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We examine the performance of peer-to-peer (P2P) media streaming using multiple description coding (MDC) and compare it with that of a content delivery network (CDN). In both approaches, multiple servers simultaneously serve one requesting client with complementary descriptions. This approach improves reliability and decreases the data rate a server has to provide. We have implemented both approaches in the ns-2 network simulator. The experimental results indicate that the user perceived video quality of MDC-based streaming in a P2P network can be significantly better than in a CDN, despite the high degree of unreliability of the P2P network.