The theory behind running slides for 200 hours is to age phosphors equally before calibration. If you do not wish to calibrate, you don't need to do that. I did not do that, but after 300 hours, had my tv professionally calibrated anyways.Pardon my ignorance, but what's the theory behind 200+ hours of flashing colors on this TV, and is it necessary?
Also, do these things really run that hot? If it does, is that per design, or is this something that ends up affecting the life expectancy of these TVs?
I'm trying to determine if this would be a good replacement for my 55XBR8, but I don't want to have to bother with a lot of steps, before I can use the TV.
Yes, plasmas run hot. Some manufacturers use fans, other use heat sinks to reduce heat. Samsung uses heat sinks. I added a fan to the back of my F8500 just to keep it running cooler. Heat, next to power surges, are the greatest enemies of any device and will shorten the lifespan.
Don't let that scare you. I still have my Pioneer 5020 and it is going strong after 6 years. I would expect my Samsung to last just as long.