OK… little mini-report here. (I usually write these if I’m either really happy, or really not… sharing to help or warn.)
In this case I’m really happy.
I’ve had for a while an EyeTV 250 which has worked just fine.
Then I got the EyeTV iPhone application. What this does is transfer whatever EyeTV on your Mac is playing, to your iPhone/iPod Touch in real time.
In my case I use it when I’m working out. I usually listen to Audible books on the iPod, but now I can watch the news or whatever.
How well does that work? Actually, pretty well. There is one gotcha: every 10 minutes or so it pauses to load the next batch/stream/chunk.
At first, I found an annoying mis-sync of the audio, but a tweak in the settings on the iPhone app cured that.
OK. That’s part one: the EyeTV works; they iPhone app works.
On the Elgato website, they note that thing work even better if you have their Turbo264 HD compressor stick.
Well…. I had their first Turbo264 stick, and discovered that my computer (a fast desktop quad, that pretty much matches the speed of 8-cores) running VisualHub at 100% on all 4 processors could handily beat its time by 2x, for equal quality. Bummer because it was a $100 “test” to buy the stick. (The stick was faster than my old MacBook laptop, however.)
Well, I hunted around on eBay and found a T264 HD for $40 less than elsewhere and NIB… and took the plunge.
I just now completed a comparison of VisualHub and the new stick… and the results have been reversed!
Yes: for the same quality, the T264 HD stick beat reliable old VisualHub, by a factor of more than 2x!
An 11-minute NTSC mpg clip took 3 minutes to compress to 640×480 30fps H.264… almost 4 X faster than real time.
That’s impressive. Video quality was VG to Ex… no obvious artifacts or stuttering even with full panning.
I’ll let you know if I see anything change vis-a-vis the iPhone/EyeTV connection, which I can’t test just now.
But, the Turbo.264 HD (look for the “HD” – the previous, slower, version is just “Turbo264” with no “HD”) is a winner in my book.
If you’ve a need for h.264 files, and for speed, it’s a winner.