To make the pictures more 'in focus' using the software you currently have, try doing the following:
1. Use a photo editing program (such as Adobe PhotoDeluxe, Elements or Photoshop) to resize the pictures. Instead of using full-resolution photos from your digital camera or scans (which could be saved in resolutions of 1600x1200 pixels or higher!), resize them to something more like 720x480 or 640x480 (the native resolutions of DVD video and regular TV (NTSC) video). These programs are very good at resizing pictures, and usually do a better job than inexpensive DVD authoring applications.
2. Make sure the DVD program's settings are set to 'high resolution' or 'full' or something similar. Note that because the image resolution for video (DVD or TV) is much lower than typical photos on your computer, the picture will look quite 'blurred' or 'grainy', at least on your computer screen. If you burn the DVD and it looks fine on your TV, you're just noticing the blurriness on your computer screen due to 'anti-aliasing' by your computer's DVD playing software.
3. Make sure you have high quality, sharp original pictures. Sometimes if you scan pictures (especially from publications such as books, magazines and newspapers), the pictures will look odd or blurry when put on DVD or resized to a lower resolution and viewed on screen. Nothing beats a good photo when you're making a slideshow.
As far as alternative DVD software goes, it's best to use the best you can afford. There is a large difference between free/low cost DVD applications and professional ones. If you have a Mac, iDVD (included free with all new Macs) does a great job with slideshows; you could also use Adaptec's Toast or Apple's more expensive ($499) DVD Studio Pro. If you have a PC, Sonic's MyDVD and Ulead's Dazzle are okay, but I'd recommend Sonic's DVDit! PE or Adobe Encore.
Last update: 04:01 PM Friday, June 30, 2006