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We describe an effective method for increasing error resilience of video transmission over bit error prone networks. Rate-distortion optimized mode selection and synchronization marker insertion algorithms are introduced. The resulting video communication system takes into account the channel condition and the error concealment method used by the decoder, to optimize video coding mode selection and placement of synchronization markers in the compressed bit stream. The effects of mismatch between the parameters used by the encoder and the parameters associated with the actual channel condition and the decoder error concealment method are evaluated. Results for the binary symmetric channel and wideband code division multiple access mobile network models are presented in order to illustrate the advantages of the proposed method.