Salvaging The Defunct Basic Instinct Bluray

Originally published Oct. 13, 2009 – I don’t know if it’s a fact or not, but I’m suspecting Lionsgate did a silent recall on their distribution of early editions of the “Basic Instinct” Bluray disc (BD). Apparently, my almost mint-condition copy of the Basic Instinct BD doesn’t play anymore. I was able to play it on a PlayStation 3 (PS3) a year ago when I first purchased the BD, but after the PS3’s firmware was updated, Basic Instinct failed to playback. It doesn’t run on a PC player either. I’m betting it is a change in firmware standards. Of course, I can prove my theory by purchasing a new BD of “Basic Instinct” and popping it in a player with the latest firmware. If it plays, then Lionsgate has replaced the defunct copies and anyone with my older, defunct edition is SOL. But why should I spend anymore money on an unreliable product to prove it is unreliable?

So because I got ripped off, I scoured the Internet and found about two other customers who had the same dilemma and similar complaints, but otherwise consumers seem to have non-existant problems (maybe these users haven’t played it recently). Some experts are saying the authoring is faulty, some say it involves digital noise reduction (DNR), some say that it doesn’t conform to the newest Bluray standards. All are utterly useless and provide no solutions, so I had to look into the shady side of town for a brute force solution.

Software required:

Before you can extract anything from any BD, you must first break the copy protection.

1. Run AnyDVDHD to remove copy protection. AnyDVDHD provides a feature that will automatically copy the movie stream (as an iso or m2ts), but it doesn’t work for “Basic Instinct”. I tried both methods. The movie streams are separated (more on that later).

Once the BD is “open” for copying, you need to locate the main movie stream and rip it to your harddisk.

2. Run tsMuxeR. Locate the bdmv/stream/ folder in the BD file structure.
3. Select file 00000.m2ts and Add it to your input list.
4. Click Join and select 00044.m2ts. Notice that the two streams with the biggest filesizes comprise the main movie. You can also check the clipinfo files and see that file 00000.m2ts references 00044.m2ts.

How to extract tracks from Basic Instinct Bluray using tsMuxeR.

5. If you look in the Tracks list, you can see that the file that uses the H.264 codec and has a resolution of 1920×1080 is the movie file. The six-channel DTS-HD and AC3 files are the main movie audio tracks. It is vital that at the least the AC3 audio and the movie track are extracted. In my case, I saved about 100 Megabytes by not extracting the Spanish subtitles (I don’t need it). The two-channel AC3 files are commentary tracks and the PGS files are subtitles. Keep what you like.
6. Select the M2TS muxing radio button. You can attempt to extract it as a virtual Blu-ray disk, which retains the BD structure, but it doesn’t work for Basic Instinct.
7. Click Browse and choose the location and filename you want to save the new m2ts file as.
8. Finally, click on Start Muxing to mux the tracks into one file.

After tsMuxeR completes ripping the movie, you will have a single m2ts file. Most people will not already have the codec to read this format unless they have an HD-ready software player. This is where VLC media player comes in. VLC boasts reading capability of many file formats and m2ts is one of them.

9. Run VLC media player and play the new m2ts file. Notice you can select the different audio tracks and even enable subtitles. Sweet!

Unfortunately, this isn’t a complete salvage. I wasn’t able to completely rip the feature, “Blonde Poison” or any other features. You can extract a chunk of Blonde Poison with tsMuxeR the same way. It’s track 00035.m2ts, but not really worth it. The video quality is MPEG2, looks like shit. However, I’ve been able to stream it off the BD through VLC when AnyDVDHD is enabled. It crashes at certain points of the stream, but if you skip through it you can manage to watch the whole feature. Again, you will need AnyDVDHD running so once your trial period expires, you have to decide whether you want to pay an annual subscription fee to AnyDVD (about US$100/year) or just toss the BD (about $15) in the trash. Thanks a lot, Lionsgate.

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