Wavelet-based encoding is now emerging as an efficient way to encode video for streaming over the Internet and for wireless applications. Wavelet-based video coding has been recently added to the JPEG-2000 video standards. As wavelet encoded video emerges as the next generation video encoding method, it is vital to compare the efficiency of wavelet encoded video against the widely used DCT-based MPEG encoded video. However, due to the lack of long wavelet encoded video streams, most research has so far been based on short video traces. This paper presents a comparison study on MPEG vs wavelet encoded video traces for one hour movie excerpts with rate control. These long video sequences allow for the evaluation of long range dependency and self similarity of the generated video traffic, which has not been studied before in the context of comparing DCT and wavlet-based encoding. We focus on the elementary as well as self-similar traffic characteristics of the encoded video. A hump behavior for the variability of frame sizes is observed for increasing video bit rates for both wavelet and MPEG encoded video. In addition, the quality characteristics of the encoded video is examined and related to the traffic. Our results indicate that the wavelet encoded video results in higher video quality than MPEG encoded video. For the frame size variability we find different characteristics depending on the aggregation level for a given data rate. The results also indicate that the variation of quality resulting from the wavelet encoding is lower than for the MPEG encoded video.