JMAN's Home Theater and Basement Build-out - AVS Forum
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,

I've been lurking on the site for many months (obsessing is probably more the term my wife would use biggrin.gif ) researching and plotting out the design for my build. We are finally going to be starting the remodel of our basement next month so I thought it would be fun to document it on here since the site was such a help to me. We will have a little over 1200 finished sq. ft. and the theater area is going to be around 315 sq. ft. I have a contractor doing a majority of the work (framing, drywall, plumbing) But I will be doing the insulation and electrical with some buddies of mine, as well as building the riser and stage for the theater.


Here is what I've narrowed my list down to for equipment. Some of the important factors to me were having enclosed in-wall speakers for a clean stealth look that doesn't allow for towers on the floor or speakers mounted directly to the wall that kids could knock down. A cinemascope screen and a projector with lens memory for switching between aspect ratios. I'm still leaning towards the JVC since 3D isn't as important to me as overall 2D picture quality and black levels. Still waiting to see what kind of space I have once drywall is complete before getting a screen. Might end up with a 120" but I'm not liking the idea of around 96" viewable for 16:9 content as opposed to 106" 16:9 with the 133".

Original List:
SI Black Diamond Zero Edge 133" 2.35:1 or SI Black Diamond Fixed 133" 2.35:1
JVC DLA-RS46U or Panasonic AE8000U
Mains - DefTech UIW RLS II x 3
Front Ceiling - DefTech UIW 63/A x2
Surrounds - DefTech UIW BP/A x 4 or UIW 55 x 4
Zone 2 Ceiling - DefTech UIW 63/A x 3 (1 in hallway and 2 in family room)
Sub - PSA XV-15 x 2
Onkyo TX-NR809 (picked this up from Amazon last month for around $400 brand new, was too good to pass up)
Emotiva XPA-3
APC J15BLK or Panamax MX5102
URC MRX-10
Sony BDP-S790
OmniMount RE27

Purchased:
Jamestown 140" 2.35:1 w/ CenterStage XD Material
PSA XV15
Onkyo TX-NR809
Sony BDP-S790
APC J15BLK
Sanus CFR2144 AV Rack
JVC DLA-RS46U


Below is the CAD drawing I made for the basement. I'm still not sure of the exact placement of the equipment rack so any suggestions would be welcome. I'm thinking either kind of built into the wall by the stairs as shown on the drawing with a door directly under the stairs. Or directly under the stairs facing the family room with a small access door on the side wall of the stairs. I just want to be able to access either side of it easily.

Updated CAD Drawing:



Here is a link to the album of how it looks now. I've got alot of cleaning up to do in the next couple weeks. As you can see I've already plotted out alot of stuff with painters tape. The taped up 2.35:1 screens are 133" on the outside and 120" on the inside.

http://www.avsforum.com/g/a/2171064/jmans-home-theater-and-basement-build-out
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:47 AM
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Looks like a good space and it is nice to see people wanting to do a good plan and not just jumping straight in.
Your kit list sounds good and it seems you really know what you want from the room. You haven't mentioned anything about sound proofing/containment/treatment. Are you worried about keeping others awake at night with loud movies? Are you concerned about noises outside (washing machine/dryer/other people) disturbing your movies and TV? The double door in the design you have is a great potential weak point.
What point are you starting from? Is it an unfinished space, drywalled space you're ripping out or a completed room you need to redecorate?
Also, your rear seats are tight up against the back wall. You may want to re-think this as they will be getting poor surround sound.
And remember - pics please!

EDIT - Just seen your picture album. Good looking space. As it is such a blank canvass I think you'd kick yourself for not talking to Ted White at http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:56 AM
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I would try and pull those rear seats off the back wall. Looks like you have room to push everything forward? Where is your screen, and what are the viewing distances?

The two center seats in the front row and and three in the rear will have good sound. The four outside seats are close to the walls and won't have terrific sound. As long as you are considering those "overflow" seats, then you won't be disappointed.

You may want to consider a straight row in the front to get the seats off the sidewalls.. Or consider narrower seats.

Tim
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth_alien View Post

Looks like a good space and it is nice to see people wanting to do a good plan and not just jumping straight in.
Your kit list sounds good and it seems you really know what you want from the room. You haven't mentioned anything about sound proofing/containment/treatment. Are you worried about keeping others awake at night with loud movies? Are you concerned about noises outside (washing machine/dryer/other people) disturbing your movies and TV? The double door in the design you have is a great potential weak point.
What point are you starting from? Is it an unfinished space, drywalled space you're ripping out or a completed room you need to redecorate?
Also, your rear seats are tight up against the back wall. You may want to re-think this as they will be getting poor surround sound.
And remember - pics please!

EDIT - Just seen your picture album. Good looking space. As it is such a blank canvass I think you'd kick yourself for not talking to Ted White at http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/

I've thought alot about the soundproofing, but I also wanted a semi-open concept as well, realizing that sound will be impacted I still didn't want the whole theater closed off from the rest of the basement. The wet bar area has a counter with a half wall that runs to the existing support column. So I will have another 3-4 barstools that will be able to view the screen as well and interact with everyone in the theater chairs.
I've considered going all out with the space in the theater insulating the walls and joists with Roxul SnS, putting in a resillient channel, a 1st layer of 5/8" drywall, green glue, and then the 2nd layer of 5/8" drywall. The theater is right above the kitchen, I've thought about how it might be with just the insulation and 1 layer of drywall, I'm not really concerned with noise into the theater, just containing the noise from the theater. and I'm also worried about saving ceiling height to keep my center channel close to ear level.
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Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

I would try and pull those rear seats off the back wall. Looks like you have room to push everything forward? Where is your screen, and what are the viewing distances?

The two center seats in the front row and and three in the rear will have good sound. The four outside seats are close to the walls and won't have terrific sound. As long as you are considering those "overflow" seats, then you won't be disappointed.

You may want to consider a straight row in the front to get the seats off the sidewalls.. Or consider narrower seats.

Tim

The first row viewing distance is almost 15' from the screen. The limiting factor of having them back so far is due to the support column that has to be boxed off and having room between the column and outside seat to the first step to the riser. I may end up putting a row in the back just like the front once everything is finished and I see how much real space I have to work with.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:34 AM
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I'm not really concerned with noise into the theater, just containing the noise from the theater.
You cannot have one without the other. Keeping the noise from a theater from disturbing the rest of the house a few orders of magnitude more difficult (and expensive) then reducing the noise floor in the theater.
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and I'm also worried about saving ceiling height to keep my center channel close to ear level.
Who's ear level? First row? Second row? The center channel (as is true for all the front speakers) should be line of sight to all ears in all rows.

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Old 01-23-2013, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Who's ear level? First row? Second row? The center channel (as is true for all the front speakers) should be line of sight to all ears in all rows.

Was mainly worried about first row since the 2nd row won't be used nearly as much. But I totally get your point about needing to keep all rows in mind. My ceilings will be at least 7'8" (92") once finished. I figured I should keep the top of the screen at least 4-5inches from the ceiling? (I know that I need to keep my projector mounted directly within the viewing area of the screen for the lens memory funtion to work properly).

The 133" Zero Edge screen has a total height of 52.8125". If my screen was 4" off the ceiling, the bottom of the screen would be 35.1875" from the floor. Making my center channel barely ear level for the first row. Going with the 120" Zero Edge would give about 5" more, but I'm not sure how noticable these differences will make. Maybe I can just install the center at a bit of an angle upwards to compensate?

Also, from the input I've been getting it does seem that I shouldn't try to stuff 5 seats in the back and just stick with another row of 4 seats like the front has. Should still be able to get 10-12 people in there comfortably between the theater seating and 3-4 bean bag chairs or something like that on the floor.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEJMAN311 View Post

I've thought alot about the soundproofing, but I also wanted a semi-open concept as well, realizing that sound will be impacted I still didn't want the whole theater closed off from the rest of the basement.

Well, soundproofing (sound containment) would still be possible but you'd need to be decoupling the whole basement by the looks of it. That would be a big and expensive job. You may want to re-consider the design if you don't want to disturb upstairs, otherwise you could save a chunk of money and not do the soundproofing. Ted or Dennis would be able to explain the issues and possible solutions better than I can.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:53 AM
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My opinion ... a Zero Edge screen is a bad idea (nice marketing idea). First, you need some black border for overscan (and yes, you will always either have overscan or a picture that doesn't fit exactly on the screen or a part of your picture on the wall behind the screen. Second, our visual reference to "black" comes from, you guessed it, the black border around screens. Ever see a zero edge screen in a reference room? Post production house? Mix room? screening room? Nope and you never will. As well, you really don't want screen that close to your ceiling. The projector and light splash from the screen is going to light up that ceiling like day light.

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Old 01-24-2013, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth_alien View Post

Well, soundproofing (sound containment) would still be possible but you'd need to be decoupling the whole basement by the looks of it. That would be a big and expensive job. You may want to re-consider the design if you don't want to disturb upstairs, otherwise you could save a chunk of money and not do the soundproofing. Ted or Dennis would be able to explain the issues and possible solutions better than I can.
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Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

My opinion ... a Zero Edge screen is a bad idea (nice marketing idea). First, you need some black border for overscan (and yes, you will always either have overscan or a picture that doesn't fit exactly on the screen or a part of your picture on the wall behind the screen. Second, our visual reference to "black" comes from, you guessed it, the black border around screens. Ever see a zero edge screen in a reference room? Post production house? Mix room? screening room? Nope and you never will. As well, you really don't want screen that close to your ceiling. The projector and light splash from the screen is going to light up that ceiling like day light.

Thanks for the continued input guys.

I wouldn't have any issue at all with putting in whisperclips and a resillient channel to decouple the ceiling from the floor joists in the theater area to help with sound containment, but that could all add a nother 3"+ with a 2nd layer of 5/8" drywall. I'm very concerned about the height I have to work with, the fact that a fixed edge screen would add another 5" of screen height compared to the zero edge and I need to keep my screen a good distance from the ceiling and not end up with my center channel only 2' off the ground. It's like I either have to sacrifice screen size, center channel height, or extra noise in my kitchen above the theater room. (So far the idea of extra noise in the kitchen doesn't seem to bother me as much as having to go with a smaller screen or having my center too low)

Dennis, you would recommend just going with the fixed 133" then? What would you consider the ideal distance to have the top of that screen from the ceiling for a room my size? Also, how much space do you think I need to have from the bottom of my screen to the top of the center channel? Can the screen and center channel be just an inch or so away from each other?

As far as the back row of seating. I'm thinking to just do another curved row of 4 seats just like in the front row now. What do you guys think of just using some ceiling mounted speakers for rear surrounds instead of in-walls? Then it shouldn't matter as much how far back on the wall that row is?
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:07 AM
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Best of luck on your build Jman! It doesn't seem like that long ago when my basement looked exactly like yours! This forum was invaluable in helping me make decisions and avoid mistakes! And, maintaining motivation through the build, which is not always easy! One giant piece of unsolicited advice...once you have planned for your basic layout and considered future-proofing all of your wiring, avoid the temptation to purchase AV equipment along the way...wait until the end, and start with the latest gear and technology. There are always great deals and discounts, though along the way it will appears there are some you will never see again...not so. When I started my Theater 720p was the dominant HD format, and I purchased a projector along the way....had I waited until the end of the build, when I actually hung the projector, I could have acquired a 1080p for the same price...I don't regret the projector as I enjoy it to this day, but lesson learned...

Good luck, and let me know if I can help in any way!

Dave
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:42 AM
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Welcome, JMan. I look forward to seeing your space come together. Any chance you could post an enlargement of just the theater area? From what I can see, I would look at the following:

1. Pull the rear seats off the back wall, pushing everything a little closer to the screen. You have a long room. You'll get much better acoustics from your rear surrounds with a little more separation.
2. reducing the number of seats in the back row (from 5 to 4). Things look a little tight back there, and will get even tighter if you plan on adding acoustic treatments to your walls. Like #1, the acoustics will improve if the seats aren't so close to the side walls.
3. You are losing some valuable space by going with a curved configuration for your front seats. The curved configuration is leaving you with some pretty narrow steps to your back row. A straight row of 4 seats will give you more generous access aisles without sacrificing your seat count.

Can you walk us through the plans for the front of the room. Are the curved lines your stage, or is one a soffit line? Where exactly is the screen?

I look forward to watching your progress.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davboy View Post

Best of luck on your build Jman! It doesn't seem like that long ago when my basement looked exactly like yours! This forum was invaluable in helping me make decisions and avoid mistakes! And, maintaining motivation through the build, which is not always easy! One giant piece of unsolicited advice...once you have planned for your basic layout and considered future-proofing all of your wiring, avoid the temptation to purchase AV equipment along the way...wait until the end, and start with the latest gear and technology. There are always great deals and discounts, though along the way it will appears there are some you will never see again...not so. When I started my Theater 720p was the dominant HD format, and I purchased a projector along the way....had I waited until the end of the build, when I actually hung the projector, I could have acquired a 1080p for the same price...I don't regret the projector as I enjoy it to this day, but lesson learned...

Good luck, and let me know if I can help in any way!

Dave

Thanks for the advise, I'm definately resisting the temptation to buy equipment now. A lot of what I want to do relies on waiting til I know exact finished dimensions anyway. I was looking at your build thread, great job, looks like you did a really quality job on everything.
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Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

Welcome, JMan. I look forward to seeing your space come together. Any chance you could post an enlargement of just the theater area? From what I can see, I would look at the following:

1. Pull the rear seats off the back wall, pushing everything a little closer to the screen. You have a long room. You'll get much better acoustics from your rear surrounds with a little more separation.
2. reducing the number of seats in the back row (from 5 to 4). Things look a little tight back there, and will get even tighter if you plan on adding acoustic treatments to your walls. Like #1, the acoustics will improve if the seats aren't so close to the side walls.
3. You are losing some valuable space by going with a curved configuration for your front seats. The curved configuration is leaving you with some pretty narrow steps to your back row. A straight row of 4 seats will give you more generous access aisles without sacrificing your seat count.

Can you walk us through the plans for the front of the room. Are the curved lines your stage, or is one a soffit line? Where exactly is the screen?

I look forward to watching your progress.

Hey Spaceman,

Thanks for the reply, I really like your theater, that ceiling is just amazing. Here are some additional images of my plan with a very basic wireframe of the room. I've updated my plans with 2 rows of 4 seats.



I'm also considering building a screen wall to hide a set of normal towers, the center channel, and possibly the subs too, really just want to hear these DefTech in-walls in person though before making a decision.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:25 PM
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I highly suggest a screen wall. My fronts and center are behind GOM and thus invisible, really like not seeing the speakers!
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:32 PM
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+1. You have plenty of room to hide all your speakers and subs behind a false wall. It will give you a nice clean front wall with all the focus put on the screen. It will also allow you to place the speakers directly behind the screen instead of to the side and below. You'll be surprised how much better this sounds.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Been researching some different AT screens. Looking like SeymourAV, SmX, Elite, and Screen Excellence would be on my list of potential screens for what I'd want to spend if I went this route. Even if I don't end up with an AT screen I may skip the SI Black Diamond to get a normal fixed screen and get a Lumagen Radience video processor to just run everything in 2.35:1 for about the same price as what the BD screen would be.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:45 PM
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The Jamestown screen with Centerstage XD material is another option if you are looking for cheaper suggestions. One word of caution, order it well in advance because they take a long time to get. So far I am happy with mine.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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The Jamestown screen with Centerstage XD material is another option if you are looking for cheaper suggestions. One word of caution, order it well in advance because they take a long time to get. So far I am happy with mine.

What kind of price do you think it would be for a 130-140" w/ the CenterStage XD material? How difficult was it to get the screen all setup?
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:49 PM
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Shoot James a quick email and he will get you a price quote. jpm1@charter.net

My guess is somewhere in the $600-650 range + shipping.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Shoot James a quick email and he will get you a price quote. jpm1@charter.net

My guess is somewhere in the $600-650 range + shipping.

Thanks Spaceman, was getting ready to send an email to get some ideas on pricing and turnaround time if I went through him.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:57 PM
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Cool, a Colorado build! We just moved out here (the Springs), and there seems to be little home theater activity.

I always prefer the AT screens as well. I don't like to see the speakers, and really want my center to be behind the screen.

Looking forward to following along!

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Old 01-31-2013, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Cool, a Colorado build! We just moved out here (the Springs), and there seems to be little home theater activity.

I always prefer the AT screens as well. I don't like to see the speakers, and really want my center to be behind the screen.

Looking forward to following along!

Welcome to Colorado! Where did you move from?

I've only been here since 2009, moved here from Nebraska and I love it. I'm in Parker, so not all that far from the Springs.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:09 PM
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Welcome to Colorado! Where did you move from?

I've only been here since 2009, moved here from Nebraska and I love it. I'm in Parker, so not all that far from the Springs.

We like to say that we moved from The People's Republic of Illinois.

BTW, if you would like, I'd be happy to swing up there and give you a hand or brainstorm with you. Just let me know. I'm happy to find another Colorado person here! smile.gif

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Old 01-31-2013, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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We like to say that we moved from The People's Republic of Illinois.

BTW, if you would like, I'd be happy to swing up there and give you a hand or brainstorm with you. Just let me know. I'm happy to find another Colorado person here! smile.gif

Thanks for the offer, I may just take you up on it when it's time to build the riser and stage biggrin.gif
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Construction has started!!!!

Bedroom #2


Bathroom in Bedroom #2


Trench for Bathroom/Wet Bar plumbing
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Got an XV15 ordered from PSA last night. I read a bunch of great stuff about that sub and their company on here, and after emailing Tom Vodhanel for a few days last week I know I made the right choice by going with their product. I asked him all kinds of random questions and he answered them very quickly. He seemed as excited about my new setup as I am. I'm looking forward to seeing what this sub can do in my loft where my current theater is setup.

And I have to thank vanice for the Jamestown reccomendation, I'll be ordering my 140" from James with the CenterStage XD material. Another example of a great person to work with. James has been very helpful in getting me all the different info I needed to make sure this screen would work for my setup.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:20 AM
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The Jamestown screen is a very good budget friendly screen. I think you will be pleased with it. Just a reminder to order it well in advance of when you think you will need it. Stated lead time doesn't seem to mean much so give yourself plenty of cushion. The packaging doesn't take up a lot of room so you shouldn't have a problem storing it if you order early.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vanice View Post

The Jamestown screen is a very good budget friendly screen. I think you will be pleased with it. Just a reminder to order it well in advance of when you think you will need it. Stated lead time doesn't seem to mean much so give yourself plenty of cushion. The packaging doesn't take up a lot of room so you shouldn't have a problem storing it if you order early.

Yep, ordered it today. James estimated about 15 business days before it ships. So I figure it should show up a week or so before everything gets finished in the basement. He also verified with me that my center channel will fit between the support braces. Said there was a 26" space in the middle, and since I'm doing a vertical mounted UIW RLS II behind it, it won't be a problem.

I also just got shipping confirmation for my sub, so pretty good day so far smile.gif
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:08 PM
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I'll echo what vanice said about the stated ship date from Jamestown. If you need it by a certain date, I recommend contacting him a day or two before the stated ship date to check the progress. I got a 120" 2.35:1 with the Seymour Centerstage XD from him and am very happy with it. Easy to assemble, and stretching the screen material wasn't that bad either.

Looking forward to following your build!
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll echo what vanice said about the stated ship date from Jamestown. If you need it by a certain date, I recommend contacting him a day or two before the stated ship date to check the progress. I got a 120" 2.35:1 with the Seymour Centerstage XD from him and am very happy with it. Easy to assemble, and stretching the screen material wasn't that bad either.

Looking forward to following your build!

Glad to hear of another fairly simple installation of that kind of screen, thanks GWCR.

I'll post some new pics of the framing later, my contractor has made a ton of progress in the last couple days. The plumber is coming on Friday to do all his rough-ins. HVAC will probably be sometime next week.
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