Hi again: Perhaps I should have filled in more information on why I made that post. Yes, all video quality is going to be related to the quality of the original source material and no software is going to correct deficiencies in the original material.
Last year I bought a 61" widescreen TV and my desire for better quality has increased. Material that previously looked OK or acceptable on my 27" TV from converted and burned material now looked at best fuzzy or at worst quite pixelated on the bigger TV.
On commercial DVDs even the 'upcode' feature on the player I had for the bigger TV didn't do much to improve quality; and, it forced all material into a fixed aspect ratio making some material very distorted.
As an experiment I downloaded a movie in both standard and blu-ray versions. Both were tried in Convert X (and I have no blu-ray burner, and no blu-ray player for the big TV). But, the blu-ray version, of course, looked far superior when burned on a dual-layer blank and played on the big TV. Crisp and clear.
While not imagining I can increase the quality of a poor original I was hoping that at least with better encoding I would not lose anything that was there to start with because of the quick encoding.
As a further experiment the same two originals (standard and blu-ray) were encoded by two other programs (one straight play, one with a simplified menu not nearly as nice as the ones ConvertX makes). After watching this movie now 6 times I can say that Convert X produced the superior result when working with the blu-ray version burned on a standard (not blu-ray) dual layer blank. But all three did about the same on converting the standard version as far as I could tell.
Most downloadable material is compressed too much I guess; but, we all know the tradeoffs between size and quality when using the internet. What I would like is to at least maintain the 720x480 at the quality as it is on commercial DVDs. I was wanting to experiment with better encoding in ConvertX to see what the results were.
Perhaps I am dreaming, and, maybe I've combined a lot of technical things into one seeking a simple answer for which I apologize
. I am learning as I go. As to wasting time and space in a conversion I don't worry about that as the best result is what I want. Besides you can let the computer run while at work or while asleep.
I still want to see if the slower encoding would improve my final result; and, I will not be burning multiple copies of things. Once I determine which combination of things works for me I use that exclusively.
Overall, Convert X does a better job than the other two as far as producing a DVD; but, both of the others also edit so they still have their uses.