Thank you for attempting to help me, however that did not solve the problem.
I shoot with a SONY PD170, which can shoot in true widescreen (16:9) but not in HD...it's still SD. Working within Adobe Premiere CS4, the footage on my timeline (widescreen sequence) looks fine...things are in proprtion and nothing is distorted. However, when I export to Encore, the resulting DVD is distorted...the people are elongated. It seems reasonable to assume that Adobe Premiere would export a widescreen timeline as a widescreen video, so the problem should lie within Encore. But I have no idea what the solution might be.
BTW, there was no option for "Conform to SD Widescreen." When I select an avi, and "Interpret Footage," the PAR button defaults to "Use Pixel Aspect Ratio from File: D1/DV NTSC Widescreen 16:9 (1.2121)."
I will try some of the options available under the "Conform to" button (rather than the "Use Pixel Aspect Ratio from File" button), however as I said, "Conform to SD Widescreen" is not listed under that button as an available option.
OK, I didn't want to get into this because it's going to make me sound
stupid...but since you asked:
I thought the TV I was using to view the DVD was a widescreen TV. It has a
physical appearance which would lead one to believe this. I know...how
could anyone not tell the difference? Well I couldn't, until I looked the
model up online and saw that the PAR was listed as 4:3. In my defense I
will say that I rarely use this particular TV (but I still feel pretty
Anyway, the DVD player was set for a PAR of 16:9, which would have worked
just fine if the TV had in fact been widescreen, but since the TV was 4:3,
it scrunched the people up to look unnaturally tall and thin. When I
changed the PAR to 4:3 letterbox, the distortion disappeared. When I saw
this I thought "Oh, it must not be a widescreen TV," because why else would
switching to any type of 4:3 solve the problem?
Your suggestion pointed me in the right direction. I did not realize that I
had to set the PAR on the DVD player itself. I was certain the problem had
to be something in Encore.
I have had a similar experience looking at a once-upon-a-time high end flat screen that can be a bit deceptive.
The maddening thing I have also experienced are "HD" TVs that are not native HD (any flavor of HD). And they have numerous settings (that go by various names on the remote) that allow "normal," "zoom" "cinema" etc. It can make setup interesting.
Thanks for sharing, and glad we helped.