Exporting project to DVD... need some help...

November 30

Alright so my movie is finished in the timeline, but I need to get it to DVD. My question is what format should I use to export my movie (NTSC 4:3 standard is the setting I used while editing) and remember I would prefer the highest quality possible.
Right now I am exporting the video in MPEG 2, but I have a feeling the quality of the video is going to suffer greatly... should I export in HD 720p?
Sorry if these questions sound stupid, but when it comes to the really technical stuff like this, I still haven't quite figured it out.
-thanks again



There are a lot of variables you haven't told us such as the length of your film, version of FCP etc.
I have just authored 27, 30 minute educational films onto DVD and the workflow I used was based on a lot of trial and error. This may not apply to you but here's what I did:
Using FCP 4.5 set your audio for the entire project to peak at around -12dB
Export as self contained Quicktime file at it's current
settings (I found exporting using Quicktime conversion to MPEG 2 caused sync problems)
Using Compressor create a custom preset (copy an existing preset then edit) of 8Mbps CBR for the video and either use the DVD PCM preset for the audio or using APack to convert to AC3. I used PCM. Leave the GOPs and everything else alone. If you use APack check the AC3 settings, the default are not suitable, Ken Stone has a good article on this on his website.
When done import, into DVDSP2 and author from there.
This has given me excellent results and this workflow should work for up to an hour film off the top of my head.
If your film is any longer you'll need to calculate the maximum bitrate you can use based on the audio you use.
For example I recently authored a 3.5 hour DVD - I used a bitrate of 4Mbps ish and an AC3 soundtrack and it worked fine.
Incidentally I found that 2 pass VBR gave unstable results which is why I went for CBR - later versions of Compressor might have solved this problem.
Hope this helps, I'm sure other people do it in different ways and get equally good results.

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