In this paper, we propose a fast algorithm that efficiently selects the temporal prediction type for the dyadic hierarchical-B prediction structure in the H.264/MPEG-4 temporal scalable video coding (SVC). We make use of the strong correlations in prediction type inheritance to eliminate the superfluous computations for the bi-directional (BI) prediction in the finer partitions, 16 × 8/8 × 16/8 × 8, by referring to the best temporal prediction type of 16 × 16. In addition, we carefully examine the relationship in motion bit-rate costs and distortions between the BI and the uni-directional temporal prediction types. As a result, we construct a set of adaptive thresholds to remove the unnecessary BI calculations. Moreover, for the block partitions smaller than 8 × 8, either the forward prediction (FW) or the backward prediction (BW) is skipped based upon the information of their 8 × 8 partitions. Hence, the proposed schemes can efficiently reduce the extensive computational burden in calculating the BI prediction. As compared to the JSVM 9.11 software, our method saves the encoding time from 48% to 67% for a large variety of test videos over a wide range of coding bit-rates and has only a minor coding performance loss.