taking a look at cinemacraft page http://www.cinemacraft.com/eng/basic.html, you can see that CCE basic do only CBR encoding for packetised stream (the vob format): MPEG2 PS (CBR only)
well, if you output Video elementary stream with CCE, yes you can do VBR, but you need a nice muxer then.
For the sound, you have a wide choice as input. it’s uncompressed wav or uncompressed wav, and the output is mpeg1 audio or uncompressed wav.
the sp version of cinemacraft add more than 2 pass feature and accept still image sequences as input, for the nice price of $1950.
and for the pro version, they say “call us for a price quote”
So, with CCE basic standalone, you can only output elementary stream if you want VBR, so it need a rework after. You must also have the decoding software installed, e.g. to convert a Divx, you must have Divx decoder installed.
So now, as you have only an ES, you must generate the audio, mux it and author your dvd. To do that, and produce as well a reference dolby 5.1 one of the most affordable solution is the couple sony Vegas + DVD architect + sony pictures digital AC-3 encoding software, price $699.95 (30% off, used to be $999)
So, to achieve your goal, you have to purchase several products, some of them are let’s say expensive, and you have to do a lot of manual operations.
On the other hand, you have ConvertX, a 35 bucks 2-clicks solution (select input file(s), push build button)
Yes, you can’t set the minimum bitrate, yes the AC-3 encoder is not the reference one (dolby refuse to license its reference encoder for a converting/transcoding app). But ConvertX support about 100 different formats of input file/video/audio such as AVI, DIVX,XVID, MOV, DVR-MS, DVD, DVB, WMV, HD, AC3, DTS, MPEG 1,2,3,4, NERO DIGITAL and many more without the need of any installed readers for these formats, support simple multipages menu, support up to 64 video segments, support several subtitles format with font color definition and unicode, automatic line wrap, tagging, support chapters manual or automatic, and the produced result work just fine on hundredth of different dvd players model - well that’s what our customers says.
For the quality our encoder has been compared to several professionnal solution and has been found equal to mainconcept encoder (a $149 one) and also the second fastest encoder. The page for that comparison is here (in French) : http://forum.gravure-news.com/encodage-dvd-mega-compratif-convertxtodvd-vp161637.htm
We have designed convertX to be as simple as possible, but with a good quality target. Yes it’s not perfect, yes it has lots of bugs, but the inability of setting minimum bitrate or the fact that our dolby encoder is not a reference one is imho in no way a “Major bug” as you have stated. As we have found with our users experience that in our imperfect encoder leaving this setting accessible might cause playback problem if improperly set, we have removed it and we still think it is a good decision for the products we have.
I understand that ConvertX is not an application that meets your needs, so I can only suggest you to buy the solution that matches your criteria, which will cost you an affordable $777 (CCE, Divx codec, Sony vegas + dvd architect + reference dolby encoder), were you will be able to set whatever bitrate parameters you like.
If you want to compare us, do it with products of the same price range that provide the same kind of feature.