Handbrake encodes, but doesn't rip from DVD. I don't think you can use Handbrake straight from a DVD source.
Yes you absolutely can.
I believe you are both right. Handbrake itself does not do the ripping. You have to have VLC also installed on your mac and Handbrake uses that in the background to do the ripping. I think this is the way they get around the legality of ripping. But on the front end to the user, it acts just like handbrake is ripping the disk.
Thanks to the OP. I occasionally run into movies that handbrake has issues with and I used to use MacTheRipper to rip it first, but since I upgraded to Lion I had to give that up. Now I'll have another option.
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