Abstract Efficient H.264 video transmission over wireless/mobile networks becomes dominant, because H.264 is adopted as a dominant video coding standard in mobile broadcasting and in other advanced video streaming. However, wireless video transmission suffers from poor wireless channel conditions, such as high bit error rate and error bursts resulting from channel fading and radio interference. In this paper, a novel design of unified error-control with cross-layer interactions over IEEE 802.11e wireless LAN and an efficient low-overhead ARQ scheme are proposed. This framework combines cross-layer error protection techniques composed of error correction code in the link/MAC layer, erasure code in the application layer, and ARQ across the link/MAC layer and application layer. In this framework, a guideline for quality improvement of the cross-layer approach is also developed and offered. In addition to the unified cross-layer error-control framework, an efficient MAC-level ARQ scheme with low-overhead is also proposed. The several cases of low-overhead ARQ scheme combined with or without cross-layer interaction are compared and discussed for performance evaluation.