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The performance evaluation of video transport mechanisms becomes increasingly important as encoded video accounts for growing portions of the network traffic. Compared to the widely studied MPEG-4 encoded video, the recently adopted H.264 video coding standards include novel mechanisms, such as hierarchical B frame prediction structures and highly efficient quality scalable coding, that have important implications for network transport. This tutorial introduces a trace-based evaluation methodology for the network transport of H.264 encoded video. We first give an overview of H.264 video coding, and then present the trace structures for capturing the characteristics of H.264 encoded video. We give an overview of the typical video traffic and quality characteristics of H.264 encoded video. Finally, we explain how to account for the H.264 specific coding mechanisms, such as hierarchical B frames, in networking studies.