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The transmission of JPEG 2000 images or video over wireless channels has to cope with the high probability and burstyness of errors introduced by Gaussian noise, linear distortions, and fading. At the receiver side, there is distortion due to the compression performed at the sender side, and to the errors introduced in the data stream by the channel. Progressive source coding can also be successfully exploited to protect different portions of the data stream with different channel code rates, based upon the relative importance that each portion has on the reconstructed image. Unequal error protection (UEP) schemes are generally adopted, which offer a close to the optimal solution. In this paper, we present a dichotomic technique for searching the optimal UEP strategy, which lends ideas from existing algorithms, for the transmission of JPEG 2000 images and video over a wireless channel. Moreover, we also adopt a method of virtual interleaving to be used for the transmission of high bit rate streams over packet loss channels, guaranteeing a large PSNR advantage over a plain transmission scheme. These two protection strategies can also be combined to maximize the error correction capabilities.