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(1) To transmit data to multiple recipients on the network at the same time using one transmission stream to the switches, at which point data are distributed out to the end users on separate lines.

Contrast with Unicast
A "unicast" is a separate transmission stream from source to destination for each recipient. When sending large volumes of data, multicast saves considerable bandwidth over unicast.

Contrast with Broadcast
A "broadcast" is a transmission to every node reachable on the network or subnet, rather than to a specific list of nodes as in a multicast. See IP multicast, IGMP and SRM.

(2) In digital television broadcasting, to send multiple standard TV (SDTV) programs in the allotted bandwidth, rather than one high-definition TV (HDTV) program.

References in periodicals archive ?
4IP broadcast: This is to deliver videos to set top boxes and digital television devices all together using IP multicasting technology.
The CMC also provides a full spectrum of content production, management and distribution services, including channel origination, transcoding, hosting, storage and IP multicasting, for traditional and new media platforms.
Along with the reference design kit, Sigma Designs also releases the industry's first WiMedia WiNET based software protocol stack with in-home networking capability featuring the IP Multicasting for point-to-multipoint A/V streaming.
The technical principles behind VoD are described, with special reference to IP multicasting, the need for extensive systems integration for all network elements, and the suitability for VoD and 'triple play' of the various access technologies: FttH, FttC, HFC, ADSL and WiMAX.
International Datacasting Corporation (IDC) is a world-leading supplier of end-to-end solutions for superior IP multicasting of broadband multimedia content via satellite.
Sigma will also be demonstrating the first-ever high definition IP Multicasting using ultra-wideband (UWB) over an extended range.
The iMG600 family combines support of IP Multicasting, QoS capabilities and the bandwidth capacity of fiber to deliver multiple video streams, IP Telephony and high-speed Internet access to subscribers.
Support for voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), as well as IP multicasting is included to facilitate real-time IP voice and video applications.
The CFC56 seamlessly supports the same advanced video-optimization features including QoS, scaleable IP Multicasting, and sophisticated network security found on existing iMAP products.
Wirespeed Gigabit Ethernet Switching performance allowing video services, including HDTV, to be delivered to each connected subscriber simultaneously using integrated IP Multicasting and IGMP.
These high-speed Gigabit switches perform all Layer-2 Ethernet switching functions and run Layer-3 routing protocols including OSPF, BGP-4, IP Multicasting and QoS.