sorry about the confusion, when i wrote about compressing to 8.5 GB i should probably have written that it should create a disc image that is 8.5 GB.
when i go to burn straight from a video TS to a dvd, the information between the large "Select" button and the large "copy options button" (if there is a way i can post a screenshot let me know) which is refered to as the copy summary shows that auto compression is on. Perhaps there is a way to turn this off. If i proceed from here and burn on a SL dvd then it compresses normally and writes.
If i instead burn to DL media the drive seems to "know" that it doesn't need to compress (though it nevers shows me that it does by, for instance, showing the auto compression is "off" as it would show if the video TS folder was less than 4.7 GB). In my experience burning straight from a video TS folder to SL media has caused problems such as freezing, so i have in the past had success writing an image file and then burning it (much thanks to tsantee for that, i read some other posts, tried it and it worked).
My problem is that if i want to burn to DL media i don't know how to create an image file that is not compressed, popcorn will automatically compress it to be burned to SL media. I tried what you mentioned about not selecting any copy options, but it still had the auto compression when i started it it went ahead started compressing. Prompting me about DL or SL would make sense, but it never did.
anyway, any help would be much appreciated. thanks for looking.