We have a production company and are begining to get into more complex dvd authoring. I would like to know some of the programs out there, as well as pros and cons. We currently use our editing program to export to DVD. Which will tell most of you where we're at.
DVD Studio Pro offers scripting. It's also an abstraction layer based application. Which means, the scripting it offers, is translated. It's a simplified way of giving you access to part of the potential the DVD spec offers. This makes DVD Studio Pro quite powerful, flexible, and even easy to use and master.
Beyond that, there is a new-comer application called, DVDLab Pro. This application offers greater access to the pre- and post-commands, which are masked from you in DVD Studio Pro. DVDLab Pro is still an abstraction layer based application, as is DVD Studio Pro, but to lessor degree. It has a more flexible design, but with that, it is more complex to learn, and offers fewer of the neat bells and whistles DVD Studio Pro offers.
Now, beyond that, there are various versions of Scenarist. Scenarist is the most used authoring application for Hollywood theatrical releases. This is because it gives outstanding support for the DVD Spec. The cheapest Scenarist package is called Scenarist Studio, which gives you access to one VTS, where as Scenarist Professional gives you access to 99 VTS. Scenarist Studio starts at $4999. Compare that with $499 for DVD Studio Pro, and you see why it is so attractive. DVD Lab Pro by the way, is only $199.
If you flip through some of the articles I have contributed to Cow, you'll see some of the creative things that can be done with DVD Studio Pro. Give it a little time, and you'll see it strikes a good balance between easy to use, and professional feature-set. Sure it's not perfect, but for $499, it's more than worth learning extremely well. Besides, its a good primer for learning more advanced authoring. Many of the concepts uses in more advanced authoring and navigation, can be learned, and executed within DVD Studio Pro.