updated 10:10 pm EDT, Thu May 22, 2008
Elgato Turbo.264 v1.3
Elgato has released version 1.3 of the Turbo.264 software for its hardware encoding device that quickly converts any video to the advanced H.264 (MPEG-4) format without using the Mac's resources. The company says the device allows users to watch TV and surf the web while encoding video -- with no reduction in processing speed. Turbo.264 supports many third-party Mac video applications as well as EyeTV, but also is bundled with its own software to quickly drop any video into iTunes to sync with an iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV. Turbo.264 1.3 makes it easier to upload videos to YouTube, with both good quality and short upload times (the YouTube web site takes some processing time to additionally encode your clip into Flash, FLV, format).
In addition, for unencrypted DVD sources, each DVD chapter will correspond to a QuickTime chapter in the resulting file, making easier to navigate converted movies.
The software also supports Dolby Digital AC-3 audio when exporting to Apple TV format (for sources that contain Dolby Digital AC-3 audio). Turbo.264 1.3 also adds support for compressing live streaming video into H.264 using QuickTime Broadcaster: "The CPU load is much less than when using software compression, and the quality is always 100%, no frames are dropped," Elgato claims. In addition, streaming is supported at 320x240 and 640x480 resolutions.
Turbo.264 1.3 is a Universal application that requires a Mac with a PowerPC G4, PowerPC G5 or Intel Core processor, 512MB of RAM, a built-in USB 2.0 port, and Mac OS X 10.4 or later. The Turbo.264 device is $100.