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post #1 of 20 Old 06-12-2014, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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The Coal Creek Theater

Construction is underway on the Coal Creek Theater. It will be a 6 seat theater with the interior dimensions of 12'4" x 23'. This is an Erskine Group design, with Shawn Byrne doing the design work. Originally I had planned for an early September finish so that the equipment could be calibrated when Shawn came to CEDIA, but we're just not going to hit that dedline. Calibration will take place toward the end of November.

Basic floor plan:


Front/rear:


Side:

Last edited by Lindy0026; 08-19-2014 at 10:09 AM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-12-2014, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-12-2014, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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one more reserved, just in case
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-12-2014, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Currently, I am working to get the HVAC sorted out. The plan is to have the theater on its own zone, with ducting bringing the cool air into the theater and removing the "used" air. My current HVAC isn't the sort that I can split a dedicated zone off of. I'm now looking at putting in a ducted mini-split system.

HVAC is the thing that is currently holding up the start of the project. I need to get some current ducts moved so that framing can begin. I've gotten a few bids so far that seem really high, and am waiting on one more.

Last edited by Lindy0026; 06-25-2014 at 08:49 PM.
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-25-2014, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are some pictures of the empty space.







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post #6 of 20 Old 06-28-2014, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Framing is mostly done. The ceiling in the office and hallway can't go in until the HVAC is installed. I've got an electrician here now wiring high voltage. For the theater room I used Timberstrand engineered lumber. The carpenters were able to get a very precise job.

near the screen wall looking east. As you can see the office hadn't been framed out at this point.


in the office looking west towards the screen wall


near the snack bar looking at the entrances to the theater and office.


at the south wall looking at the hallway
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-30-2014, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Most of the high voltage wiring is in now. By in I mean that I have rolls of wire ready everywhere they need to be. All of the electrical outlets will be in the columns, stage and riser.

For the main lighting I'm building a cloud on the ceiling. It's the inner dashed box on the floor plan I posted. This will be 6" thick and house the main 9 lights. 3 lights will go in the soffit above the stage. 2 in the soffit in the rear. The soffit is the outer dashed line on the floor plan. Both the soffit and the cloud will have a tray around them containing the LED tape lighting. The lighting is divided up into 5 zones and is wired to switches in the hallway wall.

One of my main tasks this week is to figure out exactly what lighting I am going to use. I'd like to go with LED for everything. Have any of you used LED tape lighting? How does it go together? How dimmable is it?

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post #8 of 20 Old 07-16-2014, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for the long delay between posts. HVAC, lighting and wiring has been keeping us busy since then. Lots had to be done with the HVAC to get it ready. If you look at the first picture in post #5 , you can see how the supply and return ducts had to be moved over to get them out of the way of the walls.

This:


Had to become this:



The mini-split was installed. I went with a Mitsubishi Mr. Slim SEZ-KD09. It's a 9000 BTU ducted mini-split. It had to be mounted in the ceiling in the office next door. I'll be using 10" insulated flex duct for the supply and return runs. The whole ceiling in the office will be brought down to 90" to accommodate the HVAC.


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post #9 of 20 Old 08-10-2014, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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The room has its drywall shell. I did the standard whisper clips, channel, DD + GG. The third picture shows the spot where the rack is going to go. I will build out a little closet that the rack will go in. This way I can put a door on the rack to keep it quiet in my office and have a thermostatically controlled exhaust fan to keep the rack cool. I'll punch through the wall above the closet and have the waste heat dumped outside.
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-19-2014, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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The next phase of the HVAC has been completed. 10" flex duct is being used for both the supply and return runs. The supply runs are the two in the middle. The returns are the big ones on the side. The small duct on the left of the second picture is the duct for the hush box exhaust. The small duct on the right side connects to a vent bringing fresh air in from outside.



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post #11 of 20 Old 08-19-2014, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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As can be seen in the first photo, holes were cut in the drywall and the MDF on the other side, and a collar was inserted through the wall. The flex attaches to this on both sides. The soffit is constructed with 3/4" MDF. Furring strips attach on the walls and the ceiling to dedicated channel. The vertical wall of the soffit went up first. It was then lined with 1" OC 703. The flex followed. There are 3 90 degree turns in the flex to minimize sound transmission. I can put my face up to the end of the flex duct and it is dead silent.



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post #12 of 20 Old 08-19-2014, 11:54 AM
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Looking good. I got your PM but I'll reply later when I'm on a real keyboard.
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post #13 of 20 Old 08-20-2014, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindy0026 View Post

I have a bunch of ideas of what I want to do with computers and my setup. The HTPC is going to be a key piece of equipment in this theater. It will be used for watching content, gaming, and basically anything computer related that we would want to see or hear in a theater setting. I'll be using an Xbox One for games and as a bluray player. It turns out that I really like the Kinect, so I am having to design things around that as they do not have any sort of extension cord for it yet. The theater is going to be wired so that there are USB ports at the front of the riser that plug into the HTPC. I'll find a rack mountable case and build the PC myself. I've done lots of PC build before, so that aspect is trivial. The last PC I built was my current desktop and that was about 4 years ago, so I am not up to speed with the current equipment scene. I also don't know much about HTPC equipment.

I don't have cable and don't have plans to get anything like that. I am installing an attic antenna to pull in OTA channels. Would you use a TV tuner card for this, or one of those stand alone boxes?

As far as sound goes, is it recommended to get a dedicated sound card instead of using onboard audio? I want to push everything with HDMI, so I don't want an audio card that would require its own audio cable.

I would also like to get some sort of NAS for the household. I would like to have one central place for storage for the household computers. Photos, videos, music and data would all live here and be streamed to other devices as needed. I've seen you argue that you don't like the NAS in a box solutions out there, and prefer to build your own. Are you opposed to these solutions because they are more expensive, or are there performance reasons? If I did go through the trouble of building a NAS PC, would I gain other features besides storage?
The USB idea on the riser is pretty trick. I think I am going to steal that idea and do it. !

I also don't have cable. I cancelled it, and only subscribe to the local channels through my provider, it costs me about $6 a month and includes HD. OTA antenna is a good option for you, you won't need to mess around with cable cards and all that nonsense, so any HD tuner card for the HTPC should work great!

Personally I like the HD homerun stuff, which is external network driven tuners. If you have LAN run in your house you can get it all over and in multiple locations. If you are only interested in a single room solution you might be better with the CETON tuner cards though, and install into a PCI express slot on your mobo and just be done with it. Both options work pretty good.

YOU DO NOT NEED A SOUNDCARD! Sorry to yell that. lol. The HDMI output will bring all the high quality uncompressed audio you need right to your AVR or preamp. All you need is a motherboard (or GPU card) with HDMI output. HDMI can carry sound with perfect quality.

The NAS can get tricky. Sky is the limit. Your main choices will be a preconfigured and pre manufactured NAS box solution (think Synology, Qnap, Drobo etc) which you just add hard drives too, or building a dedicated media server. The pre built NAS is weak and expensive, but it's simple to set up and comes with smart phone apps and software that is easy to set up and use. A dedicated media server will cheaper, and higher performance but you'll need to do some building and installing of software. Not hard stuff but some people want to avoid that.

That usually makes up the choice for many.

With a media server you can build it as cheap and simple as you want, or as powerful and large as you want. My flexraid server is 50TB now. I started with 12TB. It was very nice to "grow as I go" too... which is the advantage to the media server route in that you can add on or upgrade or expand as you need. You are much more limited with a NAS, you'd need to buy another to expand at some point.

Your third and easy option would be build a nice HTPC and use that as an all in one machine for now, stuff it full of some 4TB hard drives and keep your storage local in the machine. You can still set it up to network and share the space on your LAN with other devices, and run ROKU or whatevers off it. That would save you the cost for now, and when you have your feet wet a little more you could build the media server and just move over your hard drives.

Doing it all at once is best. But it costs the most too.

Give this a read: The Thompson Theater 11.9 channels

There was some good info in there, start at the begining of the thread and then stop on the few HTPC and media server posts, some of them have good info with additional links. That should get you started and get your some good back ground. When you are ready to take the next step let me know, we can do a build list and plan specific to your needs and budget.

Before you get too far you'll want to know the following:

Budget?
What you want to do with it?
Do you want to transcode? Or use multiple devices (like ipad, iphone, android, kindle, roku, windows phone, laptops, apple tv etc)
Do you want to watch media when away from home / need remote access to NAS ?


This will dictate the direction you go, since you'll need a decent CPU to transcode on the fly but any weak CPU can serve files or be a NAS. For the HTPC you are probably looking at something like an Intel socket LGA 1150 dual or quad core build, with 8GB ram and a motherboard with HDMI out, and a nice SSD for the OS drive Nothing too crazy there.

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #14 of 20 Old 08-21-2014, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I'll be spending a bunch time in the coming days trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with everything.

The HTPC will be there for watching content, playing games, listening to music, etc. I'll probably end up building a good fast gaming rig for it. The new Haswell stuff should hit the market next month, so I'll wait to see what happens there. I'm leaning toward a 6 or 8 core CPU, 16 GB memory, a beefy GPU.

I probably would want to have a seperate box for the NAS. I could build one myself if I decide to go that route, PC building is easy. Right now I'm in the process of trying to figure out what I would use the server for, if anything, besides running the NAS. With WHS there were features like backing up the rest of the computers in the house. I looked around a bit and it seems that WHS isn't being sold any more. It seems like one can just use Windows 8 in its place.

As far as transcoding goes, I could do that with the HTPC and then just send it to the server for storage, right?

It would be nice to be able to stream content from the server to other devices (like ipad, iphone, android, kindle, roku, windows phone, laptops, apple tv etc.) I don't see myself really ever wanting to stream content when I am away from home or need remote access, who knows though?
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post #15 of 20 Old 08-21-2014, 05:15 PM
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I built a gaming computer several years ago. I placed it in a HTPC case, with a 2 gig hard drive and a 2 tuner TV tuner card. We simply use Windows Media Center built into Windows 8.1 to schedule and record all of our shows. This computer records all of our OTA stations, we canceled cable 2 years ago. Originally, we watched shows from the computer via HDMI through the AVR. Over time, the family discovered they preferred the simplicity of watched the recorded shows through our Xbox 360. It also has the advantage of being easy to flip to Netflix and Amazon for streaming entertainment. My point is that it doesn't have to be complicated with a lot of bells and whistles just user friendly.


Of course, if you have the desire and time to spend setting up the other options, go for it. That is part of the fun of home theater!
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post #16 of 20 Old 08-22-2014, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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The lighting cloud has been attached to the ceiling. Nine of the 14 downlights in the theater will go in this cloud.

It was built on the horses, here is glue being applied. Five tubes of liquid nails in all were used to attach it. We included 4 dedicated channels with enough clips to bear the weight of the structure.



Two drywall lifts were used to lift it into place.



The lighting will get wired up, and then the whole thing will be covered with 3/4" MDF.

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post #17 of 20 Old 08-22-2014, 02:17 PM
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Looking over your floor plan, your room is very similar in dimensions to mine. I also notice what appears to be a set of side speakers for each row. What speakers are you going to use for sides and what is the distance between each row?


Looks like progress is moving nicely, I am interested in the outcome.


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post #18 of 20 Old 08-23-2014, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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The sides and rear speakers are Triad In Wall Bronze speakers. It is 6 feet between the rows.
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post #19 of 20 Old 09-03-2014, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I didn't bother with pictures of the floor treatment going in. It was the typical treatment with Serenity Mat followed by 3/4" T&G plywood.

Columns came next. The sofits on the sides were closed up and the columns built from floor to ceiling. The left side "column" isn't a column per se, but a wall that spans the whole distance. The columns on the right side are split by the entrance.

Speaker wire for the surrounds was run through the sofits and brought down into the columns. Electrical wire was run in-wall. I'm using remodel boxes in the sides of the columns to house the electrical outlets.

Pictures of the framing for the columns:





I think the camera lens gave the pictures a bit of a warp. The sofits are level and flat. The open cavities got filled with pink insulation and then the MDF layer covered them up:





We forgot to pull a wire for the subwoofer initially, so we left that last panel off until that was finished.
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post #20 of 20 Old 09-03-2014, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Stage and riser were framed out. The filling of the stage with sand will probably wait until the HVAC guys come back this week and install the plenums for the supply/return vents. One of my carpenters carried down one bag of sand, so I don't even get to say that I carried all the sand down.



The riser was built around the side columns. The rear columns will be built after the decking goes on the riser.

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