to use the encoder once it starts.

    As for the video quality, I think it looks ok with TV shows recorded by EyeTV. A little artifact-y, but you get that with the EyeTV recordings anyway. I have yet to try it with ripped DVD content -- I'm in the process of trying that right now.

    I don't know. I'm disappointed by how limited the encoder is, but when it works, it really works. I plan to use it mostly to export from EyeTV to iTunes for viewing on AppleTV, and it speeds that process up a lot, so it works for me.

    I wish I could comment on what it does with DVDs. People that want it primarily for ripping DVDs probably won't like the lack of settings. Also, I haven't found a good simplified process for even using it with DVDs. You can use Mac The Ripper to extract the content, which is fairly fast but leaves you with a VIDEO_TS folder filled with .VOB files that aren't necessarily broken down into, say, individual episodes. Hopefully Handbrake will release an update that can take advantage of the encoder's ability, but I'm not hopeful -- they probably won't feel there's enough people using the encoder to go to the trouble.
     
  24. gopher macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I have an iMac Intel Core2Duo 2.17 Ghz 20" non-custom built with 2 GB of RAM. I have found the following to be true of the Turbo H.264:

    1. Commercial DVDs it will not work. When I select the VOB file, the format is unrecognized.
    2. DVDs burnt with Toast 6.1.1 and 7.1.3 work just fine. Also selecting VOB files.
    3. Encoding is about 2 to 3 times faster than Handbrake at 1800 kbps for video and 128 kbps for Audio.
    4. Files are about 20% smaller than Handbrake with no discernable loss in quality.
    5. Drag and drop on included Turbo H.264 software works for multiple files. Upgrade to version 1.1, you can't drag and drop multiple files and get all the files to load. You must load them individually by drag and drop when you upgrade. Though it will still batch convert a group of files. There is no name control, so if you have two DVDs you want to encode, you are out of luck on similarly named VOBs.

    Video is all being converted for use with AppleTV.

    It seems the speed gained varies by Mac model based on the reports.
     
  25. topher5 macrumors newbie

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    May 30, 2007
    #25
    I just want to confirm something about this. It doesn't support HD content but does that mean it won't output at HD levels or that it can't read HD files to convert? I've got the Miglia TVMini HD which writes everything to mpeg2. Can I use turbo.264 to convert my HD quality MPEG2 files to standard definition h.264 files? I suspect not but converting them on my Mac Mini has been killing me. I'm looking for something to help with the conversion and this would have been killer.
     

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