I've not seen better, but there could well be other workflows out there.
What are the exact problems that you are encountering with Jeff's workflow? Might be a simple tweak that will get better results.
Have you tried simply exporting out of Premiere Pro using an MPEG2-DVD preset? The quality of scaling has gotten significantly better in CS5 such that the tutorial method may not be needed.
Try this tutorial, which uses 3rd-party, open-source apps:
Done right, it's an almost flawless method because the tools used are so very, very good.
If you want to try Pr again, make sure Use Maximum Render Quality is checked in the Export Settings dialog. There are some important differences in that dialog between CS4 and CS5.x. Also, I'm curious - how were you viewing the MPEG2 DVD results when you decided the quality wasn't good enough?
PS - feel free to criticze the tutorials; needed tweaks won't get discussed if you don't.
"Also, I'm curious - how were you viewing the MPEG2 DVD results when you decided the quality wasn't good enough?"
Funny you should ask this. I was planning on waiting until tomorrow to respond to most of these suggestions because I am starting to wonder if it's my television that is the problem. I am authoring a DVD with the Mpeg2 DVD file in Encore CS5, then burning the DVD and viewing it on a Viewsonic 20" widescreen TV from an upconverting DVD player with an HDMI cable (I've tried two different models of player). I've already discovered that unless the sharpening on this TV is set to absolute minimum, the sharpening artifacts are very noticeable. Even after this adjustment, I still see a thin halo around people with light-colored clothing against a dark background. Also, the video is of a children's dance recital (yeah, I get the big time gigs, don't I), so there are a lot of artifacts when there is a lot of motion. I've tried playing the footage straight from the camera to the TV via HDMI, and I don't see any of these problems.
I'm going to take my DVD home tonight and watch on a different widescreen TV. I'll let you all know tomorrow if I see the same issues or not.
"If you want to try Pr again, make sure Use Maximum Render Quality is checked in the Export Settings dialog."
Interetsingly, the Premiere manual reads "Maximum Render Quality often makes highly compressed image formats, or those containing compression artifacts, look worse because of sharpening." I've been using MRQ, but since AVCHD is a highly compressed format, maybe this shouldn't be used? I tried converting a bit without MRQ checked, and it didn't seem to make much of a difference.
burning the DVD and viewing it on a Viewsonic 20" widescreen TV from an upconverting DVD player
Oh, dude. Your starting with HD, dumbing it down to SD, and then artificially uprezzing it for an HDTV? That's just not right. Spend the $100 on a Blu-ray player and be done with it. Keep the entire chain in HD.
The only reason to create a DVD is if you'll be watching on an old, square, standard definition set. With the current price of Blu-ray players, there's just no excuse for owning an HDTV and not having a Blu-ray to pair with it.
"The only reason to create a DVD is if you'll be watching on an old, square, standard definition set."
Well, there's also the reason of the school that hired me which wants 50 DVD copies. But I understand your point. My poor little blu-ray burner feels so unloved sometimes : ).
I also have to frequently create NTSC Widescreen DVDs from my 1080p projects. I just go File>Adobe Dynamic Link> Send to Encore and be done with it. Works like a charm. DVDs look great. Let Encore do the work.
there's also the reason of the school that hired me which wants 50 DVD copies.
That is another good reason.
But then you should be judging the quality of those disks on a properly calibrated, standard definition NTSC set (preferably CRT), not an HDTV.
Well, the footage definitely looked improved on the widescreen TV at home, so a lot of the problems (but not all) I was seeing were due to my TV at work. But I'm still having buyers remorse about buying an AVCHD camcorder since I'm not delivering anything in HD to my clients : (.
Thank you all for your input.
>buyers remorse about buying an AVCHD camcorder
I bought a Canon Vixia HFS100 when I built a new computer and bought CS5... even though I only create DVD's (family stuff... nobody in my family has a BluRay player)
I find the DVD to be MUCH better than when I was digitizing 8mm tapes and going to DVD... so no remorse here http://forums.adobe.com/thread/652694?tstart=0