A three-stage color video compression system capable of 1,000-to-1 compression has been implemented in real time on a VME based prototype system. Stage 1 digitizes the image at CCD camera resolution, and splits the data into color and contrast channels, in conformance with human perceptual channels. Stage 2 maps coordinates of color imagery to mimic the geometry of the human retinotopic mapping from retina to brain. In parallel, stage 2 also applies spatial frequency masks to the contrast channel, extracting texture patches resembling the patterns found in so-called simple cells of the visual cortex. Stage 2 therefore corresponds to a geometric `impedance match' to human visual perceptual channels, achieving compression by discarding information which cannot be perceived. Stage 3 consists of conventional numeric data compression. The system has been prototyped and demonstrated on real time color imagery.