The coding efficiency of a Wyner–Ziv video codec relies significantly on the quality of side information extracted at the decoder. The construction of efficient side information is difficult thanks in part to the fact that the original video sequence is not available at the decoder. Conventional motion search methods are widely used in the Wyner–Ziv video decoder to extract the side information. This substantially increases the Wyner–Ziv video decoding complexity. In this paper, we propose a new method to construct side estimation based on the idea of universal prediction. This method, referred to as Wyner–Ziv video coding with universal prediction (WZUP), does not perform motion search or assume an underlying model of the original input video sequences at the decoder. Instead, WZUP estimates the side information based on its observations on the past reconstructed video data. We show that WZUP can significantly reduce decoding complexity at the decoder and achieve a fair side estimation performance, thus making it possible to design both the video encoder and the decoder with low computational complexity.