Even though I've been a filmmaker of many years, I'm a bit lost on some the latest technology regarding burning top quality DVDs. I have a project coming up that's going to require I get up to speed on this.
I've heard terms like "DVD-5" and "DVD-9" bandied about. Are there any great links with some tutorial material that can help explain how to get HD shows onto DVDs, the various options and applications available, etc.? We've got to take our show to market so I'm being forced beyond the likes iDVD.
DVD-5 is a single layer disc capacity of 4.7 GB; DVD-9 is a dual layer disc capacity of 8.5 GB. DVD-9 DVD+R DL are a lot more expensive if you are just burning one offs. You only go to a DVD-9 if you cannot fit your titles on a DVD-5.
But it is time for you to look through the manual of your software before you go much further.
[Bob Anderson]"Are there any great links with some tutorial material that can help explain how to get HD shows onto DVDs, the various options and applications available, etc.? "
The first thing you must realize is that you are not going to get HD onto DVDs - the only disc format for HD is Blu-ray. Without knowing for sure what platform you are using (I suspect it's Mac because you mentioned iDVD) and what editing software is involved, it's hard to suggest how to get where you want to go without knowing where you are. Regardless, if you are working with HD and want to deliver DVDs you will eventually need to re-compress for SD. If you want to deliver HD you are looking at Blu-ray.
The choices for authoring Blu-ray and DVD on Mac are limited. Actually the only choice to make even a semi-professional Blu-ray disc is Adobe Encore, and then if you want to make thousands of copies you must use BluStreak Tracer for replication. Apple Compressor and Roxio Toast can burn a Blu-ray disc, but the menus are not even as good as iDVD.
By far the best DVD authoring application on any platform is DVD Studio Pro. But it is part of Final Cut Studio 7 which has been discontinued.
Of course you can run Windows on the Mac, and then there are more choices. NetBlender DoStudio is the lowest-cost professional Blu-ray app, and it will cost you $3k for a minimum system. But it does not do DVD. The other professional systems are $30k or more.
There are several prosumer Blu-ray apps, including DVDIt Pro HD, which can replicate. But they do not take advantage of popup menus, which Encore does.
A new entry in the market is DVDLogic's EasyBD. It offers spec navigation and menu creation at a very good price.