Is there a quality difference between sending your PPRO timeline straight to Encore as opposed to encoding an mpeg and bringing the video file in? I am working with h.264 1080p video from canon 7D on my timeline. (I am using the CS5 suite by the way.)
Also, if I were to render a final file out of AE, what would be the best way to render it to send to encore. I usually use cineform, but should I go ahead use mpeg or will Encore transcode my cineform file just fine?
If your video is going to a regular SD DVD then export as mpeg-2 and import into Encore. Encore won't need to transcode it again. Generally, for optimum quality, the less exports/conversions, the better.