Dubbing/Recording vs. Ripping/Burning

Ok, please help me to sum up one last question from a newbie.

Dubbing/recording with a standalone DVD recorder vs. ripping/burning with a PC’s DVD burner. Is there a distinct advantage of one over the other? :confused:

If there are threads on this already, please point me in the direction. I did a search but didn’t find what I was looking for. Or maybe I put in the wrong key words. :doh:

Thanks! :kiss:

So if you take a picture of a book, and then take a picture of the picture, and then a picture of the picture… which would you rather have? The picture of a picture of a picture, out of focus and blurry… or a second copy of the original book?

Think for a minute.

Think for a minute.

Uh huh, I see. So ripping and burning produces an exact copy then? See, I don’t know all of these things that’s why I am asking. I did not know how it all works. How can I THINK about that if I knew nothing about it in the first place? True? Though your comment makes me feel slightly stupid for even asking, I do thank you for your help.

Moderators - please delete this thread. I don’t appreciate being made to feel dumb for asking a question in the newbie section. I think I’ll find my answers elsewhere. :frowning:


If you are using the recorder to get off the air (or cable) images (movies and/or shows) the quality could easily be inferior to backing up one of your DVD movies on your computer-

Usually the quality from the computer burner is superior to the recorded ones-

btw - we all were noobies at one time or another - please do not feel dumb for asking a question - also - remember that a lot of our members are from all over the world - and english may be a second language for them - and possibly the phrases may not come through as intended-


OK, I’ll take into consideration that some may communicate differntly.

I thought the only reason for ripping and burning on a PC was so you can get the extras off the disc. See, I told you I know nothing. :wink: Thank you. You’ve told me what I wanted to know without making me feel dumb. :slight_smile:


Happy to have helped-


Hi PomMom
Ripping means pulling the streams (video, audio,etc…) from a dvd. To some it has come to mean breaking the copy encryption on the disc.
There are many ways to get that information from the disc and some just use a 1 step program.

Here’s a couple of general explanations as to how it might be done:

  1. Use a ripping program to take the original DVD and remove copy protection and then copy (rip) all the files on the DVD like .ifo, .buf and .vob to your hard drive. If they would fit on a blank dvd disc then you would only have to burn them to a new disc and you would have a new copy. Unfortunately, most commercial dvd’s are made on DVD9 and people are still using dvd5 (4.7 gb not all usable). So the next step is to shrink the files somehow. There are free programs like dvdshrink (called transcoders) that let you shrink the whole disc as is without changing anything but they also allow you to remove extra things like promos, extra audio tracks etc… so that the transcoder has less to shrink. What you end up with is a DVD with all the original menus and everything. Note that DVDshrink is also a ripper so that you don’t have to use a separate program and store the in-between files (up to 9 gig) on your hdd.
    You can also use Dvdshrink to just rip the movie files but you will need to reauthor the disc to make new menus and chapters if you do this.

  2. Use a ripper program and only “rip” the streams you want from the vob files on the DVD. Maybe you only want the main movie and the english audio track from the DVD. Again any copy protection is removed and the ripping program lets you select the streams you want from the dvd. You can then take the video and audio files and input them to a dvd authoring program to make new menus, chapters etc… and recreate a new dvd structure. You can then burn the resulting file to a blank dvd. In most cases these kind of rips end up being the right size to fit on one sl (single layer) disc. If they are a bit too large you can use a transcoder to shrink them as needed before burning.

Most commercial DVD’s are copy protected so you can’t just copy from one pc disc drive to another disc burner without removing the copy protection using a ripper. An exception to this is that there are memory resident programs like dvd43 which mask the discs and make it appear protection free but there is still the size issue to deal with in most cases.

Capturing using a capture card, a digital camera bypass feature or other box is not copying and it will introduce some noise to the video because it means converting a digital video signal to analogue to play it and then converting it back to digital in the capture process. Many things can happen and they are all bad. Video noise, synchronization problems between the audio and video and also dropped frames, codec issues etc…
Capturing using a standalone DVD Recorder has the same problems even you get by the css encryption (copy protection) you are still recapturing the movie only to mpeg2. No chance to save the original menus etc… It’s not worth the effort.

I haven’t covered everything in detail but as much as possible for now. If you have specific questions just ask away. I don’t think anyone means any harm.

Ok. Here goes:

The data stored on a DVD is digital. In order to get it out the ports on the back of your DVD player, it must be converted to analogue. This conversion involves a quality loss. That’s not because of bad hardware, it’s just how things work.

When you dub from DVD player to DVD recorder, the image gets changed from digital to analogue, shunted across a cable, and then reconverted from analogue to digital. This involves multiple quality losses, AND requires you to man the “play/record” buttons with some agility.

RIPPING involves taking the digital information directly off the DVD to your hard drive with zero quality loss. Then burning puts it back onto a disc - again with zero quality loss.

Now, of course we haven’t touched on dual-layer discs and single-layer burnables, that involves throwing away some extras or ads/previews, or doing some slight compression. But I think that everyone would agree that doing a digital algorithmic compression on a movie is preferable to a 2-generation analogue quality loss with dodgy start/stop.

Please don’t feel stupid. When I said you should think… I was encouraging you to draw the conclusion yourself - which you DID! Instead of feeling stupid, feel like you helped with the thought process. You’re more likely to remember things if you figure them out, at least partway, than if you’re just told.

Now, you could have drawn ALL this conclusion yourself if you had done the thought process this way:

  • DVD is digital.
  • TV is not.
  • The plugs on the back are for the TV.
  • Therefore, the plugs on the back are not digital.
  • Digital->Analogue->Cable->Analogue->Digital seems like a lot of translation.

Then you could have thought about dubbing audio casettes, and how much worse each successive copy gets… and realized that each conversion is a net quality loss.

You didn’t know about ripping, but that could have been the next question. :slight_smile:

Thanks to all of you - I very much appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I’ve learned a lot in this thread from all of you, and my apologies for being a tad bit too sensitve at first. I’m a quick learner, and I hate starting at the bottom and asking question that might sound dumb (yep, ego, females have them too. - :wink: ) so I guess I felt dumb asking from the get go. I feel much better about it all now, it all makes perfect sense, I’m not as overwhelmed now with all the info. I can’t wait to get started with all of this. If I need more help, I’ll be back with more questions. Thanks again!

Just for your information,
Typing in all caps, bold, colors is considered rude, also making mutiple posts,
just post and give some time for someone time to answer.

just some advice, to someone new

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile: Has anybody said welcome? Ok Welcome to the forum :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I have both a PC solution and a stand alone DVD solution. What I find is if you are interested in making backup copies of your own DVDs than the PC solution is the best because the quality is very good and you get all the fancy menus, scene selections, special features ect… The quality is so good because you are taking digital information and transposing it to blank media, no convertion.

However the stand alone solutions also have their place. If you have older VHS tapes that you want to get into a DVD format you are better off recording them onto a stand alone recorder. The reason is that VHS tapes are analog and there is a converter that converts analog signals to digital signals so it can be burned to a disc. The converters in a stand alone recorder are far, far better than they are in a PC capture card. Without going into a ton of details PC’s in general are very noisy and can create noise on analog signals where a stand alone recorder is designed to take analog signals in and convert them to digital with very little noise, this is accomplished by very good PCB layout and shielding on a stand alone solutions.

So the bottom line (In My Opinon) is if you are transerfing from an analog source (VHS, BETA, Analog Camera) you are better off with a stand alone soultion. If you are making backup copies of DVD’s the PC solution is better.

Hope this helps you out. If you have any questions just shout and I am sure people here will help…