Re: mplayer latest only supports 190 series drivers
Recent drivers introduced new VDPAU features that ffmpeg/MPlayer now support. This makes ffmpeg/MPlayer compilation rely on new defines/symbols/... that are only present in recent drivers.
I believe it's ffmpeg/MPlayer policy to only support compilation against the most recent release of external software packages. Hence why ffmpeg/MPlayer's configure scripts don't auto-detect the features supported by the currently installed driver and adapt to them (NVIDIA's patches do do this).
Do note that an MPlayer built against the latest VDPAU header files should still run against older drivers. The only caveat will be that functionality not supported on the older driver obviously won't work.
Finally, it should be pretty simple to patch out ffmpeg/MPlayer support for the new features when building against older drivers; use the ifdefs in NVIDIA's patches as a reference.