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post #1 of 234 Old 08-31-2018, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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- The Unemployment Basement Project -

Greetings, all!

I wanted to create a thread to document my basement setup. I have been dragging my feet on it, but I do have some time to work on it, now (see thread title). I figured it might keep me more motivated if I keep track of progress, challenges, and other updates, here.

My basement is not purpose-built. We bought this house a few years back (our first), and I figured that what the prior owner had done to finish the basement, was good enough for a start. I also have a decent collection of electronics, although nothing cutting-edge. In fact, most of my stuff is at least a few years old, but with very few hours on it. So, this won't be starting out as a 4k setup, nor with Atmos/DTS:X, or whatever the latest and greatest is. There is also the issue of money, of which I currently have very little (VERY between jobs). So, I need to use as much of my "paid for" equipment as possible!

This picture was taken about a year ago, when I had actually watched a few movies with 2-channel audio:



Quite a bit has changed since then, as far as my envisioned overall setup.

The basement is an "L" shape. As you can see, I have some bar tables for additional seating (the loveseat/recliner only seats two). There is also a corner bar, and an area for playing old video games and such (trying to get some good mileage out of even older equipment). But, none of it is set up, connected, or anything right right now. So, I have a whole lot of work to do. I will get more pictures of the current state of affairs, and I will post an existing equipment list, soon.
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post #2 of 234 Old 08-31-2018, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is current look at the mess...

A few weeks back, I finally had the basement painted. I was going to do it myself, but a local painter did the whole job (minus the supplies I provided) in a day, for $175. He did a great job, too! The doors still remain to be painted (in a different color). I wanted to switch to darker and/or earth tones, since the furnishings and equipment are various wood tones, and blacks:



In the above picture you can also see the new screen I purchased months back. It is a 120" acoustically transparent model, by Silver Ticket.

The bar area, looking out over the futon:



And here is the old TV...perfect for those older 4:3 video game systems. It has been in storage for nearly 10 years, I think. Also pictured are my old RF3-II Klipsch...I believe I bought those in 2002??



Somewhat out of picture is my equally old, Sony DA-4ES receiver. Also in storage for 10 years or more. I hope this stuff works!!
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post #3 of 234 Old 08-31-2018, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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A few pieces of equipment:

Onkyo 807 and Integra DTR 70.4 Receivers:



The 807 I have had for maybe 7 years, and it only has about 25 hours on it? The 70.4 was purchased about 6 months ago as a refurb, and I have yet to use it. I think I am going to use the 70.4 as my main, but keep the 787 as a back up...in case anything like an HDMI card issue should arise.

My trusty, old DA4ES:



This one I am going to use with the old TV and RF3 Klipsch setup. I really love this thing, it is a tank. Fingers crossed it still works 100%!

SVS PC39+ Subs, and Klipsch RF7-II:



The two subs are pretty old. But, last year I replaced both woofers, and insulation in one of the cylinders. A few years back I picked up a new set of of RF7-II's. Maybe 20 hours of use on them, now.
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post #4 of 234 Old 08-31-2018, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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This will be my main projector:



It's an Epson 8350 LCD that I purchased new back in 2012. I am sure it has no more than 200 hours on it? I do have a spare DLP, a Pro8200 Viewsonic. Now, that one does have a few thousand hours on it. I really like the Viewsonic picture a little more (black levels), but it doesn't have lens shift....and the Epson is pretty decent, anyway.

I know it seems crazy to have this equipment and not have more use out of it. It just never was a big priority. We were using an 84" projection setup in the living room at the old place, and there were a lot of logistical issues to overcome in regards to a larger, dedicated setup. Plus, the old place was a rental...which is somewhat limiting.
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post #5 of 234 Old 08-31-2018, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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For surrounds, rears, I have some more Klipsch stuff:

Two RC3-II....(originally was going to use these the rears in a 7.1 setup):



Two RS3-II Surrounds:



I am not 100% sure of how I am going to setup the rears/surrounds. I have some layout challenges that are acoustically unfriendly.

I also have an RC7-II for the center:



Pictured above is also the AV stand. I got it prior to picking up the DTR 70.4. I am going to end up having to get an amp stand; the DTR weighs 53 lbs, and also is tall...I don't think it would have nearly enough ventilation, considering the power output. Also shown are an older PS3, PS4 and Xbox One S...those will have to do media duties. The PS3 will likely find it's way to the "vintage" side of the room.
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post #6 of 234 Old 08-31-2018, 11:03 AM
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No rearrangement of EXISTING equipment in an EXISTING room is allowed in this subforum - we go hard or we go home in the theater builder thread. If your situation is as dire as it sounds (I'm sorry), I would either sell the existing equipment on CL or convert the basement into a rental. I don't think I could relax and watch a movie knowing that there is a negative income stream in my household. You've got gumption, kid, gumption, I tell you!
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post #7 of 234 Old 08-31-2018, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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No rearrangement of EXISTING equipment in an EXISTING room is allowed in this subforum -
Really?? I was going to by the forum description:

General media room discussion from existing room installations to complete design & build of home theater systems/game rooms.

What is the correct forum? I don't post here too often. Maybe the admin can move the thread, if there is a place for it. If not, I have no problem if it is deleted.

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post #8 of 234 Old 08-31-2018, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane661 View Post
Really?? I was going to by the forum description:

General media room discussion from existing room installations to complete design & build of home theater systems/game rooms.

What is the correct forum? I don't post here too often. Maybe the admin can move the thread, if there is a place for it. If not, I have no problem if it is deleted.
I have a feeling it was a level of sarcasm that didn't carry through text very well. You're in the right place to share your progress.

Just because you're out of work, doesn't mean your household is in the red every month.
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post #9 of 234 Old 08-31-2018, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a feeling it was a level of sarcasm that didn't carry through text very well. You're in the right place to share your progress.

Just because you're out of work, doesn't mean your household is in the red every month.
Oh, I could imagine that. Since I don't post here much, I wasn't sure.

I mean, I see a ton of super home theater setups here...with lots of construction. Really great stuff.

Yeah, household not in the red...just no extra for new equipment. Which works out well, actually.....I can just focus on the entertainment aspect, and not upgrades.

Although, I did consider selling the Onkyo stuff, and getting a cheaper, newer receiver with more features. Especially since the Klipsch require relatively little power....but, then again, the Integra is pretty darn nice. And my room layout is not the best, anyway.

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It was sarcasm. Not to derail your thread, but I started a thread a while back on what constitutes a dedicated home theater and folks jumped all over me for me suggesting that a home theater requires a projector/screen, surround sound, 2+ row riser seating, and stage, with sound attenuation possibly being another factor. So, in today's age, I was schooled that a home theater can be anything that a person identifies as being a home theater. In any case, I am curious how you will transform the place on a budget.
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post #11 of 234 Old 08-31-2018, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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It was sarcasm. Not to derail your thread, but I started a thread a while back on what constitutes a dedicated home theater and folks jumped all over me for me suggesting that a home theater requires a projector/screen, surround sound, 2+ row riser seating, and stage, with sound attenuation possibly being another factor. So, in today's age, I was schooled that a home theater can be anything that a person identifies as being a home theater. In any case, I am curious how you will transform the place on a budget.
LOL, I get it, man!

Well, I am not really calling this a "home theater" so much. I knew that with the pre-existing layout, it just couldn't be made into anything to rival a serious dedicated theater setup. I consider it an "entertainment area" that just happens to have a projector and surround sound setup...along with an area for gaming. It's about the best I can do with our current layout, and budget.

I wanted to do 2+ row seating....but there is a structural pillar in the center of the room, and I didn't want to re-engineer that. So, that was also part of what led me to compromise and go in a more "entertainment room" direction. Instead I have bar seating, bar tables, and some ottomans....it adds up to seating for 11, if you can find the floor space, lol.

Some of my self-imposed limitations are:

1) No change to walls or structural members.
2) No in-wall wiring (didn't want to have to cut up all the drywall and drill holes through joists, etc, to run wire). This also eliminates some lighting options I explored.
3) Using legacy equipment (for the most part).
4) Accepting some furnishings and equipment that don't match in color (I really used to sweat this).
5) Accepting less-than-ideal surround/rear speaker placement.

We'll see how it goes! I am prepared to make some compromises, and also to have some things turn out better than expected!

Shane
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post #12 of 234 Old 09-01-2018, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Cleaning some stuff up, clearing space. Here are some better pics of one end of the "L"...the area without the projection setup:





That should give a pretty good idea of the layout. The bar tables are probably my favorite pieces of furniture:



I found them on eBay. They were pricey, around $1500 for the pair. They have cheaper ones, but I really like the finish on these. I was told that they are finished right at the Jack Daniels facility. Ironically, I don't drink Jack Daniels...or whiskey, for that matter. Nothing but the finest beer in the world:



When we got the house, it had some LED dome lights in the basement. I replaced them with some fans that I really like:



The fans have dimmers with LED lighting. It is not very much light, so I had to resort to adding some floor lamps (remember, I don't want to run new wiring). I had one lamp already, and I ordered a mostly matching one from Amazon, for $38:



No expense was spared on packaging!



After assembly, where "most" of the pieces went to together without a hitch....I can confidently say that this $38 lamp rivals some $39 lamps, in quality. Also shown in the above picture is the Best Buy beverage fridge. I think I got this on sale for less than $200. Let me tell you, this thing really cools the drinks down....and it is very convenient to not have to run upstairs every time you get thirsty! Three storage ottomans hold whatever, and also allow for extra seating. They were purchased with a different use in mind, but are being re-purposed.

At the same time that the electrician was installing the fans, I had him replace all of the "old school" receptacles and switches with a more modern decorator style. It's a small change, but an improvement for a house that is 40 years old:



Anyway, lots more cleaning up to do, and after that....a TON to do!
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post #13 of 234 Old 09-01-2018, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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A few words about the futon...

Originally, I was just going to use this futon as the main seating for a while. I got some pretty good deals on the pieces, all were new. I paid less than $500 for the futon frame, and it is queen size....and fairly attractive wood. Shortly afterward, though, I came across a really good deal on a leather, reclining loveseat. So, I move the futon over to the soon-to-be video game area. What I really like about having a futon is the versatility. I have slept on it more than a few nights, and it can serve double duty if the guest room is occupied. Also partially pictured is a somewhat unique ottoman; I really love it!



I spared no expense with the genuine faux animal fur, and you can see the "cat safe" area in the middle. But if you have an aversion to faux hunting, fear not. I also have what I would call nearly the ultimate in animal-themed throws:



That's right, baby. Two wolf and moon...just stand back and take it all in.
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Lol. I like this guy....
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Onkyo TX RZ830, Chane 3600, AudioSource AMP100VS, XBox One X, Samsung UBD-K8500, NVIDIA Shield, D-Link 16-Port Gigabit Switch, Caavo, Control Center, 2 x KEF Q900's Mains, 1 x KEF Q650C Center, 4 x KEF Q100's Surrounds, 4 x RSL C34E's ATMOS, 4 x Chane SBE-118's
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post #15 of 234 Old 09-02-2018, 02:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Lol. I like this guy....
It's the power of "Two Wolf and Moon". Obviously, an extra wolf would really be nirvana, but even two wolves are magnetic.

I touched on the Integra 70.4 earlier. I bought this unit as factory certified reconditioned, for around $550. That included a 2 year warranty. I haven't powered it up, yet...it has been sitting for about 6 months.





At 54 lbs, it is pretty solid. I'd say it is by far the most robust receiver I have owned. In reading the specs, and looking at the 11.2 pre-outs, I guess I should consider running height and width channels for DTS Neo:X? I'd have to hook up an amp or receiver to power the wide channels (I have a spare receiver). I also have some extra, albeit small, satellite speakers I could use. The thing is, I am not sure it is worth the extra work of installing and wiring 4 more speakers? I'm not too familiar with these matrixed processing formats.

Anyone have an opinion on Neo:X for this application?

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This will be the basic layout of the front speakers and one of the subs:



I am not sure I will even use the second sub for this application? One seems to be plenty, from my prior testing, even with one of the ports blocked for 16 hz tuning. It's a matter of where to fit the 2nd one, really. I have a couple of smaller subs if I need to fill out the back of the room, as well.

This is the acoustically transparent 120" Silver Ticket screen:



I have never had an acoustic screen before. I have to build a frame for it, and it will sit out about 20" from the wall. I am planning a "floating" setup, using some heavy duty shelving brackets, a wood frame, and black masking cloth directly behind the screen. As I say, this is all new to me. I was going to build a shelf for the center channel speaker, but I think I will just use stands to elevate it from the top shelf of the AV stand.

Speaking of the AV stand, I was almost going to ditch it. I was looking at amp stands and such, due to the size/heat of the Integra receiver. But after sliding it onto the stand, I have decided it will work out. I have good side and back clearance...but only 2" above the unit. So, I am going to actively cool it with a small fan placed to the side. Something simple like a little desk fan should suffice. I tested one from my old desk, and it moved plenty of air...but also sounded like an SST on takeoff. So, maybe a different model, lol.

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Picture better illustrating receiver clearance:



The middle shelf has about an inch more clearance, but it is not rated for the weight of the receiver.

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You're an entertaining writer. I'm going to follow this because of that, but don't worry, I won't be of any help or contribute any useful information.
But I offer my best moral support!
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You're an entertaining writer. I'm going to follow this because of that, but don't worry, I won't be of any help or contribute any useful information.
But I offer my best moral support!
Thank you, I appreciate the support. But, please don't hesitate to at least offer an occasional rebuking; this is the internet, after all.
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So, just kicking some ideas around in my head. I usually place my subs in the corner. But, I often see them placed front and center, too. Would an arrangement like this work?:



When I look at it, warning buzzers go off in my head. I don't know why, but they do. As you can see, the whole rack of speakers is offset to one side of the room. I may be able to do a little better in that regard; right now I have everything centered to the basement support beam, where the projector is mounted, which is a bit offset. But, my projector does have lens shift, so there are some options.

If that speaker arrangement would be viable, then I could use both subs. They would be partially behind the perforated screen. Not sure if that would even matter.

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So, just kicking some ideas around in my head. I usually place my subs in the corner. But, I often see them placed front and center, too. Would an arrangement like this work?:



When I look at it, warning buzzers go off in my head. I don't know why, but they do. As you can see, the whole rack of speakers is offset to one side of the room. I may be able to do a little better in that regard; right now I have everything centered to the basement support beam, where the projector is mounted, which is a bit offset. But, my projector does have lens shift, so there are some options.

If that speaker arrangement would be viable, then I could use both subs. They would be partially behind the perforated screen. Not sure if that would even matter.

I'm going to mount up the screen this week, but the mounting location depends on the proposed speaker layout.

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post #22 of 234 Old 09-03-2018, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, after some research, I decided to use the speaker layout with two subs. You don't how it will sound until you try it, right?

So, I shifted everything (speakers, seating, AV stand) to the left. It's a small change of about 5 inches. I also spread the mains out a little, which gave the subs a little more breathing room. The change looks small, but really it is pretty significant (at least "in person"):



As I had mentioned, the seating was centered in the support pillar. Now, it is offset, as shown:



The left side of the seating area has an 11" "nook". It makes a great place to put my media cabinet, but it also means that the area is not a perfect rectangle. There is also the basement door to deal with (in relation to the seating).





Shifting everything to left as I did has an additional benefit. The L & R surrounds will now be centered to the seating. The surround setup is another thing I have been working on, and I think I am going to go in a non-Klipsch direction. I'll go over that decision in a bit.

On another note, it's hard to capture the wall color with my camera. The flash reflects heavily off of the satin paint. Although many may suspect that the paint color is called "Dooky Brown", it is actually called "Curated Tan"...and in the ambient lighting looks nothing like most of the pics I have posted. I felt this was important to clarify.

Shane
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post #23 of 234 Old 09-03-2018, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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So, about the dilemma with my surround speakers. On the left side of the room there are limited options for mounting the surround. The speaker either has to go up above the door (thus shielding much of the sound, due to the ductwork), or on the narrow pillar. Obviously, the Klipsch RS3 is not going to fit on that pillar.



Here is my other preferred option for surrounds:



The KEF T101 series. Each has a 1" dome tweeter, and thin 4.5" woofer. Power handling is 100W, and they are rated at 90db sensitivity, when wall mounted. Since I have 4 of them, all of the surrounds would match tonally. I have not hooked these up yet, but this is the purpose they were purchased for (although I'm not totally enamored with them). I also have plenty of Polk TL150's (2.5" woofer, 1/2" tweeter satellite), but haven't looked at that option too hard.

Shane
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Last edited by Shane661; 09-03-2018 at 06:12 PM.
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post #24 of 234 Old 09-07-2018, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, my advanced receiver cooling solution arrived. It was $10 including shipping, from Amazon:



It's just a simple, USB-powered 5" desk fan. Since the receiver has a switched USB outlet on the back, the fan turns on only when the receiver powers up. It is pretty quiet on the low setting, which should be enough air movement. It tucks out of the way pretty good, as well:



This was actually the first time powering up this receiver, so I am marking the event with a pic:



I did notice some chassis hum from the unit...but I think the cabinet glass is exacerbating this. The glass is large and mostly unsupported. I believe there are four individual power supplies in this receiver. I put some felt pads under the feet, and it quieted down. I expect to be testing the front channel audio output, and some other features, within the next few days.

Shane
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post #25 of 234 Old 09-07-2018, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, this is crazy...I guess the USB outlet is not switched? It sure seemed to work that way when I first tried it. Now that fan just hums along, with the unit on or off. I am definitely feeling some mock outrage right at this moment.

At some point I will read the manual. But it is my ritual to first get annoyed.
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I picked up the brackets I will use to hang the screen:



These are 19.5" in depth. I will be extending the screen to around 22" from the wall, due to some clearance concerns. The brackets are probably strong enough to hang me and some friends from the wall. They cost $10 each, from Lowes.

Shane
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post #27 of 234 Old 09-07-2018, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I picked up a few other items from Amazon, with frugality in mind:



12 pairs of Banana plugs (InstallGear) $19.95
100' 14 gauge Speaker Wire (Amazon Basics) $16
(2) 8' Subwoofer Cables (Amazon Basics) $12

Free 1-Day Shipping

The speaker wire is copper-clad aluminum. I know that is not the ultimate in wire. But, I've listened to $10 speaker wires back-to-back with $600 wires, and couldn't tell a bit of difference. It should suffice, for me. I have various partial rolls/sections of 12-14 gauge speaker wire here already, but I wanted to make sure I have enough on hand.

Shane
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Cat.

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post #29 of 234 Old 09-08-2018, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Creating the screen mounting standoffs:





All four mounted to the wall, with screen bracketing installed:



Screen in place:



Projected image:





I still have more to do. Since the screen is perforated, there is quite a bit of light leakage behind. I expected this, and have a plan. I have some blocking material that came with the screen, and I will build a frame for it. I have freedom to move the screen side-to-side, and I am considering some adjustments. We'll see.

I think this screen is going to be good for black levels, with the Epson LCD. Projected image shown is in "ECO" mode.

I haven't used the projector or PS4 in a long time, and it's always exciting to project an image on a new screen!!
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Another thing I hope to finish this week, is my poster frames, which I purchased last year. I have 5 of the wide-border poster frames from Spotlight Displays. They are the snap type:





http://www.spotlightdisplays.com/27x...ter-frame.html

I have 4 more to assemble; I plan to use 4 in the movie area, and one in the gaming area. I originally was not going to do the movie poster thing...it always seemed like a cliche to me. But, the other alternative was cutting up the walls, new wiring, and installing new lighting. I figured I might be able to get some functional benefit from these, as light-absorbing wall covering. I purchased primarily black posters, and the frames come with matte and gloss overlays for the posters. I figured dark posters, and matte overlays, maybe a win? We will see!

Shane
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