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In this paper, we present a novel joint application physical-layer design (JAPLD) strategy to cost-effectively transmit scalable H.264/AVC video over multi-input multi-output (MIMO) wireless systems. With this approach, the application layer cooperates with the physical layer to maximize the system performance. First, in physical layer, we propose a new layered video transmission scheme over MIMO: adaptive channel selection (ACS). ACS-MIMO is fundamentally different from parallel transmission MIMO (PT-MIMO). While each bit stream is continuously transmitted through a fixed antenna in PT-MIMO, ACS-MIMO is able to periodically switch each bit stream among multiple antennas. In application layer, Scalable Video Coding (SVC) generates layered bit streams that need prioritized delivery. Then, we obtain the ordering of each subchannel's SNR strength as partial channel information (CI) at the receiver. The partial CI is acquired via the estimated channel state information based on training sequences. The JAPLD strategy we developed in this research shall switch the bit stream automatically to match the ordering of SNR strength for the subchannels. Essentially, we will launch higher priority layer bit stream into higher SNR strength subchannel by the proposed JAPLD algorithm. In this fashion, we can implicitly achieve automatic unequal error protection (UEP) for layered SVC transmission over MIMO system without power control at the transmitter. Experimental results show that the proposed ACS-MIMO system is able to achieve UEP with the obtained partial CI and the reconstructed video peak signal-to-noise ratio demonstrate the performance improvement of the proposed system as compared with open loop PT-MIMO system.