Originally Posted by ScottJ
Perception is reality. If he can't tell the difference, then it doesn't matter.
While true, his perception may change in the future. I chose my words carefully when I made this statement to keep it as neutral as possible. Qualtity is not the same as Perceived Quality.
I compress most BRs but leave some specific titles uncompressed, depending on content, how much I really like the movie and the playback device. For my 50" plasma, a BR rip that has been compressed to 8-12GB usually looks identical to the original. For my kids' 7" Kindle Fire, 600MB is usually more than adequate.
However, there is no way that you can say there is no difference in quality between the original 23GB BR Rip, an 8GB compressed rip for my main TV and the 600MB rip for the tablet.
Good enough is good enough until your viewing requirements change. OP can compress down for his current situation and be perfectly happy but should be aware that what looks great on his laptop now will certainly fall short in his home theater. He may decide to be less aggressive when re encoding, opting for a larger file that is still significicantly smaller than the original but still having enough quality to be somehwhat "future-proof".
My personal story comes from when I had a decent stock of DVDs. The ones that I watched most frequently (as well as a lot of the frequently handled kids' DVDs), I transcoded with DVD Shrink or DVD-Rebuilder to fit on DVD-5 media because it was so much cheaper to purchase than DVD-9. Then I would stash the originals in the garage. Looked fine at the time on my 32" CRT TV. Then I had a garage fire and lost most of my original DVDs. Words can't say how dissappointed I was when I ripped the DVD-5s of the X-Files, Friends, etc. as well as several movies to be stored on my Media Server. Playback is awful on even my 27" LCD. It looks soft, lacks detail and everything is muddy when things get dark. I would kill to have the old, originals back.
At the time, the copies were fine, but there is no way to dispute that they were of less quality than the originals.