Rages I need the output of lspci -nn | grep VGA
It would not be using vesa, it would be using fbdev worst case scenario, though I would expect it to be using nouveau if it identified as nvidia. My guess is you have some oddball pciid that is not officially supported by nVidia, because I have EVERY officially supported ID in there... and a couple of oddballs for some of our mac users.
Viking, I have no tearing on an 8200, on a 50in plasma at 1080P running full tilt.
Yes, choosing the second option (ui2 no alpha) will reduce the load and keep it from tearing. It sounds to me like vdpau is not working. Again... please play with your acceleration settings as I detailed either here or the other thread with compositing. Otherwise you just go no alpha. However if you are trying to use vdpau and, for whatever reason it is not working, then it will be worse. I can tell you that for sure.
I do not understand the 50hz problem. Typically your higher end tvs run at 120... you can run 60hz on a 120 etc... but yes... your tv is cheating to get to 100. I just briefly looked and saw it was something weird. I will look for a log that shows VDPAU interaction to confirm that is what is going on with regard the tearing.