Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Elgato Turbo.264

I just posted a comment aver at Macsimum News about the Elgato Turbo.264:
I bought myself a Turbo.264 recently. It is about 25-30% faster than my iMac 24” C2D 2.33 GHz using Quicktime (roughly a 400 MB XVID of 45 minutes playtime takes about 15 minutes instead of 20 minutes to encode). On the other hand the CPU usage is only about 10-15 % when I use the Turbo.264.
Encoding with subtitles is though a completely different story. The moment a srt subtitle file is present, the encoding slows down significantly, the CPU usage goes up to 50% or even more. It seems that with subtitles the Turbo.264 does not really improve the encoding time anymore and also the CPU usage is not that much different when using Quicktime with or without the Turbo.264 plugged in.
I mainly bought the Turbo.264 to re-encode videos with subtitles to be watched on the iPhone. I was a bit disappointed about the performance with subtitles at first, but then just switched to watch the movies without subtitles (it’s a good training to improve my English). I’m very happy with the easy handling of the Turbo.264, just drag the movies you want to re-encode to the Turbo application, select in which format you want them to be (iPhone, iPod, AppleTV) and hit start. One notice though, the files seem to be about 20-30% bigger than compared to ffmpegX, but also the bit-rate of the produced videos is higher with the Turbo.264, which results in an excellent quality for a 1-pass encoding.
Overall, despite the fact that the Turbo.264 does not really improve anything when you want to have subtitles, I am really happy that I bought it. I can now re-encode videos in the background while working without any noticeable performance-decrease using other applications aside.

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