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In this paper, we show an application of Wyner-Ziv video coding in a wireless video sensor network. A rate estimation technique that permits to determine the compression rate without the need of a feedback channel is proposed. This technique allows the system to assign unequal transmission rates for different video sensors. It employs a cross-layer approach that takes into account the amount of motion in each of the captured video scenes and the transmission conditions of each sensor. Simulation results show an improvement in the average system performance obtained with the proposed rate allocation method compared to the traditional rate allocation technique where all sensors are assigned an equal bandwidth. This improvement will motivate further research on the implementation of Wyner-Ziv video coding in Wireless Video Sensor Networks.