I am currently working with 720p 24p footage from the HVX. I am trying to author 45-80 min dvd's (DvD Studio Pro) on a single layer disc with a CBR of around 6.5 -7.(is this to high?) I'm using MPEG-2 obviously, using compressor out of FCP. Im new to all of this and it has been a tedious process. First of all does anyone have any suggestions for my bit rate and one or two pass? And secondly should i be utilizing the extra space on a dual layer disc and therefor upping my bit rate and increasing quality? These DVD's will be mass produced and I have heard that some players have a hard time playing dual layer discs. Is this so? My main objective is to deliver a solid image that will play on the general publics machines.
From my discussions with people who encode for DVDs the 6.5 to 7 bit rate is about the highest you should go in order to ensure that few DVD players will have issues with playing your video. If you push the bit rate higher chances are you can run into playback problems.
80 minutes should be able to fit onto a single-layer DVD. If you are not familiar with Apple's Compressor the program has some presets that you can use. I often use the "Best Quality 90 Minute" preset.
Also, coming from FCP it can make things easier for Compressor if you first export a self-contained QT file from FCP, and then encode that file in Compressor.