Effective resource management is essential to the success of cellular communications. It not only increases the system capacity but also prolongs the battery life. This paper focuses on designing power efficient wireless terminals that transmit video signals in the uplink of a code division multiple access (CDMA) cellular system. Since video compression consumes a significant amount of power, this research takes into account signal processing power as well as transmission power. We derive a novel fast two-step algorithm for practical encoders with complicated distortion-rate models. By separating the complex optimization problem into two steps, the fast algorithm reduces the computation burden significantly at the base station and obtains global minimum. Our simulation results show that significant power savings can be obtained. This algorithm can be applied to a variety of source coders and channel models.