The effciency of video compression methods mainly depends on the motion compensation stage, and the design of effcient motion estimation techniques is still an important issue. An highly accurate motion estimation can significantly reduce the bit-rate, but involves a high computational complexity. This is particularly true for new generations of video compression standards, MPEG AVC and HEVC, which involves techniques such as different reference frames, sub-pixel estimation, variable block sizes. In this context, the design of fast motion estimation solutions is necessary, and can concerned two linked aspects: a high quality algorithm and its effcient implementation. This paper summarizes our main contributions in this domain. In particular, we first present the HME (Hierarchical Motion Estimation) technique. It is based on a multi-level refinement process where the motion estimation vectors are first estimated on a sub-sampled image. The multi-levels decomposition provides robust predictions and is particularly suited for variable block sizes motion estimations. The HME method has been integrated in a AVC encoder, and we propose a parallel implementation of this technique, with the motion estimation at pixel level performed by a DSP processor, and the sub-pixel refinement realized in an FPGA. The second technique that we present is called HDS for Hierarchical Diamond Search. It combines the multi-level refinement of HME, with a fast search at pixel-accuracy inspired by the EPZS method. This paper also presents its parallel implementation onto a multi-DSP platform and the its use in the HEVC context.