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A key challenge in the design of real-time wireless multimedia systems is the presence of fading coupled with strict delay constraints. A very effective answer to this problem is the use of diversity achieving techniques to overcome the fading nature of the wireless channels caused by the mobility of the nodes. The mobility of the nodes gives rise to the need of cooperation among the nodes to enhance the system performance. This paper focuses on comparing systems that exhibit diversity of three forms: source coding diversity, channel coding diversity, and user cooperation diversity implemented through multihop or relay channels with amplify-and-forward or decode-and-forward protocols. Commonly used in multimedia communications, performance is measured in terms of the distortion exponent, which measures the rate of decay of the end-to-end distortion at asymptotically high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). For the case of repetition coding at the relay nodes, we prove that having more relays is not always beneficial. For the general case of having a large number of relays that can help the source using repetition coding, the optimum number of relay nodes that maximizes the distortion exponent is determined in this paper. This optimum number of relay nodes will depend on the system bandwidth as well as the channel quality. The derived result shows a trade-off between the quality (resolution) of the source encoder and the amount of cooperation (number of relay nodes). Also, the performances of the channel coding diversity-based scheme and the source coding diversity-based scheme are compared. The results show that for both relay and multihop channels, channel coding diversity provides the best performance, followed by the source coding diversity.