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In this paper we analyze the substantial performance gap between distributed video coding (DVC) and well known state-of-the-art coders. We take a modular approach towards analyzing the performance loss in DVC and investigate 3 key components. These are quantization, bit stream generation and motion estimation. Their respective contributions to the total performance loss varies with the video properties. For low motion sequences the first two components dominate. For more difficult sequences the motion estimation alone is responsible for more than half the loss. We show that it is possible to reduce this loss by repeating the motion estimation after partial decoding. Finally, we discuss advances in recent literature.