The Turbo.264 HD is a USB hardware device and accompanying Mac software that works together to dramatically accelerate the conversion of video to H.264 format.
H.264 video is a universal format that can be played on iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, gaming consoles, YouTube, and much more.
The Turbo.264 HD accepts nearly any video file and outputs high quality H.264 video, in formats up to full 1080P HD.
"iPod/iPhone Video Accessory of the Year." - www.iLounge.com
Convert videos at amazing speed
Intuitive and easy to use
Instant access to your AVCHD camcorder
Preview, trim and combine video files
Accelerates encoding from QuickTime-enabled applications
Upload video directly to YouTube
Incredibly fast and easy to use
Comes with intuitive software and converts videos at amazing speeds. Crop, scale, trim, batch process, and easily merge multiple clips into one movie.
Easily transfer HD camcorder video to a Mac
Preview and move HD camcorder movies to your Mac or iPod in one fast and easy step. Turbo.264 HD automatically detects AVCHD camcorders and lets you add all your video clips to the batch with one click.
Suitable for pros as well as novices
Dramatically accelerates video encoding when used with Mac applications such as iMovie, QuickTime Pro, Final Cut Pro, and EyeTV.
Select from a range of presets or add your own video output profiles with complete control over bitrates, frame rates, resolution, and more.
Works with the new EyeTV iPhone App*
If you're an EyeTV user and have the new EyeTV app on your iPhone, the Turbo.264 HD has special benefits. By adding the Turbo to your setup, the main processor will have less work to do, plus you get the advantages of 'adaptive streaming' which can deliver higher quality live streaming under varying network conditions.
*Optional - Available at the iTunes App Store.
Macintosh computer with Intel Core processor
512 MB of RAM
a built-in USB 2.0 port
Mac OS X 10.5.6 Leopard (or later)
QuickTime 7.6 (or later)
and many more.
Apple TV Video
iPod High Video
iPod Standard Video
Sony PSP Video
YouTube HD Video
Custom profiles - H.264 High Profile, 1080p, 30fps, 20MBit/s max.
Turbo.264 HD is the fast and easy way to convert HD camcorder clips and other videos to a format that can be played on an iPod , iPhone , and Apple TV , and shared on the web. Turbo.264 HD is an encoder and accelerator that converts all popular video formats, including HD camcorder video, to a high-quality H.264 file in standard or HD resolutions. It is incredibly fast and comes with an easy-to-use software application.H.264 is the universal video compression standard that can be played on an iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, gaming consoles, selected smartphones, and on the web. It offers extremely high quality video in small file sizes.
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I've been using Elgato's digital-analog TV tuner for a year and was happy with it. So I'm surprised how poor the quality of this product. I think they missed an opportunity to really understand their user base and what we might use this device for. I use it to convert video from one format to another - mostly avi to m4v so that I can play and archive my videos - TV Shows, Music Videos and Films - within iTunes. For this purpose, the Turbo 264 HD not only doesn't shine, but almost destroys good video.
I submitted two photos of my results as customer pictures - they show two conversions for comparison. On top is a QT conversion at a lower bitrate. On the bottom is Elgato's default AppleTV setting. The results for the Turbo device are surprisingly poor. Much darker and with a serious loss of detail. Also, it doesn't allow you to customize the settings "like a pro" (their words from advertising) - no 2-pass (an obvious requirement), no adding a poster frame, no control over multiple audio tracks, no control over subtitle files, and until the HD software was introduced no modifying the kbps - many the things we expect from QuickTime or ViddyUp or the plethora of dedicated video converters.
Again, it seems Elgato missed an opportunity to make a great, flexible product. It's a good idea, but not well executed.
This is a great device for accelerating h.264 encoding on the Mac.
I'm giving it 4-stars instead of 5-stars for one reason only: the quality of the encoded quality is not nearly as good as that provided by Quicktime Pro when transcoding 1080p video. The upside: it's fast. Perhaps this is something Elgato can address in a future software update as the issues involve artifacting during high motion segments and slight softness in general. Perhaps not enough to bother most consumers, but it is readily apparent to anybody that compares the results.
But, when converting standard definition video (such as DVD video_ts) to AppleTV or iPhone/iPod it really impresses with fast and high quality transcodes.
In summary this unit will please consumers wanting to transcode SD video and most HD. Pros or picky consumers will still want to use software methods to transcode 1080p video at the very highest quality.
El Gato just released new software/firmware for this product. My previous review gave it only one star because of HD video quality. I've revised here to 4 stars. The new transcoder is greatly improved. I use the product with EyeTV software to transcode 1080i to 720p. The output video is now much cleaner. Great for my purposes. Would give an extra star if Elgato gave me more info about customizing/limitations of the Turbo H264 coder settings in EyeTV.
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I purchased this to speed up h.264 encoding of an hour long concert video shot in HD. What was taking 4 to 6 hours to encode now takes about 45 minutes. That simple. . .it saves a LOT of time.
You do sacrifice some control of quality as your options for quality are diminished, but I've found the quality settings are more than adequate and you can always go back to software compression if you need granular control.
It's a tool in the arsenal and can really save you time, especially for intermediate renders to check edits and quality. Simple to use and integrates with Final Cut Pro.
Also useful for transcoding videos for use on your iPod/iPad/AppleTV.
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I'm adding an edit on 7/25/12 to my initial review. I have an iMac, and now the Turbo.264 HD does not work with my EyeTV recordings. I've notified Elgato and was told that nothing can be done. So don't waste your time with this product! Elgato updated their EyeTV 3 software in December of 2011. Since that time, my Turbo.264 HD would not compress my EyeTV recordings to H.264 for Apple TV use, which is its intended use, but they never updated the Turbo .264 HD software, making this $100 product virtually useless. It has nothing to do with my computer or the OS of that computer, it all has to do with their own software. Do NOT buy any Elgato products!!! That company, their products and their business practices are poor. My FAST iMac slows to a crawl when compressing recorded TV shows or movies without the use of my $100 Elgato Turbo.264HD. So, you've all been warned.
I use a older Mac Mini (1.8 ghz core 2 duo 2 gigs of Ram) as a home theater pc. Using Eyetv to record shows worked great unless I wanted to import my recordings to iTunes. In the past the conversions would take hours. If I tried to perform other tasks while the conversions we running the system was extremely sluggish.
With the Turbo HD installed the system performs much better. Although the CPU still seems to be very high durning conversions, I can browse the web, watch live tv, and view other eyeTV recordings without any stuttering. It has really helped a lot and has given new life to my setup.
I converted several one hour long HD programs to iTunes using the Apple TV format. They took between 45 to 70 minutes to convert (they used to take 2-3 hours to convert). The quality of the conversions is very good and I don't have any sound sync issues. The best thing is that the system is usable during the conversion time.
I primarily use this product with the EyeTV 3.5.x software however, I did try the try the Turbo 264 HD software it came with. I was quite impressed with its speed. I converted a standard def 30 minute avi file and it converted the file at 100 frames per second. This was way better than the other utilities that I used before.
Overall I really liked this product. I was really concerned about purchasing it considering the price and mixed reviews. When considering buying it at $89 it seemed little steep. If it was priced in the $50 to $60 range I would have most likely bought it last year. Now that I'm using it I believe it was worth the money.
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