It is not the pixel aspect ratio that is the problem. It is probably the 720x480 resolution of your video when played on a high resolution monitor. Say your monitor resolution is 1280x1024, if you play your DVD full screen it will be blown up 4 times... this is where the bluriness is coming from. There is little you can do about it unless you use the 720p project preset, if you use photos this is probably fine as their resolution will be larger than 1280x720, but any NTSC video would be expanded to fit the frame in PE4 and you again would get blurry results on export/viewing.
For computer viewing of your Powerpoint slides etc why not export to a WMV format rather than burning to disc. The export will be square pixels. However you will still have the bluriness issue if watched at full screen resolution.
Thank you for your response!
Do you know if there is a way to create a project in PE4 that is 640x480 and square pixels? I want to start the project out at these setting not just export to these settings.
It seem that when my project stays in square pixels throughout the entire process I end up with video that looks great on my computer monitor. But when I start out at the NTSC preset of 720x480 and .9 pixel aspect ratio the text in my video ends up blurry except when viewed on a TV. It doesn't seem to make any difference if I export to a square format like a WMV file.
I am not watching the videos in full screen mode on my monitor but at the original resolution.
Here is an example of one of my videos where the imported PPT files turned out good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYbNWDtDzHg (see slide about 20 seconds in). It was created with square pixels all the way through
and here is one where they are blurry: http://blip.tv/file/2027872 (see slide at the beginning) This one was created with .9 pixel aspect ratio and then exported to a square format.
Thank you again!
Sorry Jeremy but no, you cant start a project with 640x480 square pixels. You are limited to the presets that are available in PE7.
The slides that you bring into PE7 what resolution are they? PE7 does not scale down photos/slides well when reducing them to the frame size. It is better to resize them to no bigger than 1000x750 in Photoshop (Elements) and then import them into PE7. Obviously with a larger frame size such as 1280x720 you can handle larger intial frame sizes. Maybe this is contributing to the poor quality.
Maybe you will be forced to work with 1280x720. I know it takes more time/resources but if you are getting better results...
This is just what I needed to know! Thank you. I think I will stick with 1280x720 for now. It does seem to give me the output quality I'm looking for.