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Delivering content as a multicast stream

Multicast streaming is a one-to-many relationship between a Windows Media server and the clients receiving the stream. With a multicast stream, the server streams to a multicast IP address on the network, and clients receive the stream by subscribing to the IP address. All clients receive the same stream. Because there is only one stream from the server regardless of the number of clients receiving the stream, a multicast stream requires the same amount of bandwidth as a single unicast stream containing the same content. Using a multicast stream preserves network bandwidth and can be useful for low bandwidth local area networks.

You can deliver content as a multicast stream only from a broadcast publishing point. In addition, your network routers must be multicast-enabled, meaning that they can transmit class D IP addresses. If your network routers are not multicast-enabled, you can still deliver content as a multicast stream over the local segment of your local area network.

The following figure shows an example of content being distributed from an encoder as a multicast stream by using a broadcast publishing point.

Multicast streaming example

These steps describe one way you can multicast live content from an encoder, as shown in the previous figure.

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