Originally Posted by Toknowshita
Look if you enjoy ripping go ahead. The reality is many don't.
Actually, the reality is that many of us that use HTPCs do rip discs. If you believe otherwise then you're in the wrong forum. Either that or you've been completely oblivious to the various topics discussed here.
FWIW, I had every disc in my collection ripped to either iso's or DVD file folders (approximately 750 movies at the time). I found that using MakeMKV and XBMC gave me better results so I re-ripped them all to mkv files. I ripped them in my spare time over a three week span and believe it was time well spent.
I currently have a server with about 24 TB of storage, give or take. I started off with just a few drives using the free version of unRAID and expanded it as my budget allowed. If TAMS Solutions still has any servers left then you won't find a better deal for getting a complete server setup dirt cheap. Check the thread discussing the cheap alternative to the Norco 4220 and 4224 servers for details.
I have three HTPCs currently in use. Only one of them has a Blu-Ray drive, and it never gets used except to load software. I also have a standalone Blu-Ray player that has been used exactly twice for a total time of about 15 minutes. I got so fed up with trying to get past the intro crap on the discs that I disconnected it and haven't used it since.
With ripped discs stored on a server, I can share my movies with any PC in the house without requiring a physical disc to insert in a drive. Playback starts immediately upon selecting a movie from my server without the extraneous crap that goes with it. Ripping discs allows me to put the original away for safekeeping and keep it in mint condition as well as having a permanent backup.
The advantages to ripping discs and having them on a server far outweigh any reasons for playing a disc directly in a drive, especially on a PC. The one major difference is the cost of the additional hardware used to store the ripped movies. OTOH, playing discs on a PC generally requires playback software and a license for AnyDVD HD. If you can afford it then you should seriously consider going with a server or NAS and ripping your movies. You don't even need a separate NAS or server if you have a small movie collection. For $100 you can get a 3TB drive to add to your PC that will hold quite a few movies.