Turbo.264 starting to annoy me now

Elgato Turbo H.264

So I have this thing called an Elgato Turbo.264 that plugs into my Mac. It’s designed to speed up video conversion, which it does more or less: anything I’ve recorded on my EyeTV gets exported to my iPhone or AppleTV a whole lot quicker than without it, other things not so less. Still, it integrates nicely with Video Drive, which has been giving me problems of late with regular old QuickTime, so it’s hard to do without.

Trouble is, it’s having problems with other videos now, particularly AVIs.

I’m quite often getting audio drift, so that by the end of the video, lip sync will be out by as much as second. That happens in about 20% of cases. That’s just about tolerable.

But this isn’t. Have a look at this delightful shot from an episode of Mad Men.

Mad Men mosaic

Can you tell what the problem is?

Now, this only tends to crop up in the last 15 minutes of a conversion and can sometimes disappear again after a few minutes, so it’s impossible to tell without looking if the conversion has messed up. I’ve even had it happen once or twice with things recorded on the EyeTV. But it’s happening at least 25% of the time with AVIs.

This, to put it bluntly, is annoying. More annoying is Elgato’s response, since this has been an issue for some customers (according to Elgato’s support forums), for getting on for two years. Apparently, there’s an issue with the chipset in the Turbo.264. Recommended fix?

Buy yourself one of the Turbo.264 HDs they now sell for about £120.

I don’t think so, particularly since there’s no guarantee Elgato will be any better if the Turbo.264 HD turns out to have bugs.

So, if you’re thinking of getting one and plan on using it for anything except converting EyeTV recordings, I’d now say don’t.