After a few months I finally had one of those "A ha!" moments when everything falls into place (I hope).

I've wondered why there are frequently posts on Apple Discussions and other forums regarding "Livetype Quality", etc, yet others don't have these problems? Was it a subjective thing, user error or other?

Often the user is referring to the quality of the display in the Canvas in FCE/FCP. Responses are often along the lines of: "The Canvas and computer monitor are not capable of displaying the same quality as a TV Monitor can, etc and you should always check output on a TV Monitor" , etc.
This makes sense since a TV Monitor is interlaced and (I think) the canvas drops a field in it's display (at least when not set to 100%)
However, I don't think that's the real problem some of these people are having. It's all down to the codec.
I bet these users are working in the DV codec which unfortuntely just can't do what Livetype is capable of in the Animation codec.
Unfortuantely, those replying are probably pros and are working in better codecs than DV, such as uncompressed 8-bit, etc and therefore the degradation isn't as great for them. They aren't having the issue due to this.
So I think in most cases the issues with Livetype/Motion Quality are nothing to do with the user mis-interpreting what the Canvas displays over a TV monitor, but to do with the user working with DV.

Further to that Kevin Monahan made an excellent post over at Kenstone's site:

Are you working on DV? Were you aware that it is a highly compressed format at 5:1? There is usually only so much quality you can get out of the DV Codec

  • Are you monitoring your graphics properly as you work on a decent pro video monitor?
  • Have you checked the dark green "FULL" bar in the Sequence>Render menus before rendering?
  • Have you enabled the RT Pop up menu to "Safe RT" and Full Quality?
  • Is your Motion Filtering Quality set to "Best" in your User Prefs > Render Control?
  • Is your Render Quality set to 100%?
  • Are your graphics placed on whole, even X, Y integers?
  • Are you placing the Wireframes in different positions rather than moving the point controls in the Controls Tab?
  • Are you using the poorer quality "legacy" FCP title generators? (You should be using Title 3D instead).
  • Do you know how to properly prepare graphics in Photoshop?