1. What is the latest firmware for the tv? Mine has Version FW: V33 008.00
V8.04 is the latest and it has to do with TVGOS and I believe CC compatibility.
When I watch movies that do not fit the aspect ratio of the tv and tv shows that are 4:3 I see like a small thin white glow of light at the edges. I only see this line when the aspect ratio of what I'm watching doesn't fit the entire tv. I guess this is called the "halo effect"?
I doubt it's the 'halo effect'. Can you post some screen shots?
Should I even consider cleaning the inside of the tv at all?
Possibly the rear fan depending on how dusty your environment is. Kids, cats, dogs, smokers, location of the set??
I feel like I don't want to mess with the insides considering how long the first lamp lasted me which came with the tv and considering that it was a display tv.
How many hours? If you really want to 'clean' the set, consider the lens cleaning routine as has been previously posted.
Does the TV not register Dolby digital signal or DTS through the HDMI and sending out the signal through the coax to my receiver?
If I remember correctly, many sets including this one do not pass digital audio to a audio receiver. Point is, HDMI is overrated as far as the benefit. Send audio to the receiver and video to the TV. Period.
it seems the 57731 missed the boat on being 3D ready
3D is still new and there is no real standard yet. Example; one manufactures glasses won't work on another manufactures sets. Look at the inputs this set has and then look what Mits (or anyone else) now offers. Only one RF input, many don't have S-video anymore. One component (maybe two if you are lucky) only one composite input (two if you are lucky). No TVGOS option except for Sony and possible a couple of others.