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Computer Accessories

Elgato Turbo.264: Time-saving, frame crunching

Elgato's Turbo.264 takes the strain off your home CPU and encodes high-quality H.264 video content in a flash. This will be a time-saving gift from the gods for you iPod and PSP fans

Got an iPod? A PSP? Well, it's video-encoding time here in Cravetown, and boy do we have a frame-crunching, movie-shrinking gizmo to tell you about. Elgato's Turbo.264 is the size of a USB memory stick and it's designed to take the strain of H.264 video encoding from your CPU.

The high-quality MPEG-4 video codec is a really modern compression tool that's supported by loads of devices -- including the Xbox 360 as of last month -- and it produces video sharper than a page from a Jeremy Clarkson book rolled up, dipped in lemon juice and jabbed in your eye.

The problem with this bandwidth-hungry format is that the video files, while crisp and highly defined, are exceedingly large and require a very capable CPU to produce them successfully. The CPU in your home computer or laptop is designed to perform all kinds of tasks, and therefore isn't ideal for specialist video encoding. Enter Elgato's Turbo.264.

This hella-useful gadget plugs into a USB slot and takes over all encoding tasks and renders video significantly faster than your computer could do on its own. This also leaves your general-purpose CPU free to perform desktop processes more efficiently. For just £50 we think this is terrific value and a God-send in this busy world of ours. -Nate Lanxon