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In this paper, we propose a balanced multiple description video coding scheme which is based on the partitioning of the discrete cosine transform (DCT) coefficients. Our scheme splits the single-layered stream generated by a standard coder into two correlated and balanced (virtually identical rates and distortions) substreams. The optimization is in the redundancy-rate-distortion sense using Lagrangian relaxation for optimum allocation of redundancy among the blocks in the frame. A greedy algorithm to meet the equal distortions criterion and an algorithm to optimally achieve equal bit rates for the two descriptions are proposed. Our simulation results substantiate our claim of achieving balanced descriptions at high peak signal-to-noise ratios values for any specified redundancy and any target bit rate. Our design complies with the existing motion-compensated DCT-based standards, i.e., each description can be independently decoded by any standard decoder.