An alternative technique for wavelet packet decomposition of signals is introduced. This technique allows a time- (space-) variant partitioning of the joint domain while being efficient in both computational performance and memory requirements. The proposed wavelet packet decomposition is then applied on two codecs based on motion compensated 2-D wavelet packet decomposition and 3-D wavelet packet decomposition with adaptive subband selection. The performances of these codes in terms of the quality of the reconstructed signals are compared in the frame work of video compression. Simulations show that good quality results can be obtained with both systems, while the latter offers slightly better efficiency, in terms of the PSNR and the visual quality.