Well my Hell is over.I have been trying to figure out a sure-fire method of creating a NTSC DVD from a 1080i50 HDV source. I think I have finally discovered the best method. If you are trying to do this and its driving you crazy, then try following these steps. (this requires Final Cut Studio 2)

1. Export your final movie as a 1440x1080 50i Prores 422 file. Do this by going to file->export->quicktime movie and then selecting the Apple Prores 1440x1080 50i setting.

2. Open this quicktime in Cinema Tools. Select conform->23.98. This changes the frame rate by making the video playback 4% slower. This will be perceivable in the audio and will be fixed later.

3. Drag the conformed quicktime to into Compressor. Drag the Apple ProRes preset onto the file. Change the settings to:

  • In the frame controls pane select
    - Resize Filter: Better
    - Output fields: Progressive
    - Deinterlace: Better
    - Everything else at its defaults
  • In the geometry pane
    - Dimensions: Select 720x480 from the drop down
    - Pixel Apsect: Select NTSC CCIR 601/DV (Anamorphic)
4. Submit your compression job. For me this took approximately 4x realtime.

5. You now have a NTSC 24p ProRes 422 file. Import this into final cut pro, make a new sequence and drag it in. When it asks if you want to match the sequence to the file say yes.

6. Double click the audio in the sequence and apply the audio filter AUPITCH. Change the first setting called 'pitch' to 80. Leave everything else alone.

7. Export this file as a quicktime movie with the default settings

8. Bring this file into compressor. Drag the default settings for DVD encoding onto your movie (either 90min, 120min or 150min Best -- pick the one that your movie is less than or equal to)

9. The automatic settings should work but double check that it is making a 16x9 progressive NTSC movie. Submit you job.

10. Congratulations. When you are done this should make a nice NTSC DVD. It is not that commonly known that DVD NTSC can be 24p but in fact most commercial DVDs are 24p. All dvd players are able to convert the video to 29.97 in real time.

A couple of notes:
This work flow was for a project shot on a Sony Z1 your camera may vary.
If you have extra time you can de-interlace with the "best" method. But this takes MUCH longer and I think the benfits are negligible.
If you have ALOT of extra time you can do this all in one step by importing your HDV into compressor and changing the framerate to 29.97 with Framerate conversion set to 'Best.' But this take A VERY LONG time. My 55 minute project was going to take over a week on a top of the line Mac Pro. I have used this method with shorter projects at the results with this new method are the same if not better.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment. I a relieved to have figured this out and am happy to have shared it.