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Advances in wireless multimedia communication technologies enable new types of pervasive and ubiquitous applications such as mobile health care, environmental monitoring, facility monitoring and traffic surveillance. Among different factors concerned, energy efficiency is one of the most challenging issues in multimedia communication due to the resource constraints, and the requirements for high bandwidth and low transmission delay. In this survey, we provide a broad picture of the state-of-the-art energy efficient techniques that have been proposed in wireless multimedia communication for resource-constrained systems such as wireless sensor networks and mobile devices. Following the essential stages required for multimedia communication, we categorize these techniques into two groups: multimedia compression techniques and multimedia transmission techniques. In the first group, we introduce the state-of-the-art compression algorithms and perform analyses and evaluations on energy efficiency in applying these compression algorithms to resource-constrained multimedia transmission systems. In the second group, we will further categorize the energy efficient transmission techniques into two sub-categories according to their different communication architectures. We review both cross-layer communication, including Unequal Error Protection (UEP), and independent-layer communication, focusing on Routing, MAC, and Physical layer protocols. We present the basic problem statement and objectives of these techniques, and survey multiple potential approaches that have been reported in the literature. Our focus in this survey is to provide insight into different research directions to improve energy efficiency in wireless multimedia communication protocols for future developments.