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Elgato Intros Turbo.264
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject: Elgato Intros Turbo.264 Reply with quote

Elgato Intros Turbo.264
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Posted by: Charles

Elgato Systems today introduced the Turbo.264, a hardware encoder in USB Stick format that rapidly converts video files to the high quality H.264 (MP4) format for iPod, Apple TV, and Sony PSP. The company claims the device accelerates exports by a factor of 4 on an Intel Core 2 Duo and up to a factor of 10 on a Power PC G4. The rate of acceleration depends on the Mac processor type. In addition, Turbo.264 offloads the computationally intensive software conversion of video files away from your Mac, leaving it free for other tasks. The Elgato Turbo.264 is priced at $99.95 and includes the USB 2.0 Hardware Encoder, the Turbo.264 software on CD-ROM, a user's guide on CD-ROM, a quick start guide as well as a USB extension cable.



http://www.123macmini.com/news/story/651.html
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dungeon92
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 10:54 pm    Post subject: ok Reply with quote

How exactly does this device make encoding faster, I know there is an explanation there in the article but how does that help?
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Ben Tex
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might buy one if the reviews are good and it works as advertised. The street price would also have to be like 20% less. I also plan on picking up an EyeTV Hybrid soon. You know, this might be a good time to buy Elgato stock if they're listed. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am thinking about buying one too, I wonder though how flexible it will be with supporting formats to encode from? If this really speeds things up, I am there....
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shorafix
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 9:51 am    Post subject: it seems to do it in realtime Reply with quote

dungeon92 wrote:
How exactly does this device make encoding faster, I know there is an explanation there in the article but how does that help?
If I got the message right, a Test file of 10 minute took almost an hour to encode by a MacBook Core2Duo, while it only took about realtime to encode it with Turbo264.

Right now I am encoding a PAL-DV clip of 22 minutes on my MacBook Pro (2GHz) and my guess is that it will take something between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. With Turbo264 I would expect about less than half an hour (about realtime) for the same job.
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully somoene will come out with a real world review. I understand there is a PC version by ADS that is very similar (if not the same hardware). From what I have read it does help.
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sting0r wrote:
I am thinking about buying one too, I wonder though how flexible it will be with supporting formats to encode from? If this really speeds things up, I am there....


I'd like to see some tests. I still Have a PPC Mini and it' a snail encoding to H264. And can you encode from a vob file?
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well we'll see how good it is, I've ordered one. I'll post my Impressions.
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scarpad wrote:
And can you encode from a vob file?


It sounds like it will, as long as they're unencrypted.

http://faq.elgato.com/index.php/faq/more/525/

Scarpad wrote:
Well we'll see how good it is, I've ordered one. I'll post my Impressions.


Can you buy an Intel Mac mini and test it with that as well? Wink

I look forward to hearing your review. You should get a nice boost if it works as advertised.
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Juan Ker
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

its a great idea, but if i read right, its profiles are limited, there is no freedom to encode to your own spefic format ie ps3 only itv, ipod and psp.

until the software gives you encoding freedom i wont be buying one.
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject: turbo.264 shipped Reply with quote

sting0r wrote:
Hopefully somoene will come out with a real world review.

Here you go!
First tests indicate turbo.264 takes more than realtime on a G5 (2GHz dual). However, it significantly speeds up encoding of clips for AppleTV:

testfile1: 25 seconds DV-PAL clip (4:3) with stereo sound
without turbo.264: 110 seconds
with turbo.264: 45 seconds

testfile2: 20 seconds MPEG2 HDV 1080i clip (no soundtrack)
without turbo.264: 88 seconds
with turbo.264: 48 seconds

Notes: as could be expected encoding speed depends on the original clip format. The clips were quite small and some overhead influence may be taken into account. However, starting the encoding of a full DVD movie of 2.5 hours including Bonus material, elgatos software indicated an estimated encoding time of 4 hours.

Tested apps: Quicktime, eyeTV and the turbo software itself do recognize the turbo.264 hardware and codec. However, crunch and MediaFork (aka Handbrake) did not. With elgatos turbo.264 software it is possible to read and encode video files as well as non protected Video TS folders (such as those exported by MacTheRipper).
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks shorafix! Too bad about mediafork though I guess I would use the stock software that comes with the device. Can you see if it can handle reencoding XVID and MKV files too?

BTW, where did you end up buying it from? I think I am going to order one as well...
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 11:39 pm    Post subject: turbo app support and data rate Reply with quote

shorafix,

I'd be SUPER appriciative if you could let me know if it supports Quicktime Broadcaster and Apple Compressor (if you do have compressor, but im really interested in Broadcaster). Otherwise, is it at all possible to alter the data rate? I saw that the ipod high for 640x480 was 1.5Mbit, which was way too high for what I'm hoping to use it for and was wondering if there's a way to decrease that.

MUCH thanks!
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Pleiades
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I've been reading on the VisualHub forum, the biggest benefits will be to those with PPC Macs, as Intel Macs can already encode at nearly the same speed with things like Handbrake or VisualHub. In some cases, even faster, if multiple cores can be harnessed, like VH can.

The other benefit is that since it had onboard rendering hardware, it frees your CPU up to do other tasks.

Seems like the device is sent a raw YUV stream, and it returns an H.264 stream in return. I was chatting to my girlfriend's dad about this stuff a few months back, as he is an executive for a large telecommunications technology company that deals directly with H.264, and he said the next big thing in H.264 will be dedicated H.264 circuitry for encoding/decoding on increasingly smaller device. Right now it's a USB 2.0 stick for computers, but I wouldn't be surprised to see this stuff on cell phones within a year or two for recording or decoding video in real time.
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ClunkClunk wrote:
From what I've been reading on the VisualHub forum, the biggest benefits will be to those with PPC Macs, as Intel Macs can already encode at nearly the same speed with things like Handbrake or VisualHub. In some cases, even faster, if multiple cores can be harnessed, like VH can.


Definitly right Clunk.. I know that compressor 3 has evened up the gap to getting the intel multicore machines to start compressing properly and fast, so i doubt these things will be making that much of a difference on intel. I've been interested in seeing if this will work universally through all the quicktime apps (outside of the standard FCP/iMovie), since I'd love to be batching h264 over a cluster of 3 G5 dual 2.5 towers I have, each having one of these things.. it would be a great boost in productivity without having to upgrade everything in the studio.
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