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This paper addresses the important aspect of compressing and transmitting video signals generated by wireless broadband networks while heeding the architectural demands imposed by these networks in terms of energy constraints as well as the channel uncertainty related to the wireless communication medium. Driven by the need to develop light, robust, energy-efficient, and low delay video delivery schemes, a distributed video coding based framework dubbed PRISM is introduced. PRISM addresses the wireless video sensor network requirements far more effectively than current state-of-the-art standards like MPEG. This paper focuses on the case of a single video camera and use it as a platform to describe the theoretical principles and practical aspects underlying distributed video coding.