Efficient video compression technology and significant progress on the networking have stimulated the wide application of video streaming techniques in consumer communication systems. In spite of the progress on the networking technology with regard to the bandwidth, there are still some unsolved fundamental problems (e.g. bit errors, packet loss, dynamic of the bandwidth) with the existing networks, making it a challenge to provide stable and robust video streaming services to users, especially mobile users in the wireless networks.
In this thesis, a new framework designed to enhance the robustness of streaming video in unicast and multicast system is proposed. The framework is based on unequal error protection (UEP) exploiting the unequal importance of each video packet in scalable video coding (SVC) streams. Optimized error protection strength is determined for each video packet based on the current channel conditions of all target users and the real importance of each packet. This enables a very efficient usage of the total transmission bandwidth or throughput of the underlying networks. To evaluate the performance of the proposed scheme, it was compared to the simulcast scheme based on different H.264 streams and layer based UEP scheme using based on SVC streams. The proposed scheme in this thesis shows significant improvements in terms of the robustness of video streaming under varying channel conditions for both unicast and multicast applications.