Ceiling speakers and 'True' Surround Sound
We are building a new home and have the option of wiring our family room for 5.1 "surround" sound through the placement of 5 in-ceiling speakers plus an in-wall subwoofer. Our family room space is not a traditional '4 sided' space, and one of the walls is almost completely taken up by a window bank; therefore wall mounting was not necessarily available and the in-ceiling setup seemed the most space-efficient way to go. We actually don't have a back wall due to placement of our center hall staircase.
Living room is about 15X18 if you drew a parallellogram over the floorplan, but there's a ton of open space. TV will be focused front and centered over the hearth.
I have read on this board and other HiFi audio sites that 'in-ceiling' 5.1 or 7.1 will not give you 'true' surround sound due to the fact that 'true' surround sound is meant to fire laterally and the ceiling speakers will be firing 'downward', or 'cascading' over the listener.
I've been in homes that have both setups and can't recall having had any specific difficulty or dislike for either; then again I'm not an audiophile. Would appreciate any thoughts or experiences.