As part of a production deal I have acquired in house use a of high-end (hardware) MPEG-2 HD encoder. the compressed files look great @ only 14mbits... We have some authoring experience creating Standard Def. DVD's for our clients using Sonic. I would like be able to get a burner and start making HD or Blu ray discs. However, I have heard that the Sonic authoring software for HD is very expensive ($50K?!?) If that's true, why is that the case? and what would be some good low cost alternative authoring programs that work well with MPEG-2 files and can create HD-DVD and Blu ray discs?
Yes this is the case I'm afraid. DVDSP, ULead, and now DVDit HD have provided a low cost alternative but none offer the advanced interactivity which makes the new spec unique. In addition non of these program are not suitable for professional work for many reasons. It was the same way when SD discs were starting to be authored back in the 90's (geez, did I just say that?) - way out of reach to the common folks.
In reality, one could say HD-DVD and/or Blu-Ray is an unfinished spec. Engineers and programmers are learning as they go. Problems continually show up. So unless it's a hobby, Sonic is just about your only solution at this point