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In order to improve the quality of H.264 video transmission in wireless networks, a data hiding based adaptive error recovery approach is proposed in this paper. With this approach, the important data for each macroblock (MB) of the H.264 intra-coded I frame are extracted adaptively at the encoder and embedded into the RTP header of the next frame. At the decoder, if the important data for a corrupted MB can be correctly extracted, the extracted important data will be used for error recovery; otherwise, a traditional error concealment method will be used to recover the corrupted MB. Simulation results show that the performance of the proposed approach is better than existing approaches.