You may want to split this out to another thread at this point, as you clearly want to discuss items in some detail. Not that I personally mind this thread being more of a chat room at this point - with the 2018's out now there's a lot less to talk about here. But some people might.
Originally Posted by XBR11
1. Does the law in US allow me to rip a copy of my own blu rays and 4ks to use at home?
No. Circumventing disc encryption is illegal under the DMCA. Are the police going to bust down your door because your family is watching a digital copy of a movie you ripped off a disc you physically own? Certainly not.
2. I read something about UHD discs being encrypted and as of May 2017 no own had broken the encryption.
No longer true, but ripping UHD's does require specific drive models that cost more than regular bluray drives.
Breaking encryption does not sound ethical. I don't want to do something that is not ethical.
This isn't the place for a lengthy ethical argument. If you feel it's wrong to make copies of media you purchased, then don't do it. edit: Without becoming too lengthy and philosophical, I do think you should consider the differences between the words "legal", "ethical", and "moral". They don't all mean the same thing.
3. What physical equipment do I need and how much money we talking about?
For ripping regular blurays, any old bluray drive, a PC, and some free software. Cost... $50 for a drive if you don't have one plus drives for however much storage you want. edit: That's $50 for an internal drive - if you need an external for a laptop, those are a little more expensive. A good 8TB drive for storage costs $250 right now. That would hold about 300 lossless 1080p movies. A drive capable of ripping UHD's costs about $80. (edit: ...for an internal. Externals are significantly more expensive.) If you're planning on playing lossless copies, you'll also need a solid network infrastructure - preferably hardwired ethernet between your streamer and your server/storage.
4. Is this a hard or difficult thing to do?
At the basic level of ripping lossless copies and playing them back over a LAN? Not at all. You could probably get up and rolling in a couple hours. Some people take it to a whole other level of multi-user, remote streaming and basically become Netflix for their friends - that introduces significantly deeper technical and ethical problems.
5. Is the video and audio identical to the original purchased disc?
Yes, as far as the digital files are concerned. But you'll need a streamer or playback software capable of playing all the codecs involved. The easy solution there is to buy a Shield, which plays everything. edit: It's also worth noting that you reencode original files down to a smaller file size, just as streaming companies do. There's actually a ton
of headroom in many BD's and you can often get a file that's indistinguishable from the disc in about half the size. This does require some significant CPU horsepower on a PC along with some technical knowledge, but it's not too hard to learn the basics.
Feel free to PM me if you want gorier details.