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Multicast vs Unicast

Welcome to the PTZOptics forum(s)!


This thread has been created for end users to discuss the topic of when and how to best to use multicast vs unicast for content delivery.


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When using your PTZOptics camera with NDI you have two (2) options for delivery of the content over the network depending on how you plan to interact with the content


unicast (default)

multicast (must be enabled in Network Settings)


When to use unicast vs multicast


Unicast delivery of content if ideal if you plan to pull your video feed into a single system for production as one (1) source.

Example: This may be a single NewTek Tricaster or a single PC running vMix / OBS / Wirecast / etc...


Multicast delivery of content is ideal if you plan to pull your video feed into multiple systems or as multiple sources on one (1) system.

Example: Multiple production systems or receivers requiring access to the same source


Multicast & WiFi a Decision not to be made lightly...

If you are setup to use hardwired connections everywhere then multicast is a good fit for a multi system production environment; however if you require WiFi to be a part of your production workflow there are additional concerns that can arise.


Traditionally WiFi is not capable of offering multicast via a WiFi connection. There are some manufacturers that have built in features that allow a wireless access point to emulate a multicast connection, such as Ubiquiti, but this will place a very heavy load on the access point limiting the total users it can properly serve before becoming overloaded.


If you decide to allow multicast traffic via a wireless access point it is often recommended that you lock down traffic to specific MAC addresses of approved receivers.


Please be aware when purchasing your networking equipment, or attempting to use older equipment, that it must be IGMPv3 capable for proper multicast traffic delivery or you may experience issues.\ with reliability.

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