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Turbo.264 is the easiest and fastest way to convert videos to superior quality H.264 (MP4) files for iTunes, and is perfect for anyone who wants to put their own video content on an iPod®, iPhone(TM), Apple TV(TM) or Sony PSP®. Because Turbo.264 is a hardware encoder, it frees up the processor for other tasks while video encoding is in progress. Think of it as a "co-processor" for your Mac-a real benefit for anyone who likes to keep several applications open while converting videos, especially on older Macs.

Turbo.264 comes with its own video converter software. The application converts the files, drops them into more...

What's New

Version 1.4:
  • YouTube Upload
  • DVD Chapter Markers
  • Dolby Digital(TM) AC-3 Audio Passthrough for Apple TV Exports
  • QuickTime Broadcaster Support
  • Bug Fixes
  • System Preferences Installation
  • Download Read Me Files


  • Elgato Turbo.264 video encoder hardware
  • Mac computer with PowerPC G4, PowerPC G5 or Intel Core processor
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • built-in USB 2.0 port
  • Mac OS X 10.4 (or later, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard recommended with all software and security updates installed)
  • QuickTime 7.4 (or later)
  • iTunes 7.5 (or later)
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    Turbo.264 User Discussion

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    Antoniong Member IconReview+62

    Useless for people living in Europe and need subtitles.

    There is no option to burn in.
    No option to create a .srt files.

    So useless.

    Reply0 replies
    Version 1.1.4
    Henkdejonghoorn Member IconReview+0

    real bad quality importing AVCHD from Panasonic sd700. missing frames!!.

    Reply0 replies
    Version 1.1.4
    BlehRRRIP Member IconReview+10

    This update isn't coming up in application and it's the version with the hardware. Oh and I love this application, Elgato is the only video converting hardware company specifically for mac. But where are the TV tuners with cable-card support? Make the connector USB and put a HDMI input on the tv tuner and have different versions. One that can record 2 things at once for $200, 4 things at once for $400 and one that can record 6 things at once for $600. I think people would actually buy it, I know I would pay 600 dollars. I need one that has cable-card support for mac. It's one of the reasons I didn't buy Elgato HD.

    Reply0 replies
    Version 1.1.4
    Misha Member IconReview+1786

    The software is very nice -- clean and easy to use. The hardware is even simpler (just plug it in). But keep in mind if you have a Mac from 2009 or newer, you can probably encode faster using software (like Handbrake) than this hardware solution.

    Having said that, if you don't want to tax your processor or if you have an older Mac, this is great (the older your Mac, the more significant the speed gains from Turbo.264 are vs. software).

    Reply0 replies
    Version 1.4
    DevTools-Inc. Member IconComment+251

    The advanced settings are a joke, compared to MeGUI+x264 on the Windows side. And on top of that, a really useful documentation for the options of the Turbo.264 HD SE is nearly non-existent. The so called documentation (Turbo.264 HD Manual.pdf), which lists just the options from the GUI without further explanation is not very helpful. Elgato, it is not that difficult! All information is available for free from people who know what they are doing.

    Users of Turbo.264 HD SE have to go to websites, like
    and Elgato calls this support. Every freeware author has more useful documention than Elgato.

    Reply0 replies
    Version 1.1
    Jamesb Member IconComment+26

    I'm glad to see this update for the iPad.
    I've been using Turbo.264 HD for some time now, mostly for preparing the TV I record for viewing on both my iPod Touch and now my iPad.
    But the feature I like the most is the boost it gives to streaming TV to my iPad where ever I can get wi/fi.
    In my experience, a very useful and solid product.

    Reply0 replies
    Version 1.1
    Tacalit Member IconComment+26

    I'm already a owner of the "more expensive hardware-accelerated version" which is a great usb encoder (great!) with a very very simple conversion software (poor!). It costed me 129$ plus taxes.

    I really don't understand why I have to spend 50$ more to have just what other software are doing for less (Quicktime Pro?) using the same usb stick or even for free...

    Reply2 replies
    Version 1.1

    There's no reason to purchase this software if you've already bought Turbo.264 HD hardware/software; see:

    Turbo.264 HD version 1.1 now available



    You're right! Just downloaded and it keeps the serial number!


    Jon_white_bw Member IconComment+55

    So this is the software only version of a product whose main selling point is hardware acceleration? Wow. I really don't see why anyone would pay for this rather than just use HandBrake.

    Reply0 replies
    Version 1.1
    Pedro-Fardilha Member IconReview+222

    I like to idea behind this product.
    A simple and nice app that interacts with a dedicated piece of hardware to ease the ever increasing need of video conversions.
    At the same time it won't max your processor usage, making it possible to keep working on something else.
    Like I said, I like the concept... to bad in real life it doesn't work that well.
    Turbo.264 HD is quite prone to crash making the whole easy of use concept just a nice idea.
    Also Elgato doesn't care that much about the constant complains that just keep on popping on their forums .
    I should know what I'm talking about, after all I made the same mistake twice (argh!!). First with the original Turbo.264 and now with the HD version.
    So, why did I make the same mistake twice?
    Well, because even with all the "personality traits" that it shows, it's still the fastest way for my to convert my home made movies in AVCHD format.
    So, just to sum it up:
    If you have a AVCHD camera and you wish to find a way to quickly convert them, this is the thing to buy.
    But... hypothetically speaking, if someone hands over to you some DivX or MKV that you, for some reason, want to convert without that much effort... well, for that I could never recommend Turbo.264 HD. All those constant errors and the lack of proper support from Elgato, make of this more of a headache than it should be. For those I would have to recommend a SVN version of Handbrake.

    Reply0 replies
    Version 1.0.3
    vuduimaging Member IconComment+6

    I bought the Turbo.264 from ElGato and WAS very excited about it. But once I recently encoded a movie using Handbrake I will NOT go back to Turbo.264. Handbrake video quality is MUCH better than what comes out of this ElGato hardware/software combination.

    Reply4 replies
    Version 1.3

    Heh??? You can adjust all the standard settings in Turbo.264 (and you can make your own presets) so you can improve quality just like like in Handbrake.

    In Turbo.264 you have standard settings like "iPod High, iPod standard, etc." and if you press "edit" in the same pull down menu you are able to set things (quality, audio) just like you want.

    For example:
    Video settings in Turbo.264:
    -Size: resolution
    -Aspect Ratio: 4:3, 14:9, 16:9, wide
    -Framerate: all the standards from 15 to 30 but also custom!
    -Data Rate

    Audio settings in Turbo.264:
    -Sample Rate: 24000, 32000, 44100 & 48000 khz
    -Channels: Mono/Stereo
    -Data Rate: from 64 to 160 kbps

    And it also depends on the source file...

    What about speed?
    I can't believe that Handbrake comes even close! Did you ever converted a 2 houres long high quality movie with both apps?

    Never the less, if you don't like Turbo.264 you can always use Quicktime. The Elgato turbo 264 stick is fully integrated with Quicktime and gives you even more speed (just a few fps). And you also can use the x264 software based codec in Quicktime.

    Handbrake is a good product and free. But you can't compare, in my opinion, both programs.
    One program (Turbo.264) is for a hardware codec baked in a microchip (the Elgato turbo 264) and the other program is using the x264 software based codec.

    If you want speed (64bits with more then 4Gb RAM Macs) in Handbrake you lose compability with iTunes, iPod, Apple TV...

    A person is free to use what he thinks is the best.
    I quote you: "But once I recently encoded a movie using Handbrake I will NOT go back to Turbo.264." end quote.
    Did you even tried version 1.3?
    Did you even tried other video/audio settings or even Quicktime?

    Before I bought Elgatos Turbo 264 stick I tried many programs! Handbrake but also shareware with big promises... For me this is the best solution!
    I converted my entire Video folder with Turbu.264. 60 Gb of video files I had collected over the years and in various formats in just a few days ;-).
    I realy can't complain about the quality. It's well done and I also have much more extra space on my HD thanks to the program.

    I wonder how long Handbrake would take for the same job?

    With kind regards.




    I can see what you mean now. A little bit more comment or info is sometimes very useful ;).

    I understand from the link that this lack of sharpness only happens with the Turbo.264 program? But you still can use your Elgato stick with other programs? Or am I wrong?

    I'm afraid that the Elgato hardware (the stick) is a program (a codec) in a microchip. So you can't change that... It's not a codec in a chip you can program (like a firmware microchip)...
    And I don't believe there is even firmware.

    I think this is just a software problem in the Turbo.264 program because it does not happens in other programs with the stick. Or am I wrong here?

    Have you tested this version? The forum thread is from januari, so maybe and hopefully for you this is solved now?

    Any feedback would be welcome on this issue!
    I also own an Apple TV and never used the Turbo.264 for movies. Just for programs I recorded with EyeTV.
    So feedback would be very welcome!

    How is the feedback and support from Elgato?

    With kind regards and thanks for the link!

    BTW: The movies I converted with version 1.2 are sharp on my Apple screen. It's also sharp on my iPod Touch.
    And the programs from EyeTV that I sync with the Apple TV are also converted with Turbo.264 and are sharp (the only thing I do is not converting from whitin EyeTV because of an ugly border on my PHILIPS LCD TV. Instead I drag the recordings from the folder to the software and then I don't have this issue).

    BTW2: The bugs I have need to be checked with the new 1.3 version and the new 3.0.2 version from EyeTV!!!
    So you see, I have bugs too :-). But for the moment only very small ones... Which I'm almost sure they will solve in time...

    BTW3: I'm still convinced this Turbo 264 USB stick is a great product! The software is user friendly and is evolving...
    I never used software which is bugfree. Bugfree software simply does not excist! Even the best OS on the planet has bugs ;-). And believe me, as a betatester for several companies I know about bugs... There is no such thing as bugfree software.


    I absolutely LOVE the idea of having a hardware encoding module and that's why I initially bought it. Now in my experience I tried setting the setting to the highest possible and was getting about a 1.25GB to 2GB file from Turbo.264. Once I used Handbrake and compared the two outputs I could see what they where talking about in those forums. Although I have to admit in using Handbrake I could easily set the target file size (which I set at 3000MB). So in Handbrake I am getting 2.93GB files.

    I never did a (for example) 2GB vs. 2GB side by side test.

    Also a 3GB H.264 final file is good with me file size-wise. I could get about 635 movies onto one 2TB hard drive and all the movie be awesome quality. NICE!

    I wanted to be able to get a bigger file size out of Turbo.264 but couldn't figure out how to get there. Maybe if it was possible to set a target file size (and that being 1GB larger than I could get) than the clarity would be better. But I just couldn't find a setting in the software to do that. Handbrake does take longer for certain though.

    And another thing... I have an AppleTV and a 52" 1080p LCD TV. I am very impressed that I am encoding a SD movie (from DVD) and playing it on my 1080p and getting the results I am. I was looking through samples last night and viewing I AM LEGEND. There were parts where I could see all the pours on Will Smith's face. So I am NOT worried at all about going from SD DVD movies to a 1080p HD TV after seeing what I saw. In the beginning I did not think I would be getting that good results.

    So... it would be nice to see them add TARGET FILE SIZE to the Turbo.264 software. Then I would love to try it again.

    The issue is I have about 800 DVD movies that I am wanting to convert down to H.264. And yes it is going to be an ongoing project.

    But it is so cool (and has been my plan for along time) to be able to sit down on my couch and simply scroll through my TV screen and hit play for any movie I own and it just starts right up.


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    Version 1.4
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    Version 1.1
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    Version 1.1.4
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    Current Version (1.x)


    Downloads 6,718
    Version Downloads 4,910
    License Updater
    Date 02 Jun 2009
    Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
    Price Free
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