A method and a structure are provided to decode intraframe and interframe coded compressed video data. In one embodiment, a decompression structure having a processor is provided with a global bus over which a decoder coprocessor, an inverse discrete cosine transform coprocessor and a motion compensation coprocessor communicate. The decompression structure communicates with a host computer over a host bus and with an external dynamic random access memory over a memory bus. The processor provides overall control to the coprocessors by reading and writing into a plurality of data and control registers, each register associated with one of the coprocessors. A structure including four of the decompression structures and a method are provided for decoding high definition television (HDTV) signals. In this structure for decoding HDTV signals, each decompression structure decodes a 480.times.1088-pixel picture area with access to up to two additional 240.times.1088-pixel picture areas.