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Multirate multicast is an effective method for video distribution to a set of heterogeneous receivers. We present a comprehensive survey on multirate video multicast over the best effort Internet. We first review the key techniques in video encoding and network transport, and describe the representative approaches. We then study various trade-offs based on some important design issues and performance criteria, such as bandwidth economy, adaptation granularity, and coding complexity. Finally, we present some ongoing work and discuss possible avenues for future research.