Max resolution on DVD is 720x480, so the one showing you 954 is probably wrong. Are you sure you have the correct settings in Handbrake though? I use it all the time and files are consistently good looking (source material willing) so I think your settings may be off. What are you entering for anamorphic and aspect ratio (strict, loose, etc)?
HD-DVD: 55 / Blu-ray: 83
newest: Brotherhood of the Wolf / The Raid 2, Book of Life
AVR: Marantz SR6006
F/C/R: Polk RTi A9's / CSi A6 / Speakercraft AIMWIDE 3 / Sub: SVS PB12-NSD
Samsung PN58C8000 Samsung BD-P2550, Toshiba HD-A30, SA 8240HDC, Xbox360 Elite, PS3, WDTV Live