Help! I'm creating a montage from old videos and stills taken with various cameras through the years. Project Settings are DV NTSC w/ Frame size 720:480 (most common denominator). I have no problems with VOB (720:480), avi (320:240), or Mp4 (1280:720) files. However, when I drop MPG (640:480) files into the timeline they playback very jerky - even though they are very smooth when played form the Organize or Project Panels. When shared to DVD they are still very jerky (no improvement). When stepping forward I notice that the images go back and forth from frame to frame - almost as if the frames are out of order (1 frame forward - next frame back). Any suggestions greatly appreciated!
It's never a good idea to mix video formats -- especially such drastically different formats and resolutions -- in the same project, Commuter. Each video demands it's own set of project specs. And, even if they look okay now, you'll likely see problems (such as fluttering interlacing issues) when you output your video. None of the formats you describe should use the DV project settings.
VOBs should use the setting for Hard Disk Camcorder, 720x480.
Your 1280x720 video should use the setting for AVCHD Lite.
Your 320x240 AVI is going to look over-rezzed in any project.
And I'm not sure about those 640x480 MPEGs. What is your source for those?
So you've got a lot of very challenging formats and you're mixing them. These all put the odds against you.
My recommendation is that you do some experimenting before you get too deeply into your project. Do some short projects and output them as MOVs or WMVs or ideally a DVD to check them and make sure your workflow works. Watch especially for flutter. When you mix lower field first and upper field first video in the same project, it's a pretty common problem, and there's no point in putting hours of work into a project only to have it fall apart on the final output.
Also, whenever you see red lines above the clips on your timeline, press Enter to render your timeline. You'll want to keep those red lines green in order to keep the program operating at optimal efficiency.