I'm also thrilled when stuff simply works.
Yes, I had tried rendering via both hardware and software, and was getting the same non-result both ways. Meaning the task bars went through the entire process, but didn't actually burn a disc.
I can see the benefit of the .iso file in that if I need to make additional discs, which often happens with my work, I don't have to render the entire video again, I just have to transfer the .iso file. Still don't get what changed that caused all this, but I'm OK with running things this way.
Thanks again. I'm back in good graces with our daughter now that I have her choir's recent performance on DVD for all of them to watch.