My shop is editing on Avid Media Composer, and we've recently gotten into the business of DVD authoring. We have Squeeze on all of the Media Composer stations and a separate Encore editing station.
Our process now is QT Ref export from Avid into Sorenson, squeeze to MP2 file and import into Encore. Are we missing an easy step somewhere? Are there patches anywhere that will allow Avid and Encore to cooperate better without Squeeze in the middle?
Not that i know of...
But, once set up properly it's doable.
And not using Avid for MpegII encoding is a good thing.
If you're really want to be into the DVD business, you need a serious amont of control over the MpegII encoding.
Also, you want to free your Avid from the encoding as it is typically a very slow process.
That is exactly the process I use with very nice results. It's a very simple process once you get used to it. There is no bypasing Squeeze or some other compressor; you can't do this directly out of AVID.
Before you make the QT refs, if the timeline has many layers and/or effects, you should do a video mixdown. It will speed the entire process considerably. This is not really necessary if your timeline is very simple.
I have tested Procoder, TMPGEnc and Squeeze for MPEG-2 compression and for me, Squeeze not only gave the best looking video but also was the fastest. This is in direct contrast to some tests I did a few years ago. I use the default "Large NTSC" setting, specifying "lower field first" and "unconstrained" image. Before changing to "unconstrained" the 16x9 image displayed incorrectly on my plasma screen.