HiRes Pictures to DVD http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1187937?tstart=0 may help
A DVD is ONLY 720x480 (in the US) so no matter the size of your original picture, it WILL be reduced to 720x480 for a DVD
Pictures that are "overly" large may also cause video editing problems
Photo Scaling for Video http://forums.adobe.com/thread/450798
-PrEl Crash http://forums.adobe.com/thread/973935
From what you wrote, you are not targeting the resolution of the DVD-VIDEO on DVD disc that you are producing in Premiere Elements. Rather you are targeting the disc menus that are applied to a given project destined for DVD-VIDEO on DVD . Difference.
What you get in the disc menus (main and scene) traces back to the creation of .psd files in Premiere Elements folders on the computer hard drive hard drive. There 3 different .psd sets for each theme. One "s" for standard, "w" for widescreen, and "hd" for high definition. Whether you are in NTSC or PAL, "s" and "w" have a frame size of 720 x 576, and "hd" 1440 x 1080.
The choices (what you see) for "hd" and non "hd" menus in the disc menus section of the program is determined by the project preset. If you have a "hd" project, you will get some "hd" choices mixed with non hd choices. When you pick one of the non hd choices, believe it or not, the program may give you the "s" 4:3 version of the .psd and not the "w" version. The details can be overwhelming.
You can set the resolution of your main menu inserts as high as you want, however you may crash the feature and or program and still not achieve better clarify/sharpness for the image in Disc Menu Preview or in playback of the final product. For the inserts, you can scale them to fit the insert space if black borders. Some buttons can be scaled to a larger size, of course within the limits of the total space provided and only if you do not create overlapping of the buttons.
Please review and if you need clarification on anything written, please do not hesitate to ask.
My problem is not with the video or slides but, with the Disc Menus. By the way I am using Premiere Elements version 10. This problem can be seen by first selecting a menu and title. You will notice that the menu is very clear. Then press the Preview button and you will notice the even the characters in the title will become blurry. If a picture is inserted into the Main Menu it will also be come blurry. This is the same effect that I see when playing a burned DVD on the TV.
Thanks for the clarification on your issue.
It is not uncommon to get poor quality previews in the disc menu section of Premiere Elements 10 (or other). However, typically the playback of the DVD-VIDEO on DVD disc displays good quality disc menus.
Let us see if we can figure out what is going on in your specific situation.
1. What is your project preset?
2. Which disc menu theme are you selecting? Does the thumbnail of the menu selected have the letter "H" in its markings?
3. Are you doing any customization for the menu? If so, what? If you did a test run, without the customization (menu as is), do you still get the poor quality in the display of the menus in the DVD-VIDEO on DVD disc playback?
Is it just the menus that you are having problems with? Any other program problems?
With more details from you, I will check out your menu in Premiere Elements 10 and see what the situation looks like first hand from disc menu Preview to playback of DVD-VIDEO on DVD playback.