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A derivative of the set partitioning into hierarchical trees (SPIHT) image coding method, which generates substreams with different error-resilience properties, is proposed. By dividing the image bit stream into three classes, substreams with different immunity properties are obtained. The unequal protection of these substreams with different channel coding rates improves the overall performance of the method against channel errors. Simulation results show the superiority of the proposed method over some of the state-of-the-art methods.