What encoding software is best?

In the past i have used Cucusoft because it is very fast, but then noticed that Nero Vision has a slightly better quality yet less stability on playback.

What do you guys think is the best? I will be burning the video onto DVD’s, so that plays a big issue.

www.videohelp.com/tools

What category should i search under for that type of program? Encoding or authoring, or something else?

http://www.videohelp.com/tools?toolsearch=&s=9&orderby=Name&hits=50&convert=&dvdauthorfeatures=&Submit=Search+or+List+tools