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Wireless mesh networks have emerged as a promising technology for providing ubiquitous access to mobile users, and quick and easy extension of local area networks into a wide area. The inherent low throughput problem makes multipath routing and load balancing increasingly important for supporting multimedia applications in such networks. We study the problem of cross-layer multipath routing for multiple-description video communications in wireless mesh networks. We aim to answer the following questions: how to formulate a multimedia-centric routing problem; what are the performance limits; how to design an efficient routing algorithm based on the formulated problem; and how to implement the algorithms in a distributed manner. Both simulation results and experiments from a testbed network are presented to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed approach. We show that cross-layer design is imperative and effective in meeting the stringent quality of service requirements of multimedia applications in wireless mesh networks.