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.