Q: Is your AV system hitting the ceiling?
High ceilings can be very accommodating of technology. When a room has a 10-foot-high ceiling, elements like a ceiling-mounted video projector and a tiered, stadium-style seating arrangement can be easily incorporated without sacrificing the open, spacious feel of the area. A tall wall also makes an excellent backdrop for a big-screen TV and a built-in entertainment cabinet. Newer homes typically feature high ceilings, but that doesn't make them perfect. Building speakers into a cathedral ceiling, for example, is not only physically difficult but may not provide the sound coverage you desire. Those speakers will need to be played very loudly to fill such a large space with sound.
In older homes, high ceilings do exist in certain rooms, but you probably won't find a basement (prime home theater territory) with a 10-foot ceiling in a dwelling more than 20 years old. Eight-foot ceilings are the norm in most existing abodes, which leaves little space for a huge video screen, ceiling-suspended video projector, tall equipment racks and other electronic components. It's possible to incorporate these amenities without having them visually overpower the style and architecture of the room, so be sure to let your installer know that this is a concern. He may be able to use smaller speakers and screens, for example, and position them in a way that befits the space.