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We design a novel class of space-time codes, called linear diversity-embedding space-time block codes (LDE-STBC) where a high-rate STBC is linearly superimposed on a high-diversity STBC without requiring channel knowledge at the transmitter. In applying this scheme to multimedia wireless communications, each traffic type constitutes a transmission layer that operates at a suitable rate-diversity tradeoff point according to its quality-of-service requirements. This, in turn, provides an unequal-error-protection (UEP) capability to the different information traffic types and allows a form of wireless communications where the high-rate STBC opportunistically takes advantage of good channel realizations while the embedded high-diversity STBC ensures that at least part of the information is decoded reliably. We investigate transceiver design issues specific to LDE-STBC including reduced-complexity coherent decoding and effective schemes to vary the coding gain to further enhance UEP capabilities of the code. Furthermore, we investigate the application of LDE-STBC to wireless multicasting and demonstrate its performance advantage over conventional equal-error-protection STBC.