If you do your encoding while you are sleeping or away from home, use this howto to automatically turn off the computer after it's finished encoding.
1. Get CPUsage from http://www.tfm.ro/
2. This free program can automatically shutdown or restart your computer if the CPU usage stays at a certain level for a user defined interval. Since encoding is almost always using the full 100% of the CPU, you can tell it to shut down your machine whenever CPU usage is below 10% for 5 minutes.
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Although I never turn my box off this is a nice little app.