Pool area theater addition underway!

Checking the theater at the indoor pool cabin "Skinny Dippin"

Testing the theater at the indoor pool room of “Skinny Dippin” prior to the theater screen being built.

When we first purchased the cabin, Skinny Dippin, I had envisioned something different and unique in comparison to the other indoor pool cabins in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area. Sure, a pool is fun to play in, but I thought it would be even more fun with a massive theater located adjacent to the pool.

My goal with the theater was to make it located in an area that ensured someone could view the screen no matter what angle or location they were located in the pool area. That was achieved by placing it on the side wall (opposite of the staircase going down into the pool area). I also wanted to make it large enough that it could easily be viewed from anywhere within the room. I may have went a little overboard on the size of the screen. Currently it is approximately 12.5′ wide and 7′ tall (a whopping 150″x84″ creating a 16:9 aspect ratio that HD is filmed). With the HD projector being hung 22 feet from the screen, it is right at the correct size to maintain the brightness and image quality desired.

Currently, we are only at the initial stages, but it should be completed within the next couple days. The projector was temporarily setup so we could verify the screen size from the location the projector was to be hung. After hooking up the Sony Blu-Ray player and streaming Netflix from the Blu-Ray to the projector I could finally start to see my vision coming together. The 2×4 base frame for the theater screen has been built and hung to the wall. Next we will have to stretch out the theater screen material I purchased to get any slight wrinkles out of it before attaching it to the frame. Then comes one of the more difficult tasks, running the surround sound wire.

I ordered 300′ of 16 gauge speaker wire for the Monoprice Indoor/Outdoor speakers. The Pioneer VSX1123-K receiver is a 7.2 multi-zone system (which could allow up to as many as seven surround sound speakers and 2 subwoofers. Along with being able to setup different zones for the speakers. For instance, there are also speakers out near the hot tub. The difficulty with running the speaker wire is doing a very clean and hidden job running the wire. Most of the walls in the lower level pool area where the speakers go are poured concrete block walls. It is also on a slab, so there is no going underneath into a crawl space or basement. That left two options. Going into the ceiling between the floor trusses and trying to fish the speaker wire about 30 feet through the floor trusses in various locations. All while dealing with heating/air duct work. I would definitely need to lose about 20 pounds to have a fighting chance to fit in those tight quarters. Luckily, Elk Springs Resort has an excellent maintenance guy that will fit, or at least sweat like crazy trying!

Testing the theater at the indoor pool room of "Skinny Dippin"

Testing the projector and theater at the indoor pool cabin “Skinny Dippin” with the indoor pool light turned on.

The other option if he can’t squeeze between the floor trusses and fish the speaker wire is to run it at the ceiling behind wood trim. This doesn’t create as neat and clean of a look, but we will have to go to it as a last resort. Following the running of the speaker wire, I am going to run a Cat 6 Ethernet Cable from the Comcast Modem to both the receiver and the blu-ray player. Both already have built in wireless capability (and the blu-ray players streamed Netflix just fine). However, I would rather have it hard wired with Cat 6 in order to make sure there was a fallback plan and more reliable and steady connection established if the wireless would fail for some reason.

From there it is pretty smooth sailing. Simply adding an electric receptacle, hooking up the speakers to the receiver (using banana plugs), HDMI cables from the components to the receiver, adding a coaxial line so it can be connected to a Comcast HD box. painting and putting 1×4 trim around the theater screen, and building a custom box to house the electronic equipment.

With an indoor pool there is inevitably going to be higher moisture levels. With the electronic components such as the receiver, blu-ray player, cable box, and even HDMI cables exposed to the high moisture environment I felt the life of these items would be substantially shortened. In order to try to combat this, I am designing a box that has composite sides (with a Plexiglas front in order to still operate the components via remote control), sealed as tight as possible, along with built in fans to try to keep the components cooled down and air circulating.

If all goes well and as planned, guests can begin enjoying the new theater in the indoor pool room by the end of this week! The system, when completed, should offer quite the media selection including:

  • Comcast HD Television
  • Watch movies on the Blu-Ray Player with 3D Capability on all three components: Projector, Receiver, and Blu-Ray Player (bring your own glasses)
  • Netflix streaming on both the receiver and Blu-Ray Player
  • Vimeo on the Blu-Ray Player
  • YouTube on the Blu-Ray Player and receiver
  • Pandora (Music) with 1,000′s of songs available on both the Blu-Ray Player & receiver
  • MLB.com app where you can watch baseball games live (and recorded from previous games)
  • Surf the internet on the huge 12 foot wide screen
  • A variety of other apps on both the Blu-Ray Player & Receiver
  • 7 channel surround sound theater system with massive subwoofer

Visit here to rent our Pigeon Forge indoor pool cabin located near Gatlinburg in the Smoky Mountains

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