Free DVD Authoring Software
"What do you recommend for the best free DVD creator? One that lets you add a background to the menu and scene selections, etc.?"
I'm still searching for what I would call the "best" free DVD authoring software. Free DVD burning software is easy to find, but DVD authoring makes things more complicated. If you have Windows Vista Premium or Vista Ultimate, the bundled Windows DVD Maker is a solid choice. When I create DVDs, I frequently use Roxio MyDVD, which isn't free, but is reliable and offers plenty of customization. If pressed to choose a good free product, DVDStyler would likely be the one and only choice on my list, although I typically still recommend you buy something.
DVDStyler has potential to be great. It supports creating menus and sub-menus, with your own unique designs for menu buttons and backgrounds. While the latest version now includes support for burning AVI files in addition to MPEG video, I've found several AVIs that it does not support. You can get around this limitation by creating a supported file using SoThink Movie DVD Maker and then using DVDStyler to build the menus.
The forum for DVDStyler also frequently gets questions from frustrated users who have their DVD burning fail. The problems I run into in testing DVDStyler are simply not things I encounter in pay products, which makes it hard to give a solid recommend, but it truly is the best of the free options.