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An efficient and flexible coding technique is proposed in this paper inspired by the SP frame in the H.26L standard, which can achieve a drift-free bitstream switching at the predicted frame. The proposed scheme improves the coding efficiency of the SP frames in the H.26L standard by limiting the mismatch between the references for the prediction and reconstruction with two DCT coefficient coding modes and the rate-distortion optimization. Furthermore, the proposed scheme allows independent quantization parameters for up-switching and down-switching bitstreams. It further reduces the switching bitstream size while keeping the coding efficiency of the normal bitstreams. More rapid and frequent down-switching than up-switching and much smaller size of down-switching bitstream can be achieved with the proposed SP technique. These are very desirable features for any TCP-friendly protocols. Compared with the original SP method for H.26L, the proposed SP method improves the coding efficiency up to 1.0 dB. This SP technique has been officially accepted by the JVT standard.