Video encoding for multimedia services over communication networks has significantly advanced in recent years with the development of the highly efficient and flexible H.264/AVC video coding standard and its SVC extension. The emerging H.265/HEVC video coding standard as well as 3D video coding further advance video coding for multimedia communications. This paper first gives an overview of these new video coding standards and then examines their implications for multimedia communications by studying the traffic characteristics of long videos encoded with the new coding standards. We review video coding advances from MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 Part 2 to H.264/AVC and its SVC and MVC extensions as well as H.265/HEVC. For single-layer (nonscalable) video, we compare H.265/HEVC and H.264/AVC in terms of video traffic and statistical multiplexing characteristics. Our study is the first to examine the H.265/HEVC traffic variability for long videos. We also illustrate the video traffic characteristics and statistical multiplexing of scalable video encoded with the SVC extension of H.264/AVC as well as 3D video encoded with the MVC extension of H.264/AVC.