It's not whether the DVD is playing from the hard drive or the disc itself (as long as you haven't transcoded/compressed, as mentioned by dubmaster), it's what kind of tv you have, how the STB or HTPC is hooked up (DVI vs. RGBHV vs. component) & what kind of software you're using to play it. I've got an HTPC hooked up via RGBHV to my Mitsubishi 55" HDTV & it looks much better playing ripped titles than my progressive scan STB player. The content is exactly the same, it's the hardware & how it's hooked up that's playing it that makes the difference (& software in some cases).
As Tracie said, nothing is lost when you rip DVDs to your harddrive. You might remove things like Macrovision and Region Protection, but the removal of those things do not affect playback.
Think of ripping a DVD as getting a letter out of an envelope. The content of the letter is still the same whether you received it inside an envelope or not.
Anyway, one thing (other than those already mentioned by others) which *could* affect playback is your video card. For example, a DVD might look great when your PC has XYZ video card, and it might not look as good when you have ABC video card on the same machine (using the same dvd software player).
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