I have a video project created for widescreen ntsc (original dv video was widescreen), and I'm now authoring a dvd with it in DVD Architect. The video is 720x480. I chose an ntsc widescreen project type in DVD Architect, and started to create a menu for my project. The asset I used for the bg picture is 720x480, but when I imported it I noticed it was getting stretched (and I did have stretch to fit selected). If I don't use any method to fit the picture it gets letterboxed with black bars on the side. I noticed that for most of the pre-created menus, the asset size is 720x576.
I'm wondering what is wrong here. If the project is set for widescreen why would the menu be a different? also 720x560 is much closer to 4:3 than 16:9 isn't it (although 720x480 is not 16:9 either..)
I'm not a DVD Architect user, but the general principle is that anything 16:9 in DVD must be anamorphic to display correctly in widscreen. If you create a menu at 720x480, it does stretch to fill the 16:9 frame on playback as you discovered.
If you are using Photoshop to create your menu artwork, you can use the preset for NTSC 16:9 video. To do it manually (or in other software), create an 864x480 document (or 960x540 square pixel document), lay out your menu as desired, then resize to 720x480 without constraining proportions. This is important -- it gives you the anamorphic "squish" horizontally. Your artwork then should look the same as your 16:9 video footage, which is also 720x480 anamorphic.
Senior Editor/DVD Author
New York City