SP and SI frames are new picture types introduced in the latest video coding standard H.264.
They allow driftfree bitstream switching and can also be used for error-resilience and random access.
We investigate the benefits of SI and SP frames for error resilience as compared to periodic I frame insertion.
We discuss the rate-distortion performance of SI and SP frames based on empirical rate-distortion
curved obtained with our implementation of an SP/SI frame encoder.
Experiments carried out over a simulated bandwidth-limited network analyze the influence of loss rate and
delay on the congestion-rate-distortion performance of streaming with SI and SP frames.
Our results help identify scenarios for which SI and SP frames provide an attractive alternative to streaming
with I frames.