Should I resize it before mastering to DVD (say with Handbrake or MPEG Streamclip) using Toast 15 to burn the resultant file to DVD or can I just leave it as it is and let Toast just do that in the burning process? Here's the stream info:
Data Size: 1200 MB
Bit Rate: 2.64 Mbps
H.264, 1280 × 720, 30 fps, 2.13 Mbps
H.264, 1280 × 720, 30 fps, 2.73 Mbps
MPEG-4 Audio stereo, 44.1 kHz, 192 kbps
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Assuming you are burning this for set top players. Use a good authoring software like AVStoDVD. Even the defaults will give you excellent results. PAL players will generally play NTSC, so you only need to make one version.
edit: Oops you said Toast. You're on a mac. Nevermind.
I don't think you understand the DVD format, or else what you're trying to get isn't "DVD". Are you trying to make this video an authored DVD disc? If so, you can't use 1280x720 for DVD.
If you want an AVCHD video authored and/or burned to DVD disc, 30fps isn't valid for the AVCHD 720p spec. An AVCHD or BluRay 720p video must be either double frame rate (60 or 50 fps) or film speed (23.976 or 24 fps). 30 fps is not valid for those formats if you want playable AVCHD or BluRay.
An audio rate of 44.1 KHz isn't valid for either DVD or AVCHD.
Resizing for "DVD" means re-encoding, and both processes will be a quality hit. How little or how much depends on how it's done.
What you have can be burned as "data" to a DVD optical disc and played as-is. But some playback devices may refuse to play that format from optical disc. Some devices, but not all, can play it if copied directly as-is to USB stick or external hard drive.- My sister Ann's brother
So my footage, which I wish to transfer to DVD using Toast 15 with as little loss as possible, is currently 1280 x 720 and 30fps. Simply pasting this footage into Toast 15 means that the DVD burning software converts it to the required DVD standard, be it PAL or NTSC. What though I'm trying to ascertain is whether it would be better for me, quality-wise, to resize the footage prior to burning to Toast (and if so, to what specs?) Or is the aforementioned method the best all things considered?
Resizing progressive footage is in general not a problem. Note you keep a little bit of more detail in PAL version (720x576) as oppose to NTSC (720x480), but frame rate is changed on the other hand.
What is your video frame rate exactly? 29.97p or 30p? DVD specs are 29.97 fps interlaced 720x480 for NTSC and 25.000fps interlaced 720x576 for PAL.
So I'd be concerned for frame rate conversion rather than downscale, what Toast would do with that original 30p. Re-samples to 29.97i , every frame? That'd be kind of not necessary. Then I'd rather used assumefps("ntsc_video") in avisynth and encoded separately (heck even encoded to 29.97p with HcEncoder), and adjusted audio as well, because audio would shift out of sync in time, but that I'd do on Windows, just an opinion, you stress your concern about quality and I have no idea how to do it on Mac. Also assuming Toast would just create fields, top and bottom from one progressive frame. Same concerns for resample to 25 fps, but in that case you must resample (not really, as smrpix says, DVD PAL players in Europe can play NTSC DVD's not sure what you are planning to do with it).
You can easily do a test, make a DVD , a VIDEO_TS with Toast, one time NTSC, one time PAL, from one video clip, where is something moving, horizontally, look at it.
Toast will probably discard one frame out of every 1001 frames to convert 30 fps to 29.97 fps, about 1 frame every 30 seconds. Probably not worth worrying about, even if it doesn't do it in a smart way (eg, taking the frame out of a still shot instead of in the middle of a panning shot).
Although it's not foolproof, you can use MediaInfo to determine if your video is interlaced or progressive.