A digital video signal is compressed by spatial sub-band filtering to form data sets constituting respective sub-bands of the two-dimensional spatial frequency domain. The data sets for a field or frame are stored. A first sequencer controls writing, in accordance with a desired sequence, of the stored data to a quantizer in which they are quantized in accordance with respective values, those values being such that the amount of quantization of at least a data set constituting a sub-band to which dc luminance information of the signal is at least predominantly confined is less than the average of the amounts of quantization of the remaining data sets. The quantized data sets are then encoded in an entropy encoder which has a first coding portion for coding quantized data representative of dc luminance information and a second coding portion for coding quantized data representative of ac luminance information. A second sequencer, which may be the same sequencer as the first sequencer, controls operation of the quantizer so that each datum (sample) written thereto is appropriately quantized, and controls operation of the entropy encoder so that each quantized sample is directed to the appropriate one of the first and second coding portions.