A backward compatible error-protection mechanism embedded into the H.264 (AVC or SVC) syntax is described. It consists of the addition into the H.264 bitstream of supplementary network abstraction layer (NAL) units that contain forward error-correction (FEC) data generated by a block error-correction code. The proposed mechanism allows to leave the original information bits and NAL units intact and does not rely on any side information or extra signalling coming from lower layers, ensuring backward compatibility with the standard syntax. Simulation results obtained with Reed-Solomon and Low-density parity check error-correcting codes show significant improvements for both erroneous and lossy transmission channel configurations.
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