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The scalable extension of H.264/AVC (SVC) was recently standardized, and offers scalability at a minor penalty in rate-distortion efficiency when compared to single-layer H.264/AVC coding. In SVC, a scaled version of the original video sequence can easily be extracted by dropping layers from the stream. However, most of the video content nowadays is still produced in a single-layer format. While decoding and reencoding is a possible solution to introduce scalability in the existing bitstreams, this is an approach which requires a tremendous amount of time and effort. In this paper, we show that transcoding can be used to intelligently derive scalable bitstreams from existing single-layer streams. We focus on SNR scalability, and introduce techniques that are able to create multiple quality layers in the bitstreams. We also discuss bitstream rewriting from SVC to H.264/AVC, and examine how our newly proposed architectures can benefit from the changes that were introduced for bitstream rewriting. Architectures with different rate distribution flexibility and computational complexity are discussed. Rate-distortion performance of transcoding is shown to be comparable to that of reencoding at a fraction of the time needed for the latter.