I'm in progress of moving into my new house and I'm having some issues deciding how to place my speakers. The diagram below is not to scale, but a pretty solid representation of what the room is like. The primary problem comes in with the Side Left (SL) speaker and therefore also affects the Side Right (SR) speaker. Where the SL speaker is to go, there is no wall, it's all open to the hallway/up the stairs. The grey bar represents a beam that comes down about 6 inches from the ceiling. I don't know exactly the height of the ceiling, didn't think to measure, but i would say it's probably standard 8ft. I was thinking about mounting the SL to the ceiling and i'm assuming i should mount the SR at the same height to balance the two out (yes/no?).
If I do mount those high up, should they be angled down towards the center of the room and furthermore angled towards the center viewing position since they are a few feet in front of the center position?
Then from there, should i mount my back speakers and height speakers at normal levels, or high up on the ceiling as well? Or should i just forget setting up SL/SR speakers and go with a 5.1 plus the height speakers? I would really like to stick with 7.1 + Height if i could, but if it'll do more harm than good i can reason.
Lastly, should the height speakers be angled down and furthermore angled in towards the center viewing position, or level and perpendicular to the wall, OR level but in towards the center position (if confused, i'll further clarify)?