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A fast block selective motion estimation/compensation method is proposed. Motion indicators are used to determine the motion content of each frame on a block basis. These motion indicators are used in an MPEG-2 video coder implementation to decide whether to perform motion estimation on single macro blocks or not. It is shown that by using this approach, coding complexity and time consumption can be decreased and gracefully adjusted. PSNR quality is increased for high motion content videos at low to medium compression rates.