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i dont know why youd want that to change to 100% youd want to bring your real streams down in their cpu use can you tell us what type of videocard you use? try man mplayer to learn more about the -vo options and using different drivers and mplayer -vo --help for more direct information on the driver options
from my window$ experience i know that i get best quality when the processor is working with full power. so it's normal for me to want better quality , if that's possible.
my video card is ATI Radeon Mobility, i know it's old.
there should be a limit to how much playing video should take, of course the higher quality the better the performance but that is limited by the quality of the video itself, mplayer will play at the best quality unless specified so the less resources it takes the better then you can save yourself the power/heat/extra cycles, and you can do other things at the same time too, read up on mplayer as i suggested there is a way to benchmark the different performance levels with different -vo drivers