In this paper, an extremely efficient MPEG-2 video transcoding method is proposed, which has a low buffer requirement and results in low delay. Most importantly, the proposed method does not need the computational intensive motion estimation. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed approach results in very consistent video quality and maintains the buffer level effectively. Compared with direct decode/encode approach, the proposed approach only suffers slight quality degradation. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.