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Due to the high-sped development in semiconductor technology, general-purpose computers can process digital video, audio and graphics easily. Nowadays, the similar functionality has shifted from the general-purpose computer to the so-called media-processor one. Since the processor is targeted on mass-produced consumer electronic devices, the price and the ease of use are the main concern. The latest MPEG-4 video coding standard, which consumes relatively low bit-rate but yields acceptable quality, meets the target exactly. In this paper, by realizing an MPEG-4 codec using both general-purpose processor and media-processor, we investigated some issues related to the use of a media-processor for satisfying various multimedia compression and processing requirements. The investigated issues include the speedup of the MPEG-4 decoder based on a media-processor DSP chip, a multimedia co-processor or hardware accelerator, the very long instruction word (VLIW) and the single instruction multiple data stream (SIMD) programming techniques. Moreover, a media-processor based MPEG-4 solution for set-top box application is also included.