It sounds like your video may be coming from a still camera. Is that right?
If so -- and it's not a high-end DSLR -- you may be limited in how much you can improve your picture.
Meantime, are you judging the quality of this DVD on your computer? If so, it could simply be that your playback software isn't doing a good job of de-interlacing. (Remember that TVs are interlaced and computers are not.) How does the video look when you play the DVD on your TV?
Yes, the video is from a DSLR - not sure what qualifies as "high-end", but in my opinion the video is good quality: http://www.panasonic.co.uk/html/en_GB/2129937/index.html
As far as the reviews are concerned, the 1080i has some noticeable interlacing issues, but the 720p looks nice.
I tried burning this straight to DVD through PE9, and I also simply made a DVD folder and tested that. Both were of the same poor quality. As I don't own a TV I can't test it on anything else, but I'm fairly certain that this is not an issue with the playback software (which, in my case, is VLC). This will eventually be presented on a digital projector which at this point in time I can't test the DVD on until shortly before this is made public. Going to bet on the safe side and assume that if it looks bad on my PC then it will look bad everywhere else. (my future prospects with this company are on the line, I should mention)
Since I'm in a bit of a rush (weekend deadline) I've come up with the (hopefully temporary) solution of creating an mpeg, turning that into an ISO and burning that onto a DVD. It adds an unnecessary step in the conversion process, but at this point in terms of quality it is the better option, hands-down. Still looking for a way to burn straight from PE9 to DVD since I do notice a slight resulting choppiness with the mpeg route.
The link to the camcorder specs are helpful. However, the camera shoots in a variety of modes and frame rates, so it's important that you match your project settings to your video format.
I'm not aware of a video format or a project setting called 1024p, so I'm sure how to match your project to it. The camcorder also does not shoot in HDV, a tape-based format, so I'm not quite sure what you're telling me there.
The camera does shoot in Full AVCHD 1920x1080 in both 60i and 24p. (Premiere Elements does not support 24p in Full AVCHD, so you'll need to ensure you're shooting in 60i.) The camera also shoots in AVCHD Lite, 1280x720 at 60p -- though this doesn't look like 60p video.
In other words, first thing you need to do is determine which format and frame rate you shot your video in -- then you've got to ensure that your project settings match it. Mismatching or fudging project settings could well cause the interlacing problems you're seeing.
Though I still say you should test the DVD on a TV. As I've said, DVDs are not made to be played on a computer. DVDs use interlaced frames and computers do not.So, despite your computer's DVD player software's best efforts, you're always going to see some interlacing when you play a DVD on your computer (especially with home-burned discs). You need to look at the DVD played on a TV to truly judge the quality.
Sorry, that "1024p" above was a mistake. The video is shot in 1280x720 at 60p, and I think I chose the right project settings as shown above. But even if the settings and input video were mismatched, wouldn't it become evident in every output video? (as it stands, the output avis and mpegs are crystal clear)
I'll take your word for it and check it out on a TV at work tomorrow, but since the final projection medium isn't a TV I'm looking for a more versatile output.