First, as a baseline, my 55VT60, 2 months old is the first plasma I've owned and I love it for all the same reasons people love their plasmas. Second, I've never had a calibration done so I am categorically not speaking from personal experience. Further I've never run slides or used anyone else's settings and never will. I am however open to calibration.
With all that said, here goes:
1. Break In: Running slides, DVDs and so forth for so many hours with certain settings made on a plasma seems like a bit of smoke and mirrors to me. I am absolutely NOT debating the need for the plasma phosphors to settle in or settle down or mellow out or age or drink a few beers or any one of a million other terms, but my contention is that phosphor "calming" (like traffic calming) can happen just as well by simply watching TV. Which is why we buy these things after all. Why not just watch TV?
2. Calibration: This is another emotionally charged topic on here, which I have learned recently. The bottom line seems to be: Do you want your TV to be "accurate" and reflect how its content was produced (you know, how the producers and directors supposedly want you to view their product) or do you want to tweak it yourself until you like what you see. To me, this means that whether or not to calibrate is a personal and SUBJECTIVE call on your part. Therefore, to try and make something SUBJECTIVE OBJECTIVE just seems a bit fishy to me. I mean, look at the people who are proponents of it: the people who make money and the people who have spent money on it.
Finally, and I could be totally wrong about this, I have yet to see:
a. Someone say they have two identical TVs, one they've broken in with slides, settings, etc and one they haven't and report results.
b. Someone say they have two identical TVs, one they've calibrated and one they haven't and report results.
What I have seen is people do the above with one TV (usually one they haven't watched for very long) and say the results are "stunning" or "awesome." Which of course prompts me to think, "Compared to what???"
I promised at the outset I'd state what I've done to try and address my thoughts. I've had some things posted in Sound and Vision magazine and I've written them to see if their Video guy (Tom Norton) will prepare something on these subjects. If they do, I'll post a link here...
Again, there is absolutely disrespect or anything personal implied by the above.
I welcome all responses.