Welcome to the forum.
Can you post a screen-cap of your Timeline, showing your Menu, Chapter and Stop Markers?
I would also included a screen-cap showing the Menu Set chosen.
Last, what brand of blank media are you burning to? That can play a big role in playability in a set-top DVD player.
The DVD media that I use is either Verbatim or Sony. I have only used Scene markers in the project. I did not think that I needed Stop and Main markers.
Following are the screen caps you requested. I hope that I have displayed the timelines with the info you need. If not, please give me specific info (I am new to the Adobe world.)
This is most likely an issue with your disc player, which may not be fully compatible with home-burned DVDs.
Give it a try on a friend's disc player and see if you run into the same issues. Most likely you won't.
I have only used Scene markers in the project. I did not think that I needed Stop and Main markers.
You will need the Main Menu Marker, so that PrE knows that you want the Main Menu. Just add the Main Menu Marker at the beginning of the Timeline, then Burn to Folder, and test that with a DVD software player, like MediaPlayer Classic HC.
I added a main menu marker to the project and burned a new disc. I got the same results - my Sony DVD player started by playing the movie, not on the disc menu - as the previous disc. I then tried playing the new disc on a friend's Samsung DVD player. It displayed the disc menu when the disc was inserted - as I expected it should.
Another friend tried playing the new disc on his Sony DVD player. It could not play the disc at all - "Disc Error" message. Cleaning the disc did not eliminate the disc error. This experience leads me to believe that there is something about Sony DVD players that causes the problem.
Are there any known problems with DVD disc's produced by Premiere Elements 8 being incompatible with Sony DVD Players?
Playability is a tough one. All DVD (with the logo) are certified to play a wide range (differs by make/model) of replicated, i.e. stamped discs, DVD's, and both DVD-5's and DVD-9's. However, no DVD player is certified to play any burned disc, though the vast majority does just fine. Using high-quality blank media (which you are already doing), is about as good as it gets.
Now, there IS one more thing that you can do. PrE defaults to the highest speed of burn, based on the media, and the burner. A slower burn can improve playability, though is still no guarantee. To adjust the burn speed, you must use another program, for the physical burn. You would Burn to Folder in PrE. Then, you could use a program, like the great, free ImgBurn, to do the physical burn. It allows one to choose a slower burn speed. That give the laser a bit more time to create the "pits."
One possibility is that the firmware in the DVD player is not the best version. Normally with firmware, I recommend the very latest, BUT there was a time, when Sony did sort of an "end-run," back when the HD-DVD/BD wars were raging. Because Sony is also heavily invested in commercial movies, their feeling was that any burned disc was a pirated copy of a commercial release, and they began releasing firmware updates, that killed the ability to play ANY burned discs. IIRC, that affected many PlayStations, that would update the firmware on their own. One day the PlayStation could play burned discs, but the next day, they could not.
MicroSoft did similar by crippling Windows Media Player, so that it could not play DVD's. Cannot recall the version numbers, but earlier ones could, where later ones could not. Same feeling - if it's a burned DVD, then it is pirated. For a bit, WMP could play no DVD's. A cottage industry grew up with plug-ins, etc., and many just switched to other software players. MS relented, and added back a bit of DVD playability, though still tried to narrow things down to only commercial discs.
As about 90% of my Projects go to a burned disc, and not one Frame is pirated, this inability to play burned discs is a biggie. I have only done a few replicated Projects, so burned disc playability is extremely important. I have had to download and install other software players for some clients, because WMP could not handle my discs. Luckily, MediaPlayer Classic HC is free, small and good, and their IT departments allowed me to install it, on the necessary machines.
There is one giant "can-of-worms" regarding DVD playability, and it can manifest in certain makes/models of hardware players, and also software players. Wish that there was a fail-safe solution, but other than using high-quality media, and slower burns, that is about as good as it gets - sorry.
Good luck, and maybe there would be some more info on one of the Sony forums?