Welcome to the forum.
First, you have PrE 4, PrE 7, or PrE 8. There were no PrE 5, or 6 versions, as Adobe skipped those, to get the versions of PSE and PrE to match numerically.
Now, One can Import MPEG files into PrE and output a DVD-Video. However, that is not a good workflow, as the Exported MPEG files are already heavily compressed and are not good candidates to do additional work with in PrE.
There are other ways to get what you want. First, we need to know if your Exported MPEG's are 100% DVD-compliant MPEG-2 files, with either PCM/WAV, or DD AC3 Audio streams. That is very important.
If they are, then I would recommend a program, like Sony's DVD Architect. Just Import those 100% DVD-compliant files into it, do your Menus and your navigation, and then author to a DVD-Video. You will have zero quality loss, and will also have more control over the Menus and navigation on your DVD-Video, as DVD Architect is a pretty full-featured authoring application.
PrE has a very limited authoring capability, and is designed to do the authoring from the Timeline, and not Imported MPEG-2 Assets, as it will then have to internally convert those to DV-AVI's and once more Transcode those to MPEG-2 for the DVD-Video. That WILL degrade the quality and it will be noticed, especially where there is any movement.
Good luck, and hope that helps,
Thank you Bill. Yes, it was PrE4 and I was confused by my Photoshop Elements 6.
I understand what you are saying I think. Basically I am trying to use a hammer when I need a screwdriver. PrE was built to author DVD only from the raw DV-AVI files that I started with (but no longer have). I suppose I assumed and hoped it would produce an error message if I imported non-compatible files into my project rather than simply crashing after processing for 20 minutes.
I will look into other authoring tools including DVD Architect. When you asked if my MPEGs were "100% DVD-compliant MPEG-2 files, with either PCM/WAV, or DD AC3 Audio streams", the answer is I am not sure. I simply used the preset export under Share in PrE4 for MPG computer files I believe. Not sure if that answers your question or not. I'll try and learn more when I get home to check.
I suppose I assumed and hoped it would produce an error message if I imported non-compatible files into my project rather than simply crashing after processing for 20 minutes.
Well, it is not that those are incompatible, it is just that they take a lot more processing, as they are heavily compressed and also GOP. The biggest problem is that those files are already compressed, and one will compress them again - like a FAX of a FAX.
As for the crashing, that is probably more a function of the program and the system having to internally convert them to DV-AVI, so that you will have frame-accurate editing.
One could first convert, outside of PrE, to DV-AVI Type II w/ 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio, and then Import those. However, no conversion program will ever be able to reclaim that data, that was compressed out initially. That quality loss will be there, and compounded, when one Transcodes the material again.
As far as the complete specs. of those MPEG-2 files, you can use the great, free utility, G-SPOT, to gather all of the details. Unless you adjusted settings, it is very likely that they ARE 100% DVD-compliant. That is one great thing about Adobe programs - they are very specific, regarding accepted specs., unless the user really makes changes.
Being a full-featured authoring program, I think that DVD Architect will do just what you want. There are probably others, but I do not know which ones might fill the bill. I use Adobe's Encore, but it is no longer available as a stand-alone, and ONLY bundled with PrPro. I think that CyberLink, Roxio and Nero, also have some authoring capabilities, but know zero about that. Two other full-featured authoring apps are DVD Studio (both regular and Pro), and then the "grand-daddy" of them all, Sonic Scenarist, but it is in a league (power and price) all by itself. Might want to also look at the DVD Studio regular, as it gets pretty high marks, but the user interface does get graded down a bit.