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This paper addresses the issues of how to efficiently manage the power consumption while preserving high quality performance for video coding in futuristic pervasive computing environments. We formulate an optimization problem that corresponds to minimize both the power consumption and video distortion. A joint rate-complexity-distortion (R-C-D) model is developed to describe and control the general R-C-D behavior of video coding. The model facilitates to develop effective schemes based on the analysis of the optimization problem in order to achieve good video quality while maximizing the battery service life. We perform simulations on an instruction set simulator to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed schemes.