Elgato Turbo HD and AppleTV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mohanman, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. mohanman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #1
    I'll be receiving my Elgato HD turbo tomm. I'll post my results as soon as I get it. My main comparisons would be .mkv (if supported) to 720p appletv, as well as .ts (supported for sure), to 720p appletv versus handbrake. I heard that handbrake has better images, but I hate using that program (crashes/takes forever etc).

    Anyone else with experience of this device?
     
  2. yminoh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    #2
    I use have the same video file types that need covnerted to AppleTV and the same opinion about Handbrake. I don't get mine til Thursday...so please post your results.
     
  3. eddyg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    #3
    Handbrake is not very good with pirated mkv to mp4 conversions. Only one of the devrlopers users mkv, and he rips his own, which always work.

    A lot of the downloaded mkvs are encoded strangely, and HB can't handle them, unfortunately we never see these crashes, and those that do generally aren't knowledgable enough to figure out what is wrong.

    This process is not helped by HB developers having strict rules about not facilitating theft. And so can't assist with crashes on piratee content.

    Cheers Ed
     
  4. Number6 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    #4
    Very interested in your results, encoding takes forever on my iMac G5 but tests I did with the original turbo 264 provided fast encoding with lousy picture quality. Too bad that the new version doesn't support PPCs anymore but an Intel Mac will hopefully soon be mine. But since I cannot buy a quad-core MacPro, a boost in encoding speed would still be welcome. Maybe you could post tests with DVD sources as well?

    Looking forward to your post!
     
  5. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #5
    Yeah, I too wonder if Elgato has fixed all those many issues they had with the original Turbo.264 encoding for AppleTV. Let us know if you can encode anything over 2500 kbps and not get macro-blocking, or if they've finally have fixed the fuzziness issue (take a screenshot of the credits and compare a T.264 to say a Handbrake), or the sound syncing issues, or the....

    Biggest waste of money was buying the T.264. Hopefully they got all the kinks worked out on the HD version and if not they won't try to hide and lie about any of the issues up on their forum.
     
  6. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Ma
    #6
    I think the answer to that would be no, I think the bottom line is the Hardware is flawed, otherwise there is no way an update to solve these issues would take a year to come out. I can't believe the product sits on the shelf with these issues, my advice would be to pass on it. Plus unless you have a G4 you won't see enough of a difference to not just use handbrake.
     
  7. bohbot16 macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #7
    If the old hardware is flawed it doesn't necessarily mean that the new hardware is. If Elgato is smart then they released better hardware the second time around.
     
  8. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Ma
    #8
    OK Sorry I was'nt aware they were releasing a turbo HD Version, given the shoddy support of the original I would definately wait on the reviews of this.
     
  9. mohanman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #9
    Okay so I got it today. I was happy. .MKVs don't work. It goes into the software but nothing encodes, so I confirmed its not supported.

    My computer is an imac 2.66 with 4 gb memory.
    My test is a 720p .ts file to .m4v 720p for appletv (best settings I could find). I admit the settings in the program are a little odd, but I choosed the appletv preset at 150% quality.

    The movie was played on my appletv hooked up via hdmi to 42" panny plasma at 1080i.

    The file was about 5gb big, and per the quicktime movie info, about 4800 kbps data rate.

    And drum roll...


    Quality sucked. It was pixely, with macroblocks everywhere, looked like a dvd, and also suttered immensly. I couldn't even watch it. I don't know if it was the wrong setting or something. Speed was definately on the side of the device though, took less than 80 minutes for a full 2 hr 30 min movie.

    So am I impressed so far.. no

    Is it worth 145 dollars? no

    Will I keep messing with it? Yes, then I'll get bored.

    Will keep you updated, trying a high def trailer from apple website and converting it to 720p for appletv

    Hopefully will change.. though i doubt it. Looks like I'm sticking with handbrake.. sigh..

    Mo
     
  10. mohanman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #10
    Oh and i will also continue to purchase high def movies from itunes. I'm pretty happy with them to tell you the truth.

    So far I bought:

    1) Quantum of solace -> excellent quality
    2) Disaster movie -> excellent (the best of them all) quality, though the movie sucks a**
    3) That how to loose friends or something movie-> excellent quality, probably second to disaster movie, haven't watched the whole thing, looks funny though
    4) Genetic Opera-> awesome movie, quality so-so
    5) Meat Train-> okay quality (a little too pixely), kind of messed up horror movie

    So, yes, I spent 100.00 dollars.. I'm an idiot, but it comes with the ipod version!

    Mo
     
  11. mohanman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #11
    Correction, I encoded an mkv, so it does work. The appletv preset sucks, but the 720p might be better will post my results again
    Mo
     
  12. mohanman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #12
    Sorry for the continous posts. but yeah I confirmed it. THe picture quality simply does not compare to the itunes movies or handbrake conversions. The colors are washed out, and there is bad blocking artifacts with dark scenes, which is really a shame.

    I can't recommend it at this time for anyone with a good imac or mac pro and handbrake

    Mo
     
  13. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Ma
    #13
    Unless your independently wealthy and $145 is nothing to you I'd return it and get your money back asap.
     
  14. mohanman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #14
    Thanks for the tip, trying to get that done now.
     
  15. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #15
    As far as speed, realize you can set hb to keep up with the turbo thingy on any intel mac if you nerf all of the settings that make the output look good from hb.

    'course the downside is it will look as crappy as the turbo h.264 device.

    There is no free ride, quality encoding takes time and cpu.
     
  16. bohbot16 macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #16
    It looks like the software that comes with the turbo.264 HD supports custom presets. Maybe some tweaking can improve your results at the expense of some runtime.
     
  17. mohanman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #17
    I've tried every tweak I could think of. If you know of something better let me know
    Thanks
    Mo
     
  18. Changepoint macrumors member

    Changepoint

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #18
    Man that sucks, I sold the original one due to the poor picture quality of the turbo conversions and now they've missed a great opportunity to fix it.

    Incidentally, can you explain to thicky here why 720p video files are over 5 times larger than standard DVD rips you find online? Is the picture quality really five times better?
     
  19. mohanman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #19
    I can't explain your 720p size question, but what I can say is that I felt entirely ripped off by Elgato. They pretty much put a piece of crap device in a box and stuck at 145 dollar price tag on it and sent it out the door. If they say "oh well, it will be fixed in a future update", my response would be bull crap period. I'm sick of companies sending out a device prematurely just to make bucks.

    Elgato, thanks for wasting my time, but the device is being returned, and I'm getting my money back. You lost me as customer from this point forward.

    Mo
     
  20. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #20
    So macroblocking is still there, huh? Sorry, gotta laugh as Elgato support has said this was addressed by the new hardware. As a 1st gen Turbo owner I was always kinda peeved they just ignored this issue with their first product.

    Now I'm curious to know if they were able to fix their fuzziness/blurry issue they had with the 1st gen too. Maybe with the higher rez it might not be as noticeable but it's an easy test. Find a movie with credits at the end against a solid color backdrop. Encode the movie with your turbo and through Handbrake (pick the last chapter to save time). Then just open both the samples up in QuickTime and go to the same spot in time and compare. In the old Turbo/software the fuzziness was very noticeable. Of course Elgato denied it was an issue and said it was "in spec."

    Yeah, I'd return that puppy as fast as you can otherwise they'll string you along with false promises and fat lies.
     
  21. bethri macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #21
    Major sharpness problem still exists

    Details here. I suspect mine's going straight back to the store.
     
  22. meanbrew macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #22
    Turbo HD is GREAT with my Mac Home Theater system!

    I have 2 HD Homeruns connected to my network per Airport extreme. I can record 4 HD Clear QAM TV shows from one Mac or from 4 Macs- all at the same time. I can also Watch or Record TRUE HD TV wired or wireless on any of my macs for a total of 4 channels at one time.
    I use the Turbo HD to process my shows rapidly to h.264 conversion. I use my new intel 2.26 GHZ Mini with 4 GB Ram/ 500 GB internal drive and 3 TB ext Dives with 1 TB FW 800 drive for time machine. The new Mini can record 4 HD TV shows at one time, while it's encoding an already recorded HD TV show into h.264 withe help of Turbo HD, while I'm using it to watch all my encoded HD shows on Front Row from my HD TV.
    I sold my Apple TV and my old intel Mini on E-bay when this new Mini came out and it is now the only computer running my complete home entertainment center.
    I have the Sony HC 100 home theater with 3 HDMI inputs and 3 digital Toslink audio inputs. I bought the Monoprice Mini display port to HDMI cable connected to my Mini. This gives TRUE 1920 by 1200 HD resolution from my Mini because of the new high speed processor, the New high speed RAM, the New Video card and most importantly the NEW Video Display Port than can do HD TV resolutions of 1920 x 1200 or 1920 x 1080.
    I connect my audio to my digital Toslink earplug port on the Mini and connect that to a Toslink on my Sony Home theater to get True digital sound- I use the Mini Toslink to Toslink cable. I've been trying to get HD Apple TV from my Macs for a Year Now and I have FINALLY achieved it.
    But Back to the HD Turbo- it works perfectly with all my recorded HD Clear QAM TV shows I record without a cable box from my ComCast. I use 2 HD Homeruns (from Silicon Dust) and Elgato 3.0 software- I also have an 8 port positive return power booster- this gives me 8 cable outlets and 100% on all of them including my Cable Modem - so I have no loss of signal. I originally had 1 HD homeRun (2 Clear Qam HD stations) with just a plain splitter and it went down to about 85%- but the results were fabulous- but If you go to 2 HD Homeruns (4 Clear Qam HD stations) you need the special device I have because it degrades all the signals from every TV and the Cable Modem- and yes -it is approved for the Cable Modem.
    But the HD Homerun can use other software also and it can also be used with a PC. Each 1 hour show uses 7.5 GB Hard Drive space and the Turbo HD encodes it down to 1.5 GB space in the h.264 format so I can watch it using Front row on my Mini. I delete the 7.5 GB shows after the encoding is completed. And the quality is FANTASTIC. I don't watch regular HD TV anymore only my recorded shows with the help of my Turbo HD.
    I hoped that helped with anyone thinking of making a Mac Home Theater System and the equipment needed including the Turbo HD.
    Meanbrew
     
  23. meanbrew macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #23
    Used spacing to make it easier to read- and added one comment at the end

    I have 2 HD Homeruns connected to my network per Airport extreme. I can record 4 HD Clear QAM TV shows from one Mac or from 4 Macs- all at the same time. I can also Watch or Record TRUE HD TV wired or wireless on any of my macs for a total of 4 channels at one time.

    I use the Turbo HD to process my shows rapidly to h.264 conversion. I use my new intel 2.26 GHZ Mini with 4 GB Ram/ 500 GB internal drive and 3 TB ext Dives with 1 TB FW 800 drive for time machine. The new Mini can record 4 HD TV shows at one time, while it's encoding an already recorded HD TV show into h.264 withe help of Turbo HD, while I'm using it to watch all my encoded HD shows on Front Row from my HD TV.

    I sold my Apple TV and my old intel Mini on E-bay when this new Mini came out and it is now the only computer running my complete home entertainment center.

    I have the Sony HC 100 home theater with 3 HDMI inputs and 3 digital Toslink audio inputs. I bought the Monoprice Mini display port to HDMI cable connected to my Mini. This gives TRUE 1920 by 1200 HD resolution from my Mini because of the new high speed processor, the New high speed RAM, the New Video card and most importantly the NEW Video Display Port than can do HD TV resolutions of 1920 x 1200 or 1920 x 1080.

    I connect my audio to my digital Toslink earplug port on the Mini and connect that to a Toslink on my Sony Home theater to get True digital sound- I use the Mini Toslink to Toslink cable. I've been trying to get HD Apple TV from my Macs for a Year Now and I have FINALLY achieved it.

    But Back to the HD Turbo- it works perfectly with all my recorded HD Clear QAM TV shows I record without a cable box from my ComCast. I use 2 HD Homeruns (from Silicon Dust) and Elgato 3.0 software- I also have an 8 port positive return power booster- this gives me 8 cable outlets and 100% on all of them including my Cable Modem - so I have no loss of signal. I originally had 1 HD homeRun (2 Clear Qam HD stations) with just a plain splitter and it went down to about 85%- but the results were fabulous- but If you go to 2 HD Homeruns (4 Clear Qam HD stations) you need the special device I have because it degrades all the signals from every TV and the Cable Modem- and yes -it is approved for the Cable Modem.

    But the HD Homerun can use other software also and it can also be used with a PC. Each 1 hour show uses 7.5 GB Hard Drive space and the Turbo HD encodes it down to 1.5 GB space in the h.264 format so I can watch it using Front row on my Mini.

    I delete the 7.5 GB shows after the encoding is completed. And the quality is FANTASTIC. I don't watch regular HD TV anymore only my recorded shows with the help of my Turbo HD.

    I compared it to my HDTV recording of 7.5 GB per hour to the 1.5 GB compressed h.264 and the video difference was minimal. I have not used it to encode movies- I usually use handbrake -
    I hoped that helped with anyone thinking of making a Mac Home Theater System and the equipment needed including the Turbo HD.
    Meanbrew
     
  24. 50548 Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Currently in Switzerland
    #24
    Most reviews I've seen are extremely positive (almost all of them giving 5 stars), so I have no idea why the thread starter said that the quality is "horrible" or much lower than HB...not to mention that the fact of the matter is that, with the dongle, your CPU will not be maxed out as much as without the dongle...anyone else able to provide a more balanced view of the Turbo HD?
     
  25. sjk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Eugene
    #25
    More balanced than what?

    No one seems dissatisfied with the speed but there will always be differing opinions about output quality, for various reasons.

    Some comments in Does anyone use Elgato H.264 HD? - RipIt Forum might be of interest.

    There's plenty of feedback in EyeTV Lounge • View forum - Turbo.264 HD although any support-centric forum is obviously biased towards problems rather than benefits.

    And comments here were made before version 1.0.2 was released so some of the results/opinions might differ relative to its changes.
     

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