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What I meant is, VLC (< 2.2?) doesn't seem to use VDPAU at all, and you can check that simply by looking at cpu usage. The debugging output when using the -v flag is almost cryptic... but you can see there that it isn't using VDPAU.
Anyway, VLC itself seems to be buggy as hell. mpv is great.
VLC requires the latest and greatest LIBAV packages and the Ubuntu repos are way out of date on that and I've read that VLC has to be compiled a specific way to enable VDPAU, which distros like Ubuntu aren't doing. Hence VLC and VDPAU don't really work at this point for most users who can't figure out all the mess. I've also read that installing the latest LIBAV packages isn't necessarily a work-around as they don't get recognized by the software in many cases.