hi, im having the same problem but i'm using gentoo linux. Im using a 8500GT nvidia card also with kernel 3.3.2. Im seeing random crashes most of the time when vdpau is in use. It seems the regression was introduced in nvidia-drivers-295.33 as the problems started with this driver version. Im now using 295.40 and the same crashes still happen. 290.10 was working normally and i didn't have any crashes with this version. Please track down the regression and fix this bug. The attached log shows the X11 log. The whole pc was unresponsive and i could only turn it of by pressing the power button (no output on screen anymore), but i also had chrashes that freezed the whole pc. This bug is for shure connected to the nvidia driver as i don't get crashes with 290.10.
I'm also thinking about switching to another graphic card - as a lot of bugs inside the nvidia driver don't get fixed. It seems you have to be a big company to get support. The context switching problem of nvidia cards with vdpau is still present and i reported this error some time ago. I got one answere and afterwards the devs just ignored the posts and didnt answere anymore. - Nice to know that a company that i recommended a long time is is just ignoring their customers