I am using Compressor to create my files to author a DVD with DVD Studio Pro, and understand that to maintain the full audio dynamic range as it appears on my Final Cut timeline, I must change the default export settings:
changing Compression Preset from "Film Standard Compression" to "None"
Dialog Normaization from -27 dBFS to -31 dBFS
This works perfectly, however, the problem is that most DVD players then apply their own Dynamic Range Compression to the AC3 bitstream upon decoding it, as the default setting for DVD players is to apply such DRC - this basically re-applies exactly the same effect I sought to remove with the above settings? Sure, I can turn off DRC on my own DVD player, however I cannot expect everyone else to. Is there any way to override the DRC that is occuring on playback so the audio stream will ALWAYS play as I intend it, ie. with the full dynamic range - irrespective what setting the user has on their DVD Player?
Or should I simply opt for an AIFF file instead of compressed AC3? I have room on the DVD - will it raise the total bitrate too high, or will DVD players all manage to playback the image + uncompressed AIFF without choking?
I would not go with uncompressed PCM (aiff) if the title is going to be duplicated (as opposed to replicated.) Even if you have the headroom for PCM you're going to end up with discs that stutter and skip with duped discs. Stick with the Dolby and use the setting you proposed to keep overall bandwidth manageable.
This isn't as relevant if the title is replicated. The much crisper lands and fall of a manufactured disc are easier to read and so can keep up with the bandwidth required. (usually)