The output of PE10's DVD authoring is very disappointing. The scaling and/or MPEG encoder seems to be halving the vertical resolution, and the horizontal scaling looks poor as well. It looks like the scaling isn't very sophisticated, and then half the lines (a field) are discarded.
I started with reasonable (consumer) quality 1440x1080 30p content, edited with PE10, and set the output to DVD with the highest quality settings. Here is a portion of the image (cropped to fit within the forum size limitations, but left with the natural anamorphic aspect ratio):
Note the jagged edges of the left girl's arm. And note the obvious aliasing of the second girl's left hand.
The input video is marked 30p. But even if it were not, I certainly hope the deinterlacing of choice isn't discarding a field.
Next I took the edited video in 1440x1080 30p AVCHD format (which was actually still completely re-encoded, although this video was already fully AVCHD compliant) and scaled the resulting h.264 stream to 720x480 30p using another application. Then I encoded it with a stand-alone MPEG encoder to be DVD compliant. I replaced the timeline in PE10 with this video (and the edited AC3 audio) and authored the DVD again. PE10 re-encoded the video, even though it was already DVD compliant, and this is what I got:
Note that the jagged edges are reduced but not gone, and the aliasing is still present in the second girl's hand. It appears that the prescaling helped filter some, but still it seems that half the lines (a field) are being discarded.
This is what the same frame looks like from the MPEG encoder:
Note that it's sharper, and has no artifacts or aliasing.
Further, even horizontally the PE10 scaler seems poor. Here is another portion of the frame converted from the original HD by PE10:
Note the girl's right leg and the uneven jaggies. It looks like a very low quality scaler was used, although even the simplest interpolated should be able to handle the integer scale from 1440 to 720 in use here.
Now here's the same frame from my MPEG:
Note how much better this looks. Especially compare the thin light area.
All of this looks much worse in motion, since these artifacts and aliasing vary by frame. For example, there is a stage marker (an X) that isn't really apparent in the manual version, but in the other two, it becomes very noticeable as it flickers in and out of view. It seems this is because it's just about 1 line tall after scaling to DVD resolution, and the discarding of the lines without any filtering causes it to come and go as the camera moves slightly up or down.
1. What do I have to do to improve the vertical resolution of PE10 scaling/encoding for DVDs?
2. What do I have to do to keep PE10 from re-encoding compliant MPEG streams and just author them (perhaps with cut edits) to DVD?
3. What do I have to do to keep PE10 from re-encoding compliant HD h.264 streams and just author them (perhaps with cut edits) to AVCHD (or Blu-Ray)?