What is the most efficient method that renders the best quality to convert digital Video to make a vcd.

I undestand that you have to convert the DV to avi and then to MPEG What hardware you need to use to do that on a Mac; Does it take too much time?
Is there a VCR type machine in which you input a digital signal via Fire wire and burns the CD on MPEG ?
If so how does it compare to the final quality if you go DV to AVI TO mpeg on a computer (mac)
Thank you for your help