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We propose a rate-distortion optimized framework to stream scalable bitstreams of 3-D wavelet video stored at the sender to a remote receiver. Based on the source rate-distortion profiles, the desired playout deadline, transmission rate, and the network characteristics, the receiver issues customized requests throughout the video playout session in order to retrieve the data that minimize the distortion in the reconstructed frames. Rate-distortion optimized data request is formulated as a convex optimization problem. Experimental results show that the proposed scheme improves the video quality by up to 3.1 dB over the heuristic scheme at the same rate, or correspondingly reduces the required the transmission rate by up to 60% for the same quality.