In creating DVD's for high school musicals, we are renting HD cameras (because thats all our supplier has). My question is this. Since we have to create SD DVD's in order to satisfy all of our customers, what resolution should we use on our camera to import into PP and then Encore for the sharpest images?
HD, edit in HD and then export to MPEG2-DVD, making sure that on the Output tab you select either Scale To Fill or Stretch To Fill. Then import the resulting files into Encore as timeline and asset respectively.
AME will do a better job of down-scaling than the in-camera hardware. In addition, you will get better results if you edit at higher resolution.
You will get the best results if you edit in HD, export to a "lossless" codec such as Lagarith, use VirtualDub to do the scaling with the Lanczos preset, then use AME to convert the resulting avi to a DVD legal mpeg. You can add a touch of sharpen filter to your avi on the Premiere timeline before the DVD conversion.
Take care with the fonts you use for any titles - stick to bold lines, avoid bright colours, and pure white. Use a stroke to avoid colour bleed. As a crude rulle of thumb adjustments which make the title look good on the computer, will not look good on the DVD.