I recently made a standard def DVD using HDV footage. I kept the bit-rate high (at least 6.8Mbps) for the encoding in Compressor 2 and despite various attempts (with VBR, etc) it always looks absolutely AWFUL. I'm using Final Cut Pro, Compressor 2 and DVD Studio Pro 4. Any one got any good compression techniques for downconverting HDV for quality output on a SD DVD? My SD stuff allways looks fine.
Hmmm. The results I've gotten from Compressor 2 when encoding HD material (using Uncompressed formats, not HDV) to SD MPEG-2 has thus far been pretty good. Much better than with Compressor 1 or any previous Apple supplied MPEG-2 encoder. MUCH BETTER. Even still though, for HD to SD MPEG-2 conversions, my encoder of choice is the MainConcept MPEG-2 mac encoder. Great speed, great quailty, and very reliable.
To better understand where your quality issues are arising from, please post your full settings. Also, if you could upload a small sample of your source and encode, that would make things a lot easier to determine what you are describing.