Theoretical and simulation results of using Hamming codes with the two-dimensional discrete cosine transform (2D-DCT) at a transmitted data rate of 1 bit/pixel over a binary symmetric channel (BSC) are presented. The design bit error rate (BER) of interest is 10-2. The (7, 4), (15, 11), and (31, 26) Hamming codes are used to protect the most important bits in each 16 by 16 transformed block, where the most important bits are determined by calculating the mean squared reconstruction error (MSE) contributed by a channel error in each individual bit. A theoretical expression is given which allows the number of protected bits to achieve minimum MSE for each code rate to be computed. By comparing these minima, the best code and bit allocation can be found. Objective and subjective performance results indicate that using the (7, 4) Hamming code to protect the most important 2D-DCT coefficients can substantially improve reconstructed image quality at a BER of 10-2. Furthermore, the allocation of 33 out of the 256 bits per block to channel coding does not noticeably degrade reconstructed image quality in the absence of channel errors.