I'm using the standard MPEG 2 DVD
That would be an interlaced preset, which can wreck any progressive source.made up of PNGs 1024 x 576
That is a square pixel aspect ratio proportion for widescreen. DVD can't handle that. It'll require 720 x 576 using a 1,4 pixel aspect ratio, so the export is doing come conversion here. Better if your source was also 720 x 576 with a 1,4 PAR.
How exactly does an interlaced preset wreck progressive sources? Titles, graphics, portions of the video where nothing is moving… there are all "progressive" sources and should encode fine.
Can you post a PNG from your project? Also, what are your project settings?
Yeah I probably should have rendered out my stills (its a 3d animation) at the resolution for DVD, I don't have time to re-render the whole thing though, the other MPEG preset looks just the same though.
How exactly does an interlaced preset wreck progressive sources?
By giving you only half the resolution of the original. You'd get a better result using a progressive setting in the DVD encoding options.
Here's 2 stills one of the original PNGs which i shrunk down to 720 x 405, but still doesn't look as bad as the MPEG still, the difference isn't huge but its taking something that is already smaller resolution than I'd like and making it worse.
My project settings are: MPEG 2 DVD encoder, PAL 720 x 576, 25 fps, quality 5, VBR 2 passes, video codec Mainconcept MPEG video, widescreen 16:9, min bitrate 1.5, target bitrate 4, max birate 7.
The main problem is not so much how it looks on my computer but on our 40" LCD its looks pretty budget.