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P rr ii m
m ee rr ::      
H
H O
O W
W    D
D O
O E
E S
S    S
S T
T R
R E
E A
A M
M II N
N G
G    W
W O
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Unicasting
4 x 100Kbps simultaneous clients 
100Kbps
requires 
400Kbps
 connection 
from server
100Kbps
  Best choice for 
on demand media 
100Kbps
             Clients
  Each client gets a different 
stream, even if they are 
  Each client can 
100Kbps
watching the same movie
be given individual 
control over playback 
Media Server
  Heavier load (CPU and 
of on demand 
bandwidth) on server per client
content
Multicasting
4 x 100Kbps simultaneous clients 
requires 
100Kbps
 connection 
from server
  Best for live or
scheduled media 
100Kbps
Multicast
  Each client gets 
Router
the same stream
             Clients
  Conserves CPU 
processing power 
Media Server
  All clients playback 
and bandwidth
the same content 
at server
concurrently, with 
no end user control 
over playback
Multicasting is an excellent method for delivering the same content to multiple clients at the same time. 
The server sends only one data stream, whereas using unicast, the server must send a redundant stream 
for each connected client. So unicast results in a high server CPU load as well as increased network 
bandwidth demands at the server. Broadcast would solve the problem of duplicated streams, but would 
end up fl ooding the entire network, even if only a few end users wish to receive the content. 
Multicasting is only possible if both the streaming software and the network support it not all systems 
do. On the software side, the latest versions of the big three architectures Apple QuickTime, Microsoft 
namic Medianamic Media
Windows Media, and Realmedia do support multicasting. In terms of the network, to multicast over 
yy
an intranet, routers must be upgraded or replaced with multicast enabled devices. While this adds 
yet another expense to streaming implementation, for those organizations looking to reduce the high 
costs of training and/or other essential enterprise wide communications, the return on investment may 
be well worth the expenditure. Furthermore, multicasting can be used for a wide variety of other 
obe Dobe D
applications, in addition to streaming media.
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