A foundation has requested and will pay for a "professional" dvd of a feature I made in 2001. In the past I sent a dvd-r I made myself from my original FCP file or one I made from an HD up-conversion made by one of the film festivals who showed the work.
But recently I made a new version of the film (I want to send them that) and with all the new formats I'm not sure what to have made from the NTSC DVCam I would start off with. EG get an HD up- conversion and then use that for the whatever?
Your DVCAM source and DVDs are both 720x480, so I see no benefit from upconverting to HD (then back to NTSC) as these conversions will inevitably add some degradation in the conversions. Keep it at the native size for best results, going direct from DVCAM to MPEG-2 for DVD.
Encoding quality can vary between softwares, and of course encode settings make a difference as well. If you are comfortable with encoding and authoring DVD material with good quality, I see no reason not to create a DVD-R master yourself as before. I've done this on many projects myself for replication.
If the DVD is required to have MacroVision, that means mastering to DLT or providing raw files to duplication house, that's another story then.
Many thanks for the help. I hesitate making the dvd myself as every time I open the file . . . whoa! - there seems to be another another and by this time I know the changes are just that - just changes and don't add anything. I'm in the middle of new work so I think I'm going to let the issue settle a little, the foundation's not going anywhere .